Google Assistant can now do your bidding in Simplified Chinese

PHOTO: Google

Google Assistant is going even more (somewhat) local with the addition of Simplified Chinese.

Users can ask for directions, set a reminder, inquire about the weather, or basically talk about anything under the sun with their Google-supported device — all in Simplified Chinese.

Chinese Singaporeans (and Malaysians, Indonesians, or really any diaspora Chinese people in the region) with Android products running Lollipop (and above) can now speak or type to Assistant in Chinese. iPhone-using Assistant enthusiasts, on the other hand, will have to wait a few weeks for the language update on iOS, Google says.

Photos: Google

The update is part of the tech giant’s localisation efforts to attune their virtual assistant to the multilingual melting pot that is Singapore. Since the feature was officially launched here back in 2017, Assistant recognises local slang words like “kiasu” and even clap back about being “first in line together.”

Whoa, easy there.

Now, you can look like a crazy person bantering with your phone about cultural staples like ice kachang and durians; it can even field basic questions about your favourite pop stars, all in Simplified Chinese.

In terms of regional languages, Google Assistant (for phone and tablet) offers Traditional Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, and Vietnamese, as well as Japanese, Korean, and Hindi.

alexisong@asiaone.com