Allo was a testing ground for Google Assistant in learning conversational interaction in English. True Viral News is reporting that Google Allo now understands Spanish and French. It does. Voicebot did a quick test on the Allo app for iPhone this is what we found.
We asked about Real Madrid in both Spanish and French (thanks to Stephane Nguyen from Assi.st for the help with French). You will also note that the response was in English. That is likely because my settings are English and there are no options to change that to another language today. However, it is worth noting that Allo recognized questions in Spanish and French and returned an appropriate reply.
True Viral News was able to get images from users that were able to reset their language to French or Spanish and receive responses in those languages.
This appears to be a very recent change. When asked if is spoke French or Spanish before, Assistant would say it was still learning. Now, it offers to set those as the default language in Allo. It sounds like the new languages are a bit rougher around the edges than the “official” ones. Google’s head of conversational search, Behshad Behzadi has reportedly said Spanish will be working completely later this year.
Where Will Google Home Land Next?
Amazon Alexa is available in English and German (and maybe Japanese soon), Google Assistant is available in English. Baidu now has a robot that understands Chinese. Clova is expected to understand Korean and Japanese and be available this summer. Spanish is the world’s second most spoken language after Chinese. French is the 18th most spoken language, but when you consider second languages spoken, it climbs to 8th.
While Siri recognizes both languages, neither Spanish nor French users have a robust voice assistant or smart speaker available. This new capability to recognize Spanish and French could be an indication that Google Assistant and therefore Google Home could be available for these markets soon. This would be a big benefit for Google to be first in a market and not have to play catch-up to Amazon Alexa.