- Google Assistant on phones and Google Home hardware is now better equipped for bilingual people and households.
- Speak in any pair of languages to Google Assistant and it will respond appropriately in the applicable language.
- Assistant also has a few new Chromecast tricks up its sleeve.
In 2016, a survey showed that 22 percent of children in the United States spoke a language other than English at home. Abroad, bilingual (or even trilingual) households are even more common.
Up until now, Google Assistant and Google Home hardware haven’t been able to accommodate this common aspect of daily life for many people around the world. But starting today, Google Assistant has bilingual capabilities.
This means, for example, that you can ask Google Assistant questions in English or Spanish and Assistant will respond in the appropriate language. This will be incredibly helpful for families where older generations predominantly speak one language while the younger generations predominantly speak another.
Although the bilingual feature is rolling out now globally, it only works for six languages for the time being: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. Google hopes to incorporate more languages in the future.
Another limitation is that Assistant can only differentiate between two languages at a time. In other words, you can speak any pair of languages of the six choices above, but not three. You also can’t switch back and forth between different pairs, you have to stick to the same two.
In related Google Assistant news, there are some new Chromecast abilities rolling out now. Assistant already was able to show you the weather on your connected Chromecast-enabled television, but now you can ask to see sports scores, stocks, and more. If you’re already watching something on your Chromecast when you ask to see information, don’t worry: Assistant will just overlay the info on top of what you’re already viewing.
Finally, when you ask Assistant to stream content on a Chromecast, you no longer have to signify which TV to play it on. If you are speaking to your Google Home that’s assigned to your living room, you don’t have to then append “…on living room TV” at the end. For example, you now can say, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things,” instead of, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on living room TV.” Much simpler! Of course, this only works if the Home hardware and the Chromecast are assigned to the same location.