As Alexa celebrates four years since launching Hindi and multilingual mode in India, Amazon announced that millions of customers across the country have embraced the captivating experience of voice interactions with Alexa. Remarkably, almost 1 out of every 2 customers in India now uses the multilingual mode on their Echo smart speakers to seamlessly switch between Hindi, English, and Hinglish when making requests to Alexa without having to change their language settings each time. Moreover, customer preference for this option has increased by 21% in the last year.
Hinglish, a blend of Hindi and English, has become a commonly spoken dialect. In many Indian households, conversations flow effortlessly between Hindi and English as users of different ages have different language preferences. This unique conversational style was the reason for Amazon to develop the multilingual mode for Alexa, with India becoming the first country where this was launched. Users can easily make requests like “Alexa, Bollywood ke latest songs sunao”, “Alexa, Delhi ka weather kaisa hai?”, “Alexa, solar system ke baare mein batao”, and “Alexa, makar rashi ka horoscope batao”. Today, customers interact with Alexa millions of times a day for music, information, cricket scores, smart home control, setting alarms/reminders, and much more.
“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,” says Dilip R.S., Country Manager for Alexa, Amazon India. “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.”
Music requests drive higher engagement along with smart home and productivity. Due to its multilingual mode, Alexa can understand requests to play a particular song in more than 50 different ways whether it is “Alexa, Tum Kya Mile bajao”, “Alexa, play Tum Kya Mile”, or “Alexa, Tum Kya Mile play karo” and many more. Customer engagement with Alexa during festivals, such as Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi, and important days like Independence Day, is higher owing primarily to increased requests for songs related to these occasions. Additionally, smart home controls, and productivity-related queries are among the most popular requests made to Alexa in Hinglish. For example, “Alexa, bedroom lights ON karo”, “Alexa, electricity ka bill bharo” and “Alexa, alarm lagao”.
Alexa’s desi-ness in India delights customers. Alexa in India also harbours uniquely ‘desi’ and charming responses that continue to delight customers. They enjoy getting to know about Alexa’s likes, dislikes, and personal preferences on topics that matter most to Indians. For example: “Alexa, kaisi ho?”, “Alexa, kya tumhe garmi lagti hai?”, “Alexa, filmy dialogue sunao”, “Alexa, tumhara favourite cricketer kaun hai?”, “Alexa, tell me a Bollywood joke”, and “Alexa, kya bolti tu?”.
To activate multilingual mode, customers can simply say, “Alexa, speak in English and Hindi” or “Alexa, Hindi aur English bolo”. Customers can also opt for this language setting by navigating to their Echo device settings on the Alexa mobile app.