《中英對照讀新聞》Apple’s tongue-tied Siri faces ’Singlish’ rival 蘋果辭窮的Siri面臨「星式英語」敵手

◎俞智敏

Singapore’s SingTel has developed an application to rival the voice-activated Siri on the iPhone 4S that is sure to go down well in the island state -- because it can understand "Singlish".

新加坡的新電信公司已經開發出一種能與iPhone 4S手機中用語音啟動的Siri程式較勁的應用程式,這種程式保證會在這個島國受到歡迎,因為它聽得懂「星式英語」。

When Apple unveiled its latest handset earlier last month most of the talk was about Siri, which can give directions or even advice to users simply by asking a question into the speaker.

當蘋果公司上月初推出最新手機時,多數的話題都圍繞在Siri程式,使用者只要對著手機喇叭問問題,Siri就能提供指引甚至建議。

However, since the new phone went on sale there have been numerous reports of Siri either responding with a completely irrelevant answer or simply saying it does not understand.

但自這款新手機上市以來,有許多報告指出Siri要不是答非所問,就是乾脆回答說它聽不懂問題。

But Singapore Telecom (SingTel) says its new app, DeF!ND, will help Singaporeans who use "Singlish" -- a localised form of English with words borrowed from Asian languages -- avoid such problems.

但新電信表示該公司的新程式DeF!ND將協助使用「星式英語」的星國人避免類似問題,星式英語是新加坡本土的英語,借用了許多亞洲語言的語彙。

 “We have a voice application capability in DeF!ND that is unique because it understands the local language... which the voice recognition engine within an international device like Apple doesn’t quite have,” SingTel Singapore chief executive Allen Lew said after the launch.

「我們在DeF!ND中的語音辨識能力是獨一無二的,因為它能理解本地語言……而像蘋果這樣的國際型裝置裡的語音辨識引擎卻做不到」,新電信執行長劉永強在發表這項程式後表示。

“When we tried to test different voice recognition systems including... Siri, we found that the Singaporean accent is pretty unique and the common international voice recognition systems don’t quite pick up the nuance of how we speak,” Lew added.

「當我們試著測試包括……Siri在內的不同語音辨識系統時,發現新加坡口音相當獨特,而一般國際語音辨識系統無法理解我們說話方式的細微差別」,他說。

新聞辭典

tongue-tied:形容詞,指(因膽怯、害羞、困惑或驚訝等而)說不出話來,如She became tongue-tied whenever he was around.(只要他在場,她就會變得說不出話來。)

pick up:片語,指學到或注意到某事,如You’d have to know him extremely well to pick up details like that.(你得要跟他非常熟識才能注意到類似那樣的細節。)

nuance:名詞,指(色調、音調、意義或理解等方面的)細微差異,如The painter has managed to capture every nuance of the woman’s expression.(畫家成功捕捉到這名女子表情裡的所有細微差別。)

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