Google voice search learns Chinese

November 2, 2009
Google's voice search tool now understands Chinese. The Internet giant announced on Monday that users of Nokia S60 series mobile phones could now search the Internet using voice commands in Mandarin Chinese.

Google's voice search tool now understands Chinese. The Internet giant announced on Monday that users of Nokia S60 series mobile phones could now search the Internet using voice commands in Mandarin Chinese.

"Up until now voice search has only been available in English, but the new version of Mobile App for Nokia S60 devices works for Mandarin speakers, too," Google said in a blog post.

"Although this only works on the Nokia S60 at the moment, we're working on adding support for Mandarin speech recognition to our products on other mobile platforms, such as and ," Google said.

The Mountain View, California-based company cautioned that bringing Mandarin speech recognition to mobile phones had posed an "engineering challenge" and may not always produce the desired results.

"Bear in mind that this is a first version of our system in Mandarin, and it might not be as polished as our English version," Google said.

"For example, if you have a strong southern Chinese accent, it might not work as well as for people with a Beijing accent. However, our system will improve over time," the company said.

Google's English version of voice search has been fine-tuned to allow for accents from Australia, Britain, India and the United States.

(c) 2009 AFP

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