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Japanese language support next in line for Siri?

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Japanese may be the next language to gain Siri support, as the voice recognition service itself has started to claim fluency. Apple has previously announced that Japanese would be added in 2012.

siri, japanese
siri, japanese

It looks like Japanese could be the next language to work with Siri, if the voice recognition software itself is to be believed. Try it for yourself — ask her what languages she speaks, and you'll get the answer shown above. So far Siri has only been able to understand French, German, and various dialects of English, but Apple's FAQ page has stated for a while that Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish are on the way. While Apple is able to make changes to the backend of Siri any time, adding the ability to select a new language from the settings menu would likely require a software update, and we have a few ideas as to when one of those could be coming.

Adding support for Japanese would be a non-trivial task. The language is well-suited to natural language processing in many ways, with its fairly regular grammar and limited phonology, but the high level of homophony and comparatively sparse codebase to date would make a successful Siri implementation unprecedented in the country. Apple is now the number one smartphone maker in Japan, securing 27.1 percent of the market last year, meaning a lot of people will be waiting for this update.