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Report: Kinect Doesn't Speak Spanish (It Speaks Mexican) [Update]

Illustration for article titled Report: Kinect Doesnt Speak Spanish (It Speaks Mexican) [Update]

According to the Spanish press, Microsoft's motion-sensing camera Kinect will not speak Spanish. It will only speak "Mexican".


At a press event in Bilbao, Spain last week, reports say Microsoft revealed that when the peripheral ships worldwide in November, it will only ship with the capability to understand three spoken languages: English, Japanese and "Mexican".

So what, you may think, "Mexican" just means "Spanish", doesn't it? Nope. Just like English, Spanish has evolved over its centuries of international migration to leave the language spoken in Mexico City a different beast to that spoken in Madrid.


Meaning that if this is indeed the case, many of those in Spain will be unable to use the system's voice recognition until a "Spanish" language patch is released next Spring. A shame, but it must be more of an affront to see the language listed as "Mexican"; I'm sure even many Americans would wince to see English described as "American".

This issue also reminds us that it's a problem the English-speaking world could also face, with accents from Boston, Bradford, Brisbane and Bloemfontein differing as greatly as distinct languages.

We've reached out to Microsoft for information on other language roll-outs, and will update if we hear back.

UPDATE - Xboxygen has a shot from the beta of the complete list of supported speech recognition languages. It does indeed say "Mexico" for Spanish, includes Japanese, and thankfully for most English-speakers will differentiate between American, Canadian and "UK" English. Not sure how the latter is going to work, though, what with all the Scots, Welsh, Irish, Cockneys, Merseysiders, etc etc.

Illustration for article titled Report: Kinect Doesnt Speak Spanish (It Speaks Mexican) [Update]

Kinect se venderá en España en idioma "mexicano" [Elpais, via Reddit]

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I believe I've seen people participating in the... thing I can't talk about... hailing from Spain. Haven't heard any complaints yet about the... thing... not recognizing Spanish.