Amazon hosted an event in New Delhi today, on September 18. It officially announced support for Hindi in Alexa voice assistant. The feature is now live from the Alexa app settings. Works for bringing Hindi to Alexa began more than a year ago. The company executives talked about the unique contextual, cultural, and content-related challenges that Hindi implementation posed for Alexa virtual assistant.
Manish Tiwari, Amazon India Head of Devices Category said at the event that Hindi usage has grown on the site by six times since its introduction last year. To recall, Google smart speakers gained support for Hindi late last year. Moreover, Amazon added a Hindi voice model to its Alexa Skills Kit in 2018 as well. Alexa has supported some Hinglish – combination of Hindi and English – words in the past, but Amazon wanted to add full-fledged support.
Now, users can give commands to Alexa in Hindi, and the virtual assistant would respond in the same language. Additionally, on being asked, the executive aid that Alexa only supports one voice type in Hindi. Moreover, Amazon is planning to add multilingual support soon. The digital assistant supports variants of about 15 languages including Spanish, German, French and more.
Amazon claims it offers Indian Alexa customers over 30,000 skills including Bollywood, education, cricket and more. As of now, Alexa is available across Amazon products like Echo Dot, Echo Plus and more, and over 35 devices from companies like Motorola, Sony, iBall and LG.
At the event, Amazon showcased new Alexa skills by asking, “Alexa kaise ho?” (Alexa, how are you?) to which the digital assistant replied, “Apne pucha, dil garden garden ho gya” (You asked, my heart is filled with joy). Users can ask their Alexa devices to play “Bollywood ke latest gane” (latest Bollywood songs), ask “India ka agla match kab hai?” (When is India’s next match), and more.