Google Voice Search now understands French, German, and Japanese

December 5, 2013
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Google announced today the availability of three new major languages in Google Voice Search for Android and iOS.

With Google Voice Search, users can tap the microphone button in the Google search box and make a verbal query. The app understands and answers simple questions like “what is the population of France?” or “how’s the weather?”

Until now, Google Voice Search was only available to English-speaking users, but today Google opened it up to French, German, and Japanese speakers. If you want to use one of these languages, you will have to set your device accordingly in Settings>Language and Input (if you’re device is set on English, the app will only understand English.)

The change is server side, meaning that you won’t have to update the app in order to use the new languages. We tested it with French, and the Search app responds in the same language. However, it seems that Google didn’t roll out the “talk back” functionality to other languages besides English. This functionality allows the app to ask for clarifications on a query; for instance, if you didn’t specify it in your first command, it will ask to whom you want to send a message to.

Some German users report that they have been able to use their mother tongue for several months, so it may be that today’s announcement is belated. Google did not say when it plans to expand the availability of Voice Search in more languages.

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