Amazon is celebrating four years since the launch of Hindi and the multilingual mode of Alexa in India. The company reveals that since its launch, the feature has been embraced by millions of customers across the country, helping them seamlessly switch between Hindi, English, and Hinglish when interacting with Alexa, without the need to change their language settings each time.
According to Amazon, almost 1 out of every 2 customers in India is now using the multilingual mode of Indian-English/Hindi to interact with Alexa on their Echo smart speakers. This preference option has reportedly surged by 21 per cent over the past year.
Indians are using the cloud-based voice assistant Alexa for a variety of tasks, such as playing music, paying electricity bills, seeking cooking-related information, inquiring about news, and even controlling smart home devices. However, according to Amazon, Alexa is more than just a device within users’ homes. Alongside practical queries, Indian users are also interested in engaging with the voice assistant itself and asking its personal preferences.
In its latest report, Amazon unveils a list of the most popular prompts given to Alexa by Indian users. The report highlights that users in India often inquire about Alexa’s preferences, likes, dislikes, and more. Some of the frequently asked queries include: “Alexa, kaisi ho?” (Alexa, how are you?), “Alexa, kya tumhe garmi lagti hai?” (Alexa, do you feel hot?), “Alexa, filmy dialogue sunao” (Alexa, recite a movie dialogue), “Alexa, tumhara favourite cricketer kaun hai?” (Alexa, who is your favorite cricketer?) and “Alexa, tell me a Bollywood joke,” and “Alexa, kya bolti tu?” (Alexa, what do you say?).
Apart from what Alexa likes, Indian users also ask Alexa about– “Alexa, Bollywood ke latest songs sunao”, “Alexa, Delhi ka weather kaisa hai?”, “Alexa, solar system ke baare mein batao”, “Alexa, makar rashi ka horoscope batao”,
Amazon further reveals that Alexa can understand requests to play a specific song in over 50 distinct ways, whether it’s stated as “Alexa, Tum Kya Mile bajao” or “Alexa, play Tum Kya Mile” the voice assistant will easily understand the query and play the song. These music requests especially increase during festivals like Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi, contributing to increased engagement with Alexa.
How to activate multilingual mode in Alexa
- Wake up Alexa by saying “Alexa” or pressing the wake button on your Echo device.
- Clearly state one of the following commands:
— “Alexa, speak in English and Hindi”
— “Alexa, Hindi aur English bolo”
- Alexa will confirm your request and switch to multilingual mode, allowing you to seamlessly interact in both English and Hindi.
Users can also change the settings using the Alexa app:
- Open the Alexa mobile app on your smartphone.
- Tap on the “Devices” icon at the bottom right corner of the app.
- Select your Echo device from the list of available devices.
- Tap on “Language” in the device settings.
- Choose the “Multilingual” option, which enables you to use both English and Hindi.
- Confirm your selection and Alexa will now be in multilingual mode, ready to respond in English and Hindi as per your preference.
Talking about the popularity of Alexa and its multilingual feature, Dilip R.S., Country Manager for Alexa, Amazon India stated, “Our vision for Alexa is to make it more natural and conversational. The teams that work on Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) continuously innovate and deploy initiatives to ensure Alexa understands requests in mixed language as effortlessly as the ones made in Hindi or English.”
“I’m glad to see customers in India embrace Alexa’s intuitive way of understanding their requests, just how a family member or friend would. We will continue to make Alexa smarter and make it more useful and relevant for customers in the country,” he added.