Amazon Alexa gets English-Hindi bilingual support in India, allowing seamless language switching

Amazon Alexa gets English-Hindi bilingual support in India, allowing seamless language switching

To cater to the growing Amazon Echo user base in India, Amazon pushed Hindi support for its Alexa digital assistant last month. Even though Alexa was about a year behind the Google Assistant, the added functionality opened up a host of possibilities for Indian users. Not only does Amazon’s assistant now understand user commands in Hindi and Hinglish (a mix of Hindi and English), but it can also reply in Hindi. Now, Amazon is finally rolling out bilingual support for the assistant which will allow it to easily switch the language of response based on the language used for the command.

To enable bilingual support, Echo users will have to change their device language to “English/ हिन्दी” from within the language options in the device settings on the Alexa app. Echo Show and Echo Spot users will also be able to swipe down from the top of the display to access the settings menu and change the language in the latest software update. In case you don’t see the “English/ हिन्दी” or “हिन्दी/ English” option, you’ll need to make sure that you’re running the latest software. You can easily check for updates by asking, “Alexa, check for software updates”. Additionally, you can also ask, “Alexa, how can I setup multi-lingual mode” and the assistant will guide you through the process.

Once the feature is enabled, you’ll be able to ask Alexa to answer questions, play music, read the news, set times and alarms, check the calendar, provide sports scores, and use over 30,000 English skills. At the same time, in Hindi, you’ll be able to ask Alexa for a variety of content such as shayaris, Kabir ke dohe, Panchatantra stories, Bollywood dialogues, spellings of words in Hindi, and use over 500 Hindi skills. In essence, the new feature streamlines the process of switching between the two languages by eliminating the need for it altogether. Once you choose the new “English/ हिन्दी” language option, you won’t need to manually switch the language settings every time you wish to say a command in a different language. This is an excellent method of interaction for bilingual/multilingual households in urban India, which is Amazon India’s current target audience.

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