When I initially upgraded my old iPhone to iOS 7, I was really interested to know how Siri had improved. So I looked at the different languages that are supported by Siri.
To see the language dialects that Siri supports and choose one for yourself, find the "Settings" app, the navigate to "General", then "Siri", then "Language." If you have "English (United States)" chosen as your language option for Siri, this is what your Language screen will look like:
At some point, I looked at the list of English dialects and began to wonder... what exactly is the difference between "English (United States)" and "English (Canada)"? If you choose "English (Canada)" do you have to end your dictation with "Eh?" rather than the enunciated phrase "Question Mark"? (Sorry Canadian friends, I couldn't resist posing that last rhetorical question.)
I switched back and forth between the two dialects. I couldn't detect any difference in how Siri evaluated my speech or my diction. But I did notice a couple of subtle differences between the two dialects that have to do with the example queries that Apple uses to illustrate Siri's functionality:
- Typical sports question:
- In "English (United States)", the example question is "Did the Giants win?"
- In "English (Canada)", the example question is "Hockey scores from last night?"
- Restarurant reservation request:
- In "English (United States)", the example request is "Table for four in Palo Alto...."
- In "English (Canada)", the example request "Table for four in Toronto...."
This made me wonder if the dialect chosen influences the way Siri responds to questions. For instance, under American English, would, "Who's winning the Jets game?" give you an NFL score, while under Canadian English, Siri would respond with a hockey score? I decided to test this out, and the result was as I suspected, Siri responds with the results of yesterday's New York Jets game when I say I am American, and the results of the Winnipeg Jets game when I say I am Canadian.
Would a question like, "What's going on at Dartmouth?" asked under U.S. English cause Siri to tell you what's happening in Hanover, New Hampshire, but under Canadian English, Siri might respond with events in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia?
If you know of any differences in how Siri operates when different dialects of English are chosen, please let us know in the comments or tweet us @OperationGadget.