Alexa Rolls Out Canadian French Support for Device Makers and Skill Developers

Amazon announced last week that device makers and Alexa skill developers can starting building to support Canadian French. The dialect is not yet available to consumers, but Amazon is making Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) for French Canadian available now and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is available for developer preview on an invite-only basis. Amazon commonly releases these development kits in advance of consumer availability to account for lead time for development and to ensure some third-party localized features are available at the time of consumer launch.

Instructions on how to make existing Alexa skills compatible with French Canadian are also available. It will take you more than 10 minutes to read the documentation, but it is pretty straightforward. Then again, you likely will have to address idioms and other cross-language anomalies to make sure your Alexa skill really sings in French Canadian, but there is a path to follow (This localization challenge is the core idea behind Jargon. You can learn more about Jargon in my Voicebot Podcast interview with the founder here).

Canadians Take to Voice

Canada has outpaced the U.S. smart speaker adoption rate by reaching an 8% installed based in just one year. It took three years to reach 7% adoption in U.S. Amazon Echo trailed Google Assistant to market by almost six months and as a result has about half the market share. Introducing French Canadian should help Amazon Echo become more competitive in the country with Google Assistant which already supports the dialect.


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