At Amazon’s hardware event last month in Seattle, the company announced plans to launch multi-lingual modes for its Alexa devices in the U.S., Canada, and India, where the smart voice assistant would be able to speak a combination of English and Spanish, French and English, and Hindi and English, respectively. Today, Amazon says the multi-lingual mode for U.S. speakers is officially live across the country, allowing users of both Echo and Alexa-powered devices to switch between Spanish and English. Alexa can also be set to speak only Spanish in the Alexa app settings.
The new support also means developers can build skills for the platform that target Spanish language speakers.
The experience introduces a new Spanish voice for Alexa, plus local knowledge, hundreds of Spanish skills including those form Univision and Telemundo, and more.
To use Alexa in Spanish mode, U.S. users will be able to toggle to “Español (Estados Unidos)” in the Alexa app. They can then speak to Alexa in Spanish to get news, weather, control their smart home devices, set reminders, and launch skills.
However, the more interesting addition is the multi-lingual mode option, which allows customers to seamlessly switch between Spanish and English.
For example, you could ask Alexa in English for the weather, and she’ll reply in English. But if you speak in Spanish, she replies in Spanish. This makes the device more useful in multi-lingual households where a mix of both languages is spoken.
To complement the new Spanish-language support, Amazon Music listeners in the U.S. will be able to ask Alexa for several newly launched Latin music playlists in U.S. Spanish, including Sin Filtro (urban artists), Tierra Tropical (bachata, salsa, cumbias), Puro Reggaeton, and Fierro Pariente (Regional Mexicano).
Amazon said the other multi-lingual modes for Canada and India (French and Hindi, combined with English), will also be available, but didn’t say when they would be fully rolled out.