Alexa Has a Hard Time Understanding the Yooper Accent
Apparently your smart speaker might not get you if you're trying to, "Say ya to da UP, eh?"
As MLive reports, a new survey looked at which U.S. accents are the most difficult for smart home devices to understand.
Digital magazine GearHungry.com surveyed 3,000 Alexa and Google Home users and found that out of 49 accents, the U.P. accent ranks as 20th most difficult to understand.
What's unique about the Yooper accent? Well, according to a different study, which ranks the Yooper accent among the top 15 sexiest in the U.S. (Take that, Alexa!):
The accent is heavily influenced by the area’s Scandinavian immigrants, so they say ‘yah’ instead of yeah, “d” for “th” (“dere” for there, “dat” for “that”) and ‘eh’ at the end of most sentences.
So which U.S. accent did Gear Hungry find is easiest for our devices to decipher? "General American"...Hmm. I guess that makes sense... but what does that even mean? According to Gear Hungry, if you've got a "General American" accent,
You can ask anything here and you’ll probably get the answer you want. Smart homes were made for the general American accent!
Which accent is most difficult for Alexa to understand? That award goes to Maine.
I did notice there is no general Michigander accent listed... does that mean we trolls in the Lower Peninsula are easier for Alexa to understand? Do you think we'd fall into the "General American" category?
I dunno, I feel like our devices *might* have a hard time with *some* of the things we say...
"Ope! Alexa, how late is the Secretaria State open? Gotta go on my way to Meijers. I'm running low on pop."
Although there is just a general "Midwestern Accent" that apparently voice recognition technology has even more trouble with that the U.P. accent. Gear Hungry ranks Midwestern Accents as the 12th most difficult to understand.
You can see how each accent compares across America with this interactive slideshow; here's the full breakdown from Gear Hungry.
- Mainer (Least understood)
- New Mexican
- Hoi Toider
- Virginian Piedmont
- Southern Ohioan
- New York
- Hudson Valley
- New Jersey
- Southern Californian
- San Francisco
- California Valley
- New Orleans
- Long Islander
- St Louis
- General American (Most understood)