Siri only supports a handful of languages right now, but Apple is working hard to extend the capabilities of its impressive digital assistant. According to one report, the feature will be able to understand you if you speak to it in Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, or Russian from next month.
Tech In Asia relays a report from Chinese news site DoNews, which claims that Apple will issue an update to Siri next month that will allow it to understand the Chinese language, as well as Japanese and Russian. However, those who speak Cantonese will reportedly be left out initially:
The Chinese tech site DoNews claims to have heard from an Apple engineer who’s working on the Chinese-language version of Siri, the clever voice assistant on the iPhone 4S. From this source it claims that Siri will launch in Chinese next month, and is already undergoing internal testing this month. [...]
The rumor also contends that the Chinese version will only support the standard Mandarin (aka: putonghua) Chinese, which would leave out Cantonese-speaking people, as well as some Taiwan folk who effectively speak in a different dialect. Plus, it alleges that Japanese and Russian will arrive next month as well.
As things currently stand, Siri only understands English — with an American, British or Australian accent — French, and German. But Apple promised at the feature’s unveiling that more languages would be on the way, and an imminent update adding support for Chinese makes a lot of sense.
Apple’s iPhone 4S — which is still the only device to offer Siri — made its debut in China on China Unicom last month, and according to recent reports, it’s set to arrive on China Telecom soon, too. The Cupertino company is enjoying rapid growth in China, so it’s understandable that the Chinese language would be a priority for Siri’s first update.
And much the same can be said about Japan — another key market for Apple where its products have always proven to be popular. The iPhone 4S made its debut there way back in October, during the first round of rollouts.
Which languages would you like to see Siri speaking next?