At a press event in Bilbao, Spain last week, Microsoft revealed the 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 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.