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Siri cannot understand the Scottish accent

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Too true Oct 29, 2011

I'm glad this came up - I heard the news earlier on the BBC. I imagine most Scots will be having a wry chuckle to themselves about it, like myself.
The problem is nothing new, as we can see from the Burnistoun lift sketch in the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FFRoYhTJQQ

[Edited at 2011-10-29 16:37 GMT]

However, I've had no trouble with my recently acquired Arthurian-sounding VR software, unlike my brummie mate who's been using it for donkeys...

[Edited at 2011-10-29 16:40 GMT]


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
Hebrew to English
Not surprised... Oct 29, 2011

....by two things in the article...

1. Not shocked in the slightest that this voice recognition technology, like most others, is about as much use as flippers on a donkey.

2. That Americans need to be told where Scotland is: "Scotland, the country land-attached to the north of England".

Saying that, the Scottish accent is pretty impenetrable (sorry Neil).


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:08
English to German
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Are you sure? :-) Oct 30, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:
2. That Americans need to be told where Scotland is: "Scotland, the country land-attached to the north of England".


I wonder how many Brits can find New Scotland / Nova Scotia on the map immediately.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Correction Oct 30, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

Saying that, the Scottish accent is pretty impenetrable (sorry Neil).


Of course, you mean that Scottish accents (or dialects/slang etc) CAN BE impenetrable. Most educated people will (consciously or unconsciously) modify the way they speak to suit the interlocutor. For example, when my weegie friends and I address my brummie chum, he understands us, but when we talk amongst ourselves he sometimes starts to flounder.

As they say in Spain: "hablando se entiende la gente"


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Paul Stevens  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:08
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Sorry! Oct 30, 2011

This thread reminds me of this clip from Not The Nine O'Clock News, featuring the Big Yin and his future wife, Pamela Stephenson:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlUb8jt0WP0



Personally, I've always thought that there should be subtitles on UK TV for any programmes featuring Scottish accents......


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
Hebrew to English
Twas just conspicuous Oct 30, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:
2. That Americans need to be told where Scotland is: "Scotland, the country land-attached to the north of England".


I wonder how many Brits can find New Scotland / Nova Scotia on the map immediately.



The Americans' geographical awareness is a bit of a running joke here (maybe a stereotype even), much like the American stereotype that we all run around with rotten teeth.

What I found slightly bizarre was that this was spelled out in a public article. If, for example, I was reading a story about Canada, I wouldn't expect them to say "Nova Scotia, the bit sticking out on the Atlantic Ocean at the bottom, near America."

I just found it a bit conspicuous that's all.



[Edited at 2011-10-30 12:06 GMT]


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Sheila Hardie  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:08
Member
Catalan to English
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Scotland the What? Oct 30, 2011

Too true! I read the BBC article and listened to the video and I must say (being from Aberdeen myself), that the people they interviewed to test the iPhone 4 had quite 'posh' Aberdonian accents! When I was at school, we had one way of speaking for the classroom, another for the playground and yet another (which iPhone definitely would have problems with) for when we went tattie picking (potato picking)! There is a wide range of accents and dialects in Scotland and the Doric dialect can be very hard for other British (or even Scottish) people to understand - I don't know if anyone here has heard of 'Scotland the What?' (my dad's cousin was one of the trio), but my English friends need subtitles for them! Here's an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyF5oYMdzSc

neilmac wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

Saying that, the Scottish accent is pretty impenetrable (sorry Neil).


Of course, you mean that Scottish accents (or dialects/slang etc) CAN BE impenetrable. Most educated people will (consciously or unconsciously) modify the way they speak to suit the interlocutor. For example, when my weegie friends and I address my brummie chum, he understands us, but when we talk amongst ourselves he sometimes starts to flounder.

As they say in Spain: "hablando se entiende la gente"


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Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:08
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
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Not just the iPhone Oct 30, 2011

According to an interview I heard a couple of years ago on the CBC, businesspeople using standard English sometimes need and interpreter when in Glasgow.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8306582.stm

Anyone care to enlighten me on the linguistic and social stratification of Glaswegian?

[Edited at 2011-10-30 22:25 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Wha' saw the tattie howkers? Oct 31, 2011

Sheila Hardie wrote:

When I was at school, we had one way of speaking for the classroom, another for the playground and yet another for when we went tattie picking (potato picking)!


Indeed, I remember at about 8 years of age asking my mum why her voice and manner changed when she answered the phone, which I found somehow embarrassing. I also remember being ridiculed by other kids when in hospital aged ten for being "posh", because of the way I spoke. You eventually grow to accept it and follow the norms, switching from one register or style to another, often unconsciously.

BTW, I recently re-read Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island" and the bit towards the end when he visits a Glasgow pub is hilarious. I'll never quite get used to people asking me where I'm from when I go back to Scotland nowadays, as my accent has softened quite a bit after living abroad.

NB: I was in hospital for appendicitis, not because I was suffering from a poshness OD ... Mea culpa.

[Edited at 2011-11-01 12:04 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:08
Spanish to English
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En toda partes cuecen habas Oct 31, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

2. That Americans need to be told where Scotland is...


When I was in Russia in the 1980s, many people confused Scotland with Holland (they can sound quite similar in Russian) and when told it was to the north of England, a lot of them assumed that all British (= English) people were white, caucasian, tall and often wore bowler hats.
I remember one man asking me if my country was hot or cold, and if black people lived there. When I answered cold and yes, he said "but don't they live in hot countries?". I asssume things there have moved on by now... I hope so anyway.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:08
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not just the iPhone Oct 31, 2011

Hege Jakobsen Lepri wrote:

According to an interview I heard a couple of years ago on the CBC, businesspeople using standard English sometimes need and interpreter when in Glasgow.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8306582.stm

Anyone care to enlighten me on the linguistic and social stratification of Glaswegian?

[Edited at 2011-10-30 22:25 GMT]


I could go on about it anecdotally for ages if I had time, but found this article abstract (which I haven't read myself) from the 1970s online: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=93A187549E7DD700912D7A41AF5ED7C1.journals?fromPage=online&aid=2987472


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
Hebrew to English
Not entirely sure it has... Oct 31, 2011

neilmac wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:

2. That Americans need to be told where Scotland is...


When I was in Russia in the 1980s, many people confused Scotland with Holland (they can sound quite similar in Russian) and when told it was to the north of England, a lot of them assumed that all British (= English) people were white, caucasian, tall and often wore bowler hats.
I remember one man asking me if my country was hot or cold, and if black people lived there. When I answered cold and yes, he said "but don't they live in hot countries?". I asssume things there have moved on by now... I hope so anyway.


I taught some Russians about 2 years ago (teenagers), they were a fantastic bunch, but they were dismayed at the multi-culturalism. I think they expected a rather different England to the one they encountered.
I've also noticed from the language they use, not just from Russians, but from many Polish too, that Eastern Europe is still not as....accustomed to multi-culturalism.

Typo

[Edited at 2011-10-31 12:48 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Alistair MacLeod Oct 31, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Ty Kendall wrote:
2. That Americans need to be told where Scotland is: "Scotland, the country land-attached to the north of England".


I wonder how many Brits can find New Scotland / Nova Scotia on the map immediately.


I can, but maybe that's because I'm an admirer of the short stories of Alistair MacLeod - which are all about the Scots-Canadians. And maybe also because I'm not a Brit.

(hint: not everyone in London is British).

[Edited at 2011-10-31 10:57 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Multiculturalism Oct 31, 2011

Ty Kendall wrote:

I taught some Russians about 2 years ago (teenagers), they were a fantastic bunch, but they were dismayed at the mutli-culturalism.


Yes, it's amazing how racist some of those Eastern Europeans are. It's like suddenly finding yourself back in some primitve time.

[Edited at 2011-10-31 11:06 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Hilarious attempt to do all the British accents Oct 31, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPsAa86Y_Ho&feature=related

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