PUNE—In a major step to make Alexa more ‘Indian’, Amazon today announced that Alexa will now support interactions in Hindi or Hinglish. This launch will enable hundreds of thousands of Alexa customers in India to interact with Alexa toask for music, get Bollywood or sports updates and much more in Hindi or Hinglish. Alexa is the brain that powers Amazon Echo devices. The new Hindi experience is availableon all Echo family of voice-controlled smart speakers.
Since Alexa runs in the cloud, the service is always getting smarter. When Alexa launched in India in 2017, she was able to understand and pronounce names of popular places, names, songs and more in many regional languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathiand Punjabi. With this update, Alexa can now understand customers speaking to her completely in Hindi or Hinglish, in multiple contexts, and varied regional accents and dialects. You can enjoy asking Alexa for diverse Hindi content such as jokes,shayaris,games, Kabir kedohe, Panchatantra stories, Bollywood dialogues, more than 500 Alexa skills,and even spellings of words in Hindi.
“India has uniquely challenged our AI teams with its cultural and linguistic diversity. We are thrilled to bring a suite of AI advances in multilingual understanding so that customers can interact with Alexa in different regional variants of colloquial Hindi. We are also grateful to Indian customers who contributed to Hindidevelopment through the Cleo skill,” said Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist, Alexa AI, Amazon. “We look forward to Alexa delighting our Hindi-speaking customers and working with developers in India to invent many more Hindi skills,” he added.
To get started with Hindi, customers can just ask, “Alexa, help me set up Hindi.” Existing Echo customers in India can change their device language to Hindi via the Language options inside the Device settings on the Alexa App. Echo Show users can access the settings section to change language by swiping down from the top of the screen.
“We are a customer-first company than a technology-first company. In India pronunciation, diction, and accents in Hindi are different across the country even if the language being spoken is the same,” said Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, Amazon India. “Conversations in Hinglish are common. With today’s launch you will notice that Alexa has become more local. Alexa will not only understand and respond in Hindi or Hinglish but, is also armed with a lot of knowledge about topics that interest users in the country ranging from local information, to music, and from Bollywood to cricket,” he added.
Coming soon, customers can speak to Alexa in Hindi and English without changing the language setting back and forth. For example, if a customer asks for the weather in Hindi, Alexa will reply in Hindi, e.x. “Alexa, aajmausamkaisahai?” and when they ask for information in English, Alexa will understand and respond in English e.x. “Alexa, tell me about Chandrayaan-2”. This feature is specially built for Indian households where users speak both Hindi and English.