Apple’s Siri virtual assistant can understand over 40 languages and dialects, with voice replies available in a variety of accents to suit the user.
Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, is customizable and the voice can be easily changed to suit user preference on an iPhone and iPad. Since Siri is the most readily available voice control and hands-free information source on Apple devices, it’s nice to be able to have some choice in what sort of voice responds. Depending on the country and region, multiple languages, dialects and gender choices may be available to fine-tune Siri’s sound.
Siri started as an iOS app developed by SRI International in 2010. Seeing the potential, Apple quickly acquired the app and integrated it into the operating system. The first Apple product to receive Siri in the form that exists today was the iPhone 4S, which launched in 2011. Dictation, vocal commands and searching by voice had already been in place on various other devices before Siri existed, of course. This was simply a different approach that made interaction feel more personal. Siri is now available on all of Apple’s computer based products, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod and Mac computers.
Siri’s default voice is generally determined by the dominant language of the region where the user activates their iPhone or iPad. However, Apple allows that to be easily changed. In some cases, there are several choices of dialect, as well as language and gender. To adjust Siri’s voice, the user can open the Settings app and scroll down until they find the Siri & Search option. Tapping this reveals additional options for customizing how and when Siri will interact. The areas of interest for changing the voice will be under the headings Language and Siri Voice. Any changes to Siri’s language and voice affect every device an individual’s account is linked to.
A New Siri Voice
There are over forty languages and dialects possible for Siri. The number may vary depending on the owner’s region and the language setting refers to how the user will speak to Siri, so choosing the dialect that matches the owner is best. A few examples of different dialects of English are US, Australian, Indian and South African. Regardless of which dialect the user speaks, some may prefer a different dialect for Siri to reply in. This is done with the ‘Siri Voice’ option. Note that the selection of Siri’s speaking accents may appear limited compared to the wide range of languages and dialects in the previous option, but this setting changes based on the language setting, so it is actually fairly complete.
Adjusting the voice of Siri can help make it sound more helpful, knowledgeable, or friendly. Apple doesn’t have an option for robotic voices and that is by design. The company that helped user-friendly computers become popular doesn’t want the user to think of Siri as a computer, but rather as a human-like virtual assistant. Clearly, voice communication with smartphones and speakers is still a work in progress, but considering they have only existed since 2011, the rapid advancement is apparent. Apple’s Siri can understand over 40 languages and dialects and can respond with quite a variety of voices.
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