Monday, July 15, 2013

Google Now starts taking searches in Filipino

Google Now Filipino

UPDATE: Voice Search only understands Filipino for now. An earlier version of this story stated that it recognizes Filipino and other local dialects. We’re sorry for the confusion.

A magic has taken place on your Android phone today without your knowledge, well, until now. Google Philippines has announced starting today, you can now do a voice search using Google Now in Filipino.

Google Philippines’ Gail Tan shared that they are “delighted to launch these new Search tools for the Filipino language today,” and that the development highlights their commitment in providing superb search experience to the locals.

To make voice search work with our language, Google has teamed up with volunteers from the University of the Philippines to collect voice samples from them and their family and build an acoustical and language models to help computers understand Filipino.

But no one (except for a few) speaks Filipino straight without mentioning any English words and not everyone in the country speaks Tagalog in one accent. Google knows it and that is why they made sure that the machines’ vocabulary will handle ‘taglish’ as well as those who speak in different accents (e.g. ‘mapote’ instead of ‘maputi’) without any problems by widening sample collection. The company says that while it isn’t perfect, it will continue to improve as more people use Voice Search.

I’ve tried it and it works pretty well. I can now talk to my phone (not that it’s a cool thing) without trying hard to do English with ‘murrican’ accent. Conyos would love it as well.

Voice Search in Filipino is available on Android 2.0 Éclair and newer devices. An update is coming soon to the Google app for iPhone and the Chrome browser for desktop too.

Google Now Filipino 2

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