How Smart Are Smartphone Assistant Translations?

Smartphones have become smart, but are they smarter than you? When it comes to language interpretation, unless you are a linguistic specialist, they probably are.

It’s All About The Languages

Some smartphones are smarter than others when it comes to language interpretations. VOA News reports that Siri can “speak 21 languages localized for 36 countries, a very important capability.” Cortana only has “eight languages tailored for 13 countries,” but she knows quite a bit about the Mexican culture and prides herself upon it. As of right now, Alexa by Amazon speaks only English and German, which can be troublesome in a world with so many diverse languages and wide-spread cross-cultural communication in business and leisure.

The Need For Diversity

Though many of the smartphone applications are planning on adding to their list of languages, it remains to be seen just when this will happen, and just what languages will be added. For those who are looking to have the widest availability in language translation, Siri is the leader of the pack; for now. Both Google and Amazon have plans to increase the smartness in their smart apps, but to what degree remains to be addressed.

A Human Touch

If you’ve ever wondered just how any of these smartphone voices speak, the answer lies in something purely human. Humans read passages in a wide range of dialects, and a variety of sounds and voices are recorded. Somehow, it all comes together in a “text-to-speech” translator. Though there are scripts upon scripts written that hope to cover every answer that might be asked, it all comes down to preparation, planning, and the hope that what you have is what people are looking for.

New Kid On The Block

Samsung is unveiling the newest addition to the smartphone voice-app family—Bixby. But the problem that Bixby has right out of the gate is the fact that its name can be tricky to say in many countries. According to The Star, “In languages such as Korean and Japanese, speakers would have to put an extra vowel between the X and B to make it possible for them to say.” But the name Bixby is a unique branding tool that makes Samsung stand out, and as long as it can compete with names that are easier to say in all languages by translating more than one, it has a good shot in the market.

Not Siri, but even better

We don’t use Siri at ITC Translations. Instead, we offer a highly-specific translation service that is based on what you need and who you need it to explain it to. Our translators are not only familiar with software tools and IT practices, they know IT terminology and understand the source and target languages, among many other subject areas. If your business needs translation of documents, software, websites, contracts, or anything else you might use for your business, we can handle it. Contact us today to find out how different we are from the voice on your smartphone.

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