iPhone Life magazine

Google voice search, british accents and odd results

I'm American, but as a young budding musician in the 80’s, I was fully on board with English music (especially Punk), my guitar instructor was English, watch more then my share of BBC (young ones!!) and then lived in Oxford for 3+ years. So I can pull a pretty good accent when needed. So after reading this article on Digg explaining how various British accents will give odd results, I just had to give it a try.

But British iPhone owners had less luck when speaking the word “iPhone” into the application – a Scottish user was offered a porn website after it mistook his search for “sex,” the Telegraph reported.

A user from Surrey, south of London, had his request mistaken for “myspace” and “Einstein” was another option offered for “iPhone” spoken with a Kent accent, it said.

The only British accent which correctly understood the request was for a user from Yorkshire, northern England, although he was also offered “bonfire.”

A Welsh accent gave the suggestions “gorillas” and “kitchen sink.”

“I’ve got a traditional Kentish accent and the thing kept on spitting back ridiculous things,” said Roger Ellinson, 26, from Maidstone in Kent, southeastern England.

“I asked it to find my nearest pizza take away and it came back with something about volcanoes,” he added.

“I asked it to find my nearest pub and it gave me a link to some kind of weird dating website,” said Ellinson. “I’ll have to try to put on my best American accent to get it to work.”

… so I thought, well, I’ll give this a go.. I tried iPhone and got, Austin. Hmm.. Austin powers maybe?

local pub - child

My space - marsyas. Did not know that was even a word. Seems to be about Audio Signal processing or some Greek mythology.  But then, what odd word does NOT have some sort of connection with Greek mythology?

BMW - Bellingham, wa.

Cal Bears - calabasas

local airport - locoroco (northern accent) lukia airport (london accent)

A funny bit is when I tried ‘take away curry’, it got it right and sent me to a shoppe in Belfast.  How nice.

Here was a surprise though… It got Aluminum right!!  Well well.  Got ‘my Simon’ and then ‘littmans’ when I tried vitamins though. ;)

I would say that on the most part it got things right especially long queries like ‘auto repair shop, or golden gate bridge’.  Still, I have a friend from down under.  Will have to see what happens when he tries it. :)

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