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Siri Is Great ... Unless You're Scottish

iPhone 4S virtual assistant has some trouble with Scottish brogue
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2012 7:51 AM CST

(Newser) – Apple's Siri can help you order take-out, give you directions, or just make you laugh—but not if she can't understand you. Scottish iPhone 4S owners are finding that the voice-controlled digital assistant has a hard time deciphering their signature brogue, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a demonstration for a journalist, one Scot asked Siri, "What's the weather like today?" What she heard: "What's available in Labor Day?" ("I don't even know what Labor Day is," the Scot sighed.)

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Siri does have a language setting for "English (United Kingdom)," but even fellow Brits have been known to find Scots difficult to understand. Since Siri's Scottish problem was discovered, a few demonstration videos have been posted on YouTube (watch one at left). Even so, the new iPhone is a top seller in the country. And Apple insists that Siri is still being fine-tuned, and its performance will improve the more it is used. "Once you've been using it for a while, it should pick up your accent," says the Scot who gave the demonstration. "But if you've got a broad accent, you've got no chance." (Siri will soon learn Mandarin.)

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