The Australian accent is complex enough for actors to miss, but then Aussies have words that not everyone gets. But now an Alexa speaker might just get it more.
Wherever you go, the native tongue will have words people not from there may have trouble understanding. In Australia, strine may well be that language, the version of English Aussies say that uses words not necessarily easily understood by everyone.
It goes beyond the basic TikTok video of Americans watching Aussies pronounce words, and is more about words and phrases part of the general Australian vernacular, which changes from place to place, even if there are some common words and phrases we all use.
Bestie. Sparrow’s Fart. Parmi. Sickie. Banger. If you can identify these and know what they mean, you may well be speaking in the local vernacular, and now at least a smart speaker gets it, too.
It’s something Amazon has been working on with its Alexa speakers, this week releasing an update for its devices that can understand Aussie phrases to do things Australians commonly associate them with.
For instance, you can say “Alexa, play an absolute banger” to get an Amazon smart speaker or smart display to play a song, or “Alexa, wake me up at sparrow’s fart” to set an early alarm. You can even get the virtual assistant to “find a chicken parmi recipe” to get a recipe for chicken parmigiana.
“Before launching in Australia, our team worked hard to make sure Alexa could understand uniquely Australian phrases, and we know our Aussie customers already love how easy and natural it is to communicate with her,” said Kate Burleigh, Country Manager in Australia for Amazon Alexa.
“Alexa has learnt a lot in the last three years down-under and now, with the help of some iconic Aussies, is getting even smarter,” she said.
“Our research shows just how important the quirks of Aussie English are, and we’re proud of the work we’re doing to make sure that Alexa gets all Aussies, whether they’re 18 or 80.”
Amazon’s ability to understand Australian words and phrases supports over 100 sayings across all of its Echo devices including the Echo Show 10 smart display and the regular Echo now in the spherical generation four design.. Those sayings even include getting a weather check if you’re worried it’s going to bucket down, or whether you want to flick on the lights if you perhaps have any smart lights in your home.
Support for Aussie words and phrases is available now to owners of Alexa-enabled speakers as well as new customers, whether you’re keen to see if it knows all of the sayings you know, or maybe just because this is how you talk and you’re just glad Alexa finally gets it.