A Look at the Number of Languages Popular Voice Assistant Services Support
Monday February 4, 2019. 08:00 AM , from Slashdot/Apple
An anonymous reader shares a report: Contrary to popular Anglocentric belief, English isn't the world's most-spoken language by total number of native speakers -- nor is it the second. In fact, the West Germanic tongues rank third on the list, followed by Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, and Russian. (Mandarin and Spanish are first and second, respectively.) Surprisingly, Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana recognize only a relatively narrow slice of these.
Google Assistant: With the addition of more than 20 new languages in January, the Google Assistant took the crown among voice assistants in terms of the number of tongues it understands. It's now conversant in 30 languages in 80 countries, up from 8 languages and 14 countries in 2017.
Apple's Siri: Apple's Siri, which until January had Google Assistant beat in terms of sheer breadth of supported languages, comes in a close second. Currently, it supports 21 languages in 36 countries and dozens of dialects for Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Microsoft's Cortana: Cortana, which made its debut at Microsoft's Build developer conference in April 2013 and later came to Windows 10, headphones, smart speakers, Android, iOS, Xbox One, and even Alexa via a collaboration with Amazon, might not support as many languages as Google Assistant and Siri. Still, it has come a long way in six years.
Amazon's Alexa: Alexa might be available on over 150 products in 41 countries, but it understands the fewest languages of any voice assistant: English (Australia, Canada, India, UK, and US), French (Canada, France), German, Japanese (Japan), and Spanish (Mexico, Spain).
Samsung's Bixby: Samsung's Bixby -- the assistant built into the Seoul, South Korea company's flagship and midrange Galaxy smartphone series and forthcoming Galaxy Home smart speaker -- is available in 200 markets globally but only supports a handful of languages in those countries: English, Chinese, German, French, Italian, Korean, and Spanish.
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