June 24, 2014
Apple is looking to further expand the language capabilities of its polyglot personal assistant on iOS, Siri. As noted by MacRumors, through a series of job listings posted earlier this month, the iOS device maker is looking for engineers who are "expert in foreign languages and with strong software development skills" to join its team of Siri Language Engineers:
Each position's responsibilities include tasks like developing natural language processing code specific to each language, providing suggestions towards new product features tailored to home markets, and daily interactions with other teams at Apple. Along with fluency in the target language, applicants are expected to have a proven track record delivering product-quality code as well as iOS or OS X development skills and proficiency with Java, perl, and shell scripting.The listings are calling on engineers fluent in Arabic, Australian English, Brazilian Portuguese, British English, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Considering that some of those languages are already supported by Siri, Apple is apparently working on improving currently supported languages as well as adding support for new ones in future versions of iOS 8. In its current state, Siri can understand and speak the following languages: United States (English, Spanish), United Kingdom (English), Australia (English), France (French), Germany (German), Japan (Japanese), Canada (Canadian French, English), China (Mandarin), Hong Kong (Cantonese), Italy (Italian), Korea (Korean), Mexico (Spanish), Spain (Spanish), Switzerland (French, German, Italian), and Taiwan (Mandarin). See also: WSJ: Samsung In Talks To Buy Nuance Communications, The Company Behind Siri, Siri, Take Note: Microsoft May Bring The Cortana Voice Assistant To iOS Devices, and Shazam! Apple's iOS 8 Will Feature Built-In Song Recognition With Help From Siri.