The one thing that a language school always stresses is speaking to native speakers. But as the world is partially closed, we no longer have the luxury to find native speakers at events or other public spaces. Thankfully, there are solutions that make it a bit easier like Amazon‘s Alexa that has multilingual functions. This means you can now speak in many languages with Alexa that are paired with English.
Right now, Alexa supports seven languages: German, French, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese. It also supports accents such as UK English, Australian English, US English, Indian English, and Canadian English, providing a huge relief for English speakers all over the world.
— Alexa Developers (@alexadevs) September 26, 2019
This feature is especially necessary for bilingual households or someone trying to learn a new language. One of the customers told Amazon that “it can be used by the entire family. My mother and father-in-law don’t speak English, so having Alexa in Spanish at home will be helpful because they can use it too.”
Switch between languages with Echo
In order to activate the multilingual mode, open the Alexa app, go to ‘more’, open ‘settings’, and then go to ‘device settings.’ After selecting your device, under ‘language,’ select your desired language out of the supported languages. From there, Alexa will understand whether you are speaking in English or any other language and respond accordingly.
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) October 11, 2019
You can also ask Alexa to speak to you in the language you want. In order to brush up on my Japanese, I just happened to ask my Amazon first-generation Echo Plus to “talk to me in Japanese.” In a few seconds, it started talking to me in Japanese and English. Not only does it respond like a native speaker, but it also sounds more polite in Japanese.
The Japanese language doesn’t support the ‘L’ sound, so most Japanese speakers will say Arekusha instead of Alexa, and surprisingly, it will have no issues understanding. It can also make its own songs in Japanese; just say the command “Arekusha, uta o utatte (Alexa, sing a song)”; to be honest, it did a great job. Take note that it will only work with Tokyo dialect, so if you speak in other dialects, it may not understand you.
YouTube: How to Talk to Alexa in English and Spanish | Amazon Alexa