Android clobbers Siri in Japanese... and English


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2008

Apple's attempts to get its natural-language assistant to speak Japanese haven't gone down well locally, getting itself trounced by the Android-based Syabette Concier.

We're grateful to Kotaku for the translation, which demonstrates how Siri fails to provide directions to the hospital when told of that the user has a stomach ache, and can't even work out when someone is looking for recipes for curry, unlike the DoCoMo-provided alternative which runs on Android handsets.

It's not the first time Siri has been found wanting, even when compared to Android. Following Motorola's assertions that the voice recognition on its Atrix 2 could comprehensively outperform Siri, Gizmodo did its own testing and confirmed that even with the default software Android was just as much better at recognising spoken instructions in English as it is in Japanese.

But that misses the point of Apple, and the iPhone. Android might be the technically leading platform, but iPhone users don't want to be at the bleeding edge of technology: they want to buy into Apple's projected lifestyle. No one buys a phone 'cos it's marginally better at recognising voice commands – we're a very long way from when that matters.

In the mean time Siri is good enough, and sometimes it's not **** at all:

Smug Boy

macrumors member
Apr 9, 2011
I wish that I spoke Japanese so that I could understand the first video on the referenced link.


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2008
same from Gizmodo...

That speech recognition is the most obvious example of that beta. Siri’s most common reply to me is that “it didn’t quite get that.” Is this due to my (very slight!) southern accent? Is it because I mumble? I don’t know, but I do know that my Nexus rarely failed to understand me in the ways Siri does.

Worse than its failure to understand my words is its failure to understand my meaning. Siri is often quite dumb. Sure, it will do what you tell it. But it doesn’t interpret or do nuance, even though that is exactly what Apple promises


macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2005
San Francisco, CA
I notice Siri's Japanese recognition is a bit off. Works fine for me with English, but I would love that app that NTT has on that android system. I still like speaking Japanese to my iPhone either way though, nice to practice the second language a bit :D


macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2009
As a native Japanese speaker, what sticks out the most about the video is how Siri sounds uber-robotic in Japanese while the Android alternative is noticeably better in this regard. It made me chuckle when Siri said it's not cold today in a phonetically accurate but accurately robotic voice when the weather forecast says it's only 46 degree. I like how the guy responds to Siri by "Hmm... doesn't seem like it though."


macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
Google understands my English 100x better then Siri does. I don't have an accent by common definition but maybe I mumble? I feel like I can talk to google but need to slowly speak each word clearly to Siri.

I'm really surprised apple wouldn't be all about keeping the gigantic Japanese market satisfied.


macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
Boston, MA
Two words: Bay tah.
I don't know that this is a good enough excuse. For one, the average person that is looking at the 4S likely doesn't know this is a beta. I think every single 4S ad revolves around Siri (if not, then it's pretty close) and there is no mention of it being in beta (I do believe their is a lawsuite revolving around this currently). Even if the entire public is made aware that it's beta, what does that mean to the average user? I can ask my mom or my in laws (they are all in their late 50s) and none of them would have a clue. I am betting there are more users out there that have no idea what a beta is, let alone that Siri is beta software, than those that do.


macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2011
Am I the only one who very rarely has Siri misunderstand what I say? Or if she mishears, still gets the it right anyways. The only times I remember her mishearing were these

Me "Call Ryan Home"
Siri "Call Ryan help....calling Ryan Home"

Me: "Wolfram Alpha, planes overhead"
Siri: "Wolfram Alpha, plain this what you're looking for? Displays Planes Overhead"


macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2012
siri makes my appointments in my calendar perfectly, sets reminders for me without hassel, calls the people I tell it to, uses spotify as I want it to, understands what I say... Maybe I have a unique situation???

And if Android has such a great system already, why bother creating a siri equivalent called Majel? makes no sense, at least according to what has been posted in this thread???


macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2009
Siri Japanese is super terrible. Cannot understand simple sentences from my Japanese friends with the standard Japanese accent. Osaka, Miyagi would probably be impossible. No personality, in English you can say I need to hide a body or whats the best phone, in Japanese you get nothing. I also think that the recipe inquiry is a valid one because most people in Japan use their phone to do this. I appreciate the access to the Cookpad database on Android. Cant do locations either.