Report: Amazon Beefing Up Alexa’s Translation Capabilities | News & Opinion


In the future, Alexa may be able to ‘translate conversations with multiple people speaking in different languages at one setting,’ according to a new report.

The Best Skills for Amazon Alexa

Watch out, Google Translate and Microsoft Translator. Word has it that Amazon is beefing up Alexa’s translation capabilities.

Yahoo Finance, citing several unnamed sources “familiar with the matter,” on Thursday reported that Amazon’s Alexa team is working to make the voice-based digital assistant “a context-savvy, real-time universal language translator.” Alexa can already natively translate words and “basic phrases” from English to Spanish, German, French, and Italian, the report notes, but this new effort aims to take things a step further.

“For instance, if a person from the US, who only speaks English, attends a wedding in Tokyo and doesn’t speak Japanese, Alexa would be able to help that person hold a conversation in Japanese,” the report notes. “Alexa would have an understanding of the Japanese cultureā€¦and would incorporate its knowledge into translations.”

Amazon ultimately wants people to be able to access this Alexa feature via “any device on-the fly,” according to Yahoo Finance. In the future, Alexa may also be able to “translate conversations with multiple people speaking in different languages at one setting,” the report notes.

As for whether that will actually come to pass remains to be seen. Amazon did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment about the report.

Google last year hyped up the “real-time translation” capabilities of its $159 Pixel Buds, but that feature turned out to be a major letdown. The wireless earphones’ integration with Google Translate “sounds very useful at first, but its execution is so awkward that simply using your phone ends up being a more compelling option,” we wrote in our Pixel Buds review.

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