With the iPhone 4S being released today, it’s only a matter of time before the first arrive on China’s gray market, where Chinese will rush to bask in Apple’s latest creation. However, those early adopters with sub-par English skills may not be as enthusiastic after having a few minutes to play around with Apple’s newest gem, Siri.
Siri is one of the major new highlights on the iPhone 4S and claims to “let you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more.”
In the video below, a native Japanese speaker does his best to communicate with Siri to little avail. Though his English is undoubtedly not perfect, the words “what weather today” were understandable and we thus find it strange the omission of one contextually unimportant word causes such confusion for Siri.
The bad news is we can only imagine the amount of horrible Chinglish we’ll have to endure from people who will undoubtedly use Siri as a sort of litmus test for iPhone coolness, as there is no visual way to distinguish between the sleek, stylish 4S and the old, outdated, uncool iPhone 4.
The good news is the Apple Siri FAQ states “In 2012, Siri will support additional languages, including… Chinese.” Currently, Siri is only available in English (American, British and Australian), French and German.
In the meantime, non-native English speakers will just have to suffer through Siri ting bu dong‘ing everything while the rest of us will have to suffer through China’s richest screaming Chinglish at their unresponsive phones.
The iPhone 4S has no official release date for China as of yet (though some sources speculate as soon as December). Looking at Apple China’s website they don’t even list Siri as a feature, so it will be interesting to see if they decide to include English Siri at launch or forgo it completely and wait until 2012 for full Chinese language support.