I don’t like to brag, but I’m fluent in New Yorkan, New Jersian, Texan, Californian, Minnesotan (“Ya sure, you betcha”) and Southern. I even speak enough German to avoid ordering “pig snouts with spicy mustard” when I really just want a bratwurst and a beer. As impressive as that may be, my own language skill now pales in comparison to the latest advance from Ford’s Synch voice recognition system. Originally launched in three North American languages (English, Spanish and French Canadian), Ford is about to roll out Synch in Europe, with voice recognition for 19 languages. If you speak English (U.K., Australian or U.S.), French (Canadian or European), Spanish (U.S. or European), Portuguese (Brazilian or European), German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Turkish, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese or Taiwanese Mandarin, Ford will soon have you covered.
Ford’s Synch system can recognize 10,000 voice commands in each of the 19 languages, taking into consideration a variety of accents, pronunciations and local dialects. German from Berlin, for example, is radically different than the incoherent mumblings of my relatives from southern Germany, which has nearly a unique language. Even abbreviations, for speech to text messaging, had to be factored into the equation for each language. Perhaps the most amazing feature is how Synch will interpret commands: request an Italian address in German, and the system will reply in German, but using the correct Italian pronunciation.
On the down side, unless you speak all 19 languages you may want to have the rental agency set up your Synch system when traveling in the EU. I already speak enough separate and distinct languages, so I don’t have time to learn 15 more.
Source: Ford Motor Company