Watch: Siri Doesn’t Understand Foreign Accents

By Megan O'Neill 

Everyone seems to agree that the coolest new feature on the iPhone 4S has got to be Siri—the personal assistant application that uses natural language processing to answer your questions, make recommendations and more.  But if English, French or German isn’t your first language Siri may not be as helpful as it’s cracked up to be.

A new YouTube video features a Japanese guy trying to ask Siri what the weather is like.  Siri isn’t sure how to respond.  “You don’t?” it asks.  “Which Linda do you want to call?” and finally, “I’m not sure what you said there.”

Apparently Siri is currently localized for US, UK and Australian accents and is also available in French and German.  It looks like while everyone else is waiting for Siri to become available in their native languages they’ll have to start working on their American, UK and Australian accents.

Of course, it should be pointed out that the guy in the video doesn’t only have an accent, but the way that he is asking about the weather isn’t exactly how native English speakers would ask.  I’d be curious how Siri would have responded if he had asked “What’s the weather like?” instead of “What’s the weather for today?”  That being said, it’s still pretty amusing.

And in another video that is going viral on YouTube today, a Japanese guy has trouble getting Siri to understand him when he says “work.”  Siri understands that he’s saying all sorts of things from walk to wall and even one “not-so-nice” word, but never gets what he’s actually saying.  Check the video out below and let us know what you think.  Are you excited about Siri?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.