Home technology Amazon Alexa hinglish Echo speakers are on their way to assist Indians

Amazon Alexa hinglish Echo speakers are on their way to assist Indians

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Amazon Alexa hinglish Echo speakers

This is not the first time that a digital assistants is being tuned to the tastes to the indigenous flavour. According to
a report , Amazon Echo computer speakers are on their way to assist Indians, and not only the urban crowd.

Now Alexa can answer basic questions like national holidays and festivals. Interestingly she
Amazon.com Inc. is starting to learn Hinglish. The US-based e-commerce company is beginning to ship Echo speakers in
India this week, about a year after bringing them to foreign markets like the UK and Germany. In that time, teams of
linguists, speech scientists, developers and engineers have given a decidedly local makeover to the Alexa virtual
assistant that powers the
speakers.


Earlier this month, Amazon promised it would bring its Echo line of smart speakers to the competitive e-commerce

battleground of India. The devices, including the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot, were initially available through an
invite-only program. Today, Amazon says those orders are now shipping to customers, and will arrive in November.
To encourage sales, earlier Echo adopters were offered an introductory discount of 30 percent off the purchase price and
one year of Prime membership.

This Alexa uses a blend of Hindi and English and speaks with an unmistakably Indian accent.
She knows Independence Day is August 15th, not July 4th, and wishes listeners “Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year!”
She also refers to the living room as ‘drawing room’ and can add jeera (cumin), haldi (turmeric) and atta (flour) to
your shopping list. Then there are her cricket jokes. (Don’t ask.)
“We wanted our devices to talk, walk and feel Indian,” said Parag Gupta, head of product management for Amazon Devices
in India. “Alexa is not a visiting American, she has a very Indian personality.”

Amazon isn’t alone. Technology giants from Apple Inc. to Google are targeting this nation of 1.3 billion people by
training virtual assistants in the heterogeneity of its languages and subcultures. Though many people understand
American or British English, they’re more comfortable with assistants who sound more like them.
even Microsoft is mixing English with Hindi, Bengali, and Telugu as well. As of now, the Microsoft Research lab in
Bengaluru is using 18 Hindi movie scripts and around 15,000 dialogues to study the pattern of mixing the language.

In India, the Echo was priced at ₹9,999 ($153), the Echo Plus was ₹14,999 ($230), and the Echo Dot was sold for ₹4,499
($69), Amazon had said when announcing its plans to expand Echo sales outside of the U.S., Germany, and the U.K.
to new markets in Asia.
The company is also detailing some of the third-party services that will be integrated with Alexa, including The
Times of India, NDTV, Reuters, and ESPNcricinfo for news and flash briefings; and local weather. Amazon Music will sit
alongside other music services integrated into the service like Saavn (“India’s Spotify”) and TuneIn.

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