Spanish speakers in the United States will soon be able to interact with Amazon Alexa in their native language. And it’s about time too. The US has a high number of Spanish speakers, and yet Amazon has taken its time teaching Alexa to speak Spanish.
Catering to More Than English Speakers
To those of us whose first (and probably only) language is English, interacting with digital assistants is a breeze. However, native speakers of other languages are stuck having to speak English while they wait for the technology to start catering to them.
Things have been improving. In June 2018, Google Home learned to speak Spanish. Google is also leading the way with other languages in other countries, utilizing its previous work on Google Translate. But Amazon has taken longer to include other languages.
Amazon Alexa Learns to Speak Spanish
As announced on the Alexa Blog, developers can now use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to “start building skills for Spanish-speaking customers in the US […] with the new Spanish for US voice model.”
Once these skills have been certified for publication they will become available first to participants in the Alexa Preview program. They will then become available to everyone “when Alexa launches in the US with Spanish language support later this year.”
[Announcement] Now you can start building #AlexaSkills in Spanish for customers in the US! Learn more and get started with the Alexa Skills Kit ?: https://t.co/gzaxoSME90 pic.twitter.com/se96M5wuz8
— Alexa Developers (@alexadevs) April 29, 2019
This means Spanish speakers in the US will be able to interact with Alexa through their Amazon Echo device. Alexa Built-In devices from Sony, Bose, and Facebook, and Works With Alexa devices from Philips, TP Link, and Honeywell Home will also be compatible.
Is It Time to Learn to Speak Spanish?
It’s important to note than the US has the second highest concentration of Spanish speakers in the world after Mexico. Reports suggest there are more than 50 million people able to speak Spanish in the US, so this is long overdue from Amazon.
This is obviously good news if you are a native Spanish speaker who owns an Alexa-compatible device. But if you don’t speak Spanish there’s no need to feel left out. With that in mind, here are the best apps to learn Spanish fast.
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