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17th Nov 2022

Amazon to bring in an Irish accent for Alexa and other devices

Fiona Frawley

woman leaning in to ask alexa a question

“Well Alexa, what’s the craic?”

If you’ve got a West Kerry uncle or Midlands Ma who’s always had trouble getting through to Alexa, everything’s about to change.

Echo smart devices will now have an Irish accent in a move that will affect hundreds of thousands of smart speakers and other tech gadgets here, the Independent reports.

According to the paper, Amazon has spent months ensuring that when activated, localised “th” sounds differ from those in the US or Britain. Words ending with “ght” will also sound more like the Dublin “sh” than the British “t”.

Amazon has also started to recognise Irish phrases and will respond to queries such as “what’s the craic, Alexa?” and “who’s your man?”

Am I the only one wondering how Alexa and her new lilt would respond to the Erin McGregor voicenote, or a request by Nadine Coyle to play Where Have All The Flowers Gone? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Speaking to the Independent, Amazon’s Alexa country manager for Ireland and the UK Dennis Stansbury said:

When customers told us they wanted an Irish-English voice option for Alexa, we knew we had a big challenge on our hands as there’s so many different and distinct Irish accents.

Our team of language experts created a number of different accent variations and we tested them with internal and external Irish natives to help us define the final accent.

The new Irish accent will only be available in a female voice for the time being.

Header image via Shutterstock 

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