The Chinese tech site DoNews claims to have heard from an Apple engineer who’s working on the Chinese-language version of Siri, the clever voice assistant on the iPhone 4S. From this source it claims that Siri will launch in Chinese next month, and is already undergoing internal testing this month.
In addition to understanding and speaking Chinese, Siri will soon also be able to give local information and navigation – something that’s currently limited only to the US. At present, the Siri assistant speaks English, French, and German. So if you’re Chinese, you’ll have to ask it stuff in English for the time being.
The rumor also contends that the Chinese version will only support the standard Mandarin (aka: putonghua) Chinese, which would leave out Cantonese-speaking people, as well as some Taiwan folk who effectively speak in a different dialect. Plus, it alleges that Japanese and Russian will arrive next month as well.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has said on the record that Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish support will come for Siri in 2012, so it’s just a matter of when it’ll happen. The iPad is due for a refresh soon (very likely next month), so that’s an opportunity for the Californian tech giant to make an announcement that involves Siri learning some new Asian languages.
[Source: DoNews - article in Chinese]