March 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM ET
The iOS 5.1 update brought — among other things — Japanese language support to Siri. Unfortunately, the personal assistant appears to be struggling with the language.
The Next Web reports that Apple's darling was recently pitted against a service called Shabette Concier, a Siri-like product made by Japanese carrier DoCoMo. The resulting demo video shows that while Siri and Shabette Concier performed equally on basic questions, Siri has trouble with more challenging tasks.
Even though the demo video is in Japanese, it is quite clear that Shabette Concier is snappier and more prone to understanding users. Kotaku's Toshitaka Tachibana remarks that it's "like Siri can only comprehend simple and universal Japanese."
This shouldn't really be surprising considering that the personal assistant occasionally also struggles with basic English, as explained in a recent lawsuit against Apple. Frank M. Fazio, the man who is suing Apple, says that Siri often either fails to understand what he says or responds with an entirely wrong answer after a "very long wait time."
Of course, as previously noted, Apple considers Siri to be in "beta." This means that it is still in the development phase, not a "final" product. Hopefully the designation also means that Siri will be sent back to school so that it can brush up on its language and comprehension skills.
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