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Google Assistant now understands voice commands in Hindi, but there’s a catch

Google hasn’t officially rolled out the feature in India yet, but it currently supports certain Hindi keywords.

tech Updated: Jan 31, 2018 12:40 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Google Assistant Hindi,Google Assistant,Bixby Google Assistant
How to use Google Assistant in Hindi(HT Photo)

Google Assistant now supports Hindi language. This essentially means you can now ask the digital assistant in Hindi and get the response in the same language. But there’s a catch.

The Assistant only supports certain Hindi keywords. Google says the Hindi language support has not been officially rolled out to in India.

“The Google Assistant on Android phones and iPhones is currently available in English in India, built for English input but supporting a few selected Hindi queries. While we’ve launched the Hindi Google Assistant on Allo, it’s not available on phones yet. We are looking to bring the Assistant experience to more Indian languages over time,” said a Google spokesperson.

Earlier, Android Soul reported that Google Assistant had included support for Hindi language for smartphones running Android 5.0 and above. Note that in order to use Google Assistant in Hindi you need to change language setting on your phone to English (India).

To change the language on your phone, go to Settings and select Language and Inputs. Add English (India) if you haven’t set it already. While you can just search ‘language’ in Settings, you can also access the same under System.

Google Assistant currently only delivers Hindi text results while voice responses are in English. That said, the digital assistant understands a few basic voice commands in Hindi very well.

During our test, we asked Google Assistant some basic questions in Hindi such as “Bharat ke pradhan mantri”, “Bihar ki raajdhaani” and even recipes like “khichdi banane ka tarika”.

Change your language settings to start using Google Assistant in Hindi (HT Photo)

Mass Market Push

The latest feature appears to be part of Google’s ongoing efforts to tap the vernacular segment. The internet giant has already added support for Indian languages across its products.

As far as Android Assistant goes, Google last month announced a customised version of the digital assistant for Reliance Jio’s smart feature phone, JioPhone. It’s worth noting that JioPhone comes with a voice based browser, believed to be more efficient for non-English users.

Also, Google recently announced adding support for Assistant in phones with older versions of Android. The roll out was aimed at emerging markets where a number of phones are still running older Android versions such as Marshmallow.

“Google Assistant on Android 5.0 Lollipop is now rolling out to users with the language set to English in the US, UK, India, Australia, Canada and Singapore, as well as in Spanish in the U.S., Mexico and Spain. It’s also rolling out to users in Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil and Korea. Once you get the update and opt-in, you’ll see an Assistant app icon in your “All apps” list, the company announced in a blog post last month.

(This story has been updated with Google’s statement )

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 10:33 IST