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  1. holzlondon's Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    I know that I'm not the only one out here with this issue. I would like to use Cortana when it becomes available in my country (in my case - Germany). But, since English is my mother language, I have my phone set up to region Germany / language English.

    According to those with the Dev. Preview, Cortana in Germany only works when you have the phone set up in with region Germany / language German.

    I would like to find out if anyone knows if MS plan to make it possible to use Cortana in English in a non-English speaking region. I know there are a lot of people out there, expats all over the world who would want this.

    Also, what would be the best way to point this out to MS? Twitter to Joe Belfiore? Something like that?
    a5cent likes this.
    12-18-2014 03:34 AM
  2. TechFreak1's Avatar
    If you want the best Cortana experience, use the US version and have the regional format set to UK English. However the downside is that the constant switch between regions to download apps in your local currency.

    At present I think they are more focused on getting the regional experience upto par before giving options and yes, best contact them on twitter as they need to see there is a demand for options so they can adjust their timescale accordingly.
    12-18-2014 04:58 AM
  3. neo158's Avatar
    If you want the best Cortana experience, use the US version and have the regional format set to UK English. However the downside is that the constant switch between regions to download apps in your local currency.

    At present I think they are more focused on getting the regional experience upto par before giving options and yes, best contact them on twitter as they need to see there is a demand for options so they can adjust their timescale accordingly.
    I just don't understand why everyone says the US version of Cortana is better.

    I would agree with you if the UK version was an Alpha but it isn't, it's a beta and every bit as good as the US version.
    12-18-2014 05:20 AM
  4. TechFreak1's Avatar
    I just don't understand why everyone says the US version of Cortana is better.

    I would agree with you if the UK version was an Alpha but it isn't, it's a beta and every bit as good as the US version.
    Not everyone likes the accent chosen for the UK and for arguments sake I will leave it at that lol.
    12-18-2014 06:37 AM
  5. neo158's Avatar
    Not everyone likes the accent chosen for the UK and for arguments sake I will leave it at that lol.
    Well, enjoy your US News, Sport and Weather then
    a5cent and TechFreak1 like this.
    12-18-2014 07:25 AM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    According to those with the Dev. Preview, Cortana in Germany only works when you have the phone set up in with region Germany / language German.
    This! A million times this! Unfortunately, it doesn't look that way, but it is so necessary.

    I suspect MS is fretting over sentences like this: "Where is the nearest Kauffmann". Will the user pronounce the name of that German store as an English speaker, or as a German speaker? With all the fuzzyness already involved in speech recognition, that is probably a step too far.

    Still. I want that option even if it doesn't work well. At least Bi- or Tri-linguals could still make it work by adapting there pronunciation to whatever Cortana expects. Considering most people in Europe speak more than one language, that would serve a lot of people just fine.

    Switching the phone to U.S. Region, with all the changes that involves, is a possible but very unsatisfying solution. Most people would flat out reject the English/U.S. centric search results you get after such a change.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    12-18-2014 08:23 AM
  7. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Well, enjoy your US News, Sport and Weather then
    Don't use Cortana for the news, sport and weather as I use Nokia Reading for that lol.

    If anything I rarely use Cortana since she is heavily reliant on the gps and turning on the gps makes the battery life drain faster than water flowing through a sieve on my L920.

    I suspect MS is fretting over sentences like this: "Where is the nearest Kauffmann". Will the user pronounce the name of that German store as an English speaker, or as a German speaker? With all the fuzzyness already involved in speech recognition, that is probably a step too far.

    Still. I want that option even if it doesn't work well. At least Bi- or Tri-linguals could still make it work by adapting there pronunciation to whatever Cortana expects. Considering most people in Europe speak more than one language, that would serve a lot of people just fine.

    Switching the phone to U.S. Region, with all the changes that involves, is a possible but very unsatisfying solution. Most people would flat out reject the English/U.S. centric search results you get after such a change.
    a5cent, hit the nail on the head Speech recognition is a very deep pool of quicksand, one wrong misstep and then they sucked into that murky vortex of consumer expectations.

    I know alot of die hard halo fans have been put off by it heck those who switched to WP under the impression they would finally get Cortana from Halo on their phones as a digital assistant have pushed their anxiety at me...as using the US version on my L920 convinced them to do so.
    Last edited by TechFreak1; 12-18-2014 at 09:31 AM. Reason: Combined dupelicate posts
    a5cent likes this.
    12-18-2014 08:57 AM
  8. a5cent's Avatar
    If anything I rarely use Cortana since she is heavily reliant on the gps and turning on the gps makes the battery life drain faster than water flowing through a sieve on my L920.
    ^ Really? I have not noticed this at all. AFAIK Cortana's location requirements are 99% Cell tower based and don't require GPS. Are you sure?
    Last edited by a5cent; 12-18-2014 at 09:39 AM. Reason: added quote
    12-18-2014 09:05 AM
  9. TechFreak1's Avatar
    ^ Really? I have not noticed this at all. AFAIK Cortana's location requirements are 99% Cell tower based and don't require GPS. Are you sure?
    Well you need to have GPS on otherwise you get this:

    wp_ss_20141218_0003.png

    I can only speak for my phone, turning the GPS on my battery life really takes a hit with an average of 8 hours. With it off I can get upto 27 hours on average with moderate usage or 2 days if I barely use my phone.

    Edit:
    Also to add, if I turn Cortana off via settings it does make difference and the battery drain with the GPS on is negligible .
    Last edited by TechFreak1; 12-18-2014 at 10:12 AM.
    12-18-2014 09:38 AM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    I can only speak for my phone, turning the GPS on my battery life really takes a hit with an average of 8 hours. With it off I can get upto 27 hours on average with moderate usage or 2 days if I barely use my phone.

    Edit:
    Also to add, if I turn Cortana off via settings it does make difference and the battery drain with the GPS on is negligible .
    Okay. I'll test this a bit more seriously. 8h sounds short to me, but I've never systematically tested. Just out of curiosity, which device have you got again?

    On a side note, what threw me off was your mentioning of GPS. Turning location services on shouldn't necessarily have anything to do with GPS. Actually, I wouldn't want any app accessing my devices GPS receiver without me explicitly asking it to. Turning location services on basically means:

    Passively detect my approximate location based on cell tower ID's, and never use GPS unlesd an app gets finicky and requests pinpoint accuracy... which in most cases (at least as far a being accessed in the background is concerned), should hopefully mean never.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    12-18-2014 01:26 PM
  11. holzlondon's Avatar
    This! A million times this! Unfortunately, it doesn't look that way, but it is so necessary.

    I suspect MS is fretting over sentences like this: "Where is the nearest Kauffmann". Will the user pronounce the name of that German store as an English speaker, or as a German speaker? With all the fuzzyness already involved in speech recognition, that is probably a step too far.

    Still. I want that option even if it doesn't work well. At least Bi- or Tri-linguals could still make it work by adapting there pronunciation to whatever Cortana expects. Considering most people in Europe speak more than one language, that would serve a lot of people just fine.

    Switching the phone to U.S. Region, with all the changes that involves, is a possible but very unsatisfying solution. Most people would flat out reject the English/U.S. centric search results you get after such a change.
    I agree that it's a bit tricky, but I agree, people who are bilingual will be able to adapt their pronunciation of things. Or, in the set up phase of Cortana working in language A but in Region B, Cortana should ask the user to speak some sentences in both languages.

    I'm sure this is a bit tricky, but when you set up an iPad/iPhone to work in English, Siri is available in English, even though you're location settings are in a different country. I haven't tried how it works yet, but if Apple has the balls to make it available, I don't think Microsoft should chicken out.
    12-19-2014 07:36 AM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    I'm sure this is a bit tricky, but when you set up an iPad/iPhone to work in English, Siri is available in English, even though you're location settings are in a different country. I haven't tried how it works yet, but if Apple has the balls to make it available, I don't think Microsoft should chicken out.
    I've tried it. If set to English, Siri understands only correctly pronounced English. If you use German words, even if you try to pronounce them as if they were English, it won't work. Siri stumbles all over itself in such scenarios. Siri is defiantly not bi-lingual. ;-)

    For that to really work we'd essentially need a bi-lingual Cortana. She would have to listen to you in two languages simultaneously and be able to determine, on the fly, what is more likely to be a German word and what is more likely to be an English word. Even determining where an English word ends and a German word begins would be difficult, as people don't "audially" separate words. A sentence is just a continuous sequence of sounds. Only in our brains to we separate that sequence into individual words. Doing that mathematically without the ability to rely on a single set of linguistic/phonetic rules is far beyond "just a bit tricky".

    Cortana must even realize that the same word in different regions can mean different things, and based on context, determine what the question is. For example, the word "saturn" in English and German is not only pronounced quite differently, but in Germany that is also the name of a popular electronics store. In the U.S. "saturn" is also a car model. In both places it's also a planet. The average consumer is oblivious to these regional differences. A user that lives 5 km away from a Saturn store would just naturally expect Cortana to understand she's being asked for directions to that store. Getting that to work as expected is understandably also far beyond "just a bit tricky". This is where "consumer expectations" come in. TechFreak1 is absolutely right about that.

    I'm not trying to say this is a bad idea. I'm just trying to point out the extreme difficulty of what you are asking for. That said, I'd be perfectly fine if Cortana "didn't work" in the same way Siri doesn't in those situations. If you set your device's language to English, you just shouldn't expect Cortana to correctly recognize foreign language names (of people, places, streets, etc). Maybe MS could, in such situations, show a disclaimer making people aware of the difficulties, and let people decide for themselves. I use Cortana in English. For contacts that I regularly call, who have a name that just can't be pronounced in English, I just add a english-compatible nickname. Cortana then has no problems understanding who I'm asking to text/call, etc, and it's also is good for a few laughs.
    Last edited by a5cent; 12-19-2014 at 08:59 AM. Reason: spelling
    12-19-2014 08:40 AM
  13. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Okay. I'll test this a bit more seriously. 8h sounds short to me, but I've never systematically tested. Just out of curiosity, which device have you got again?

    On a side note, what threw me off was your mentioning of GPS. Turning location services on shouldn't necessarily have anything to do with GPS. Actually, I wouldn't want any app accessing my devices GPS receiver without me explicitly asking it to. Turning location services on basically means:

    Passively detect my approximate location based on cell tower ID's, and never use GPS unlesd an app gets finicky and requests pinpoint accuracy... which in most cases (at least as far a being accessed in the background is concerned), should hopefully mean never.
    I see, most likely there is an another underlying issue tied to location services and Cortana also I have now noticed if I have mobile data on after the last update which added the data toggle charge to charge has been noticeable shorter. Whereas before I could have mobile data on and the drain was extremely negligible. Both issues could be attributed due to the lack of the denim firmware, without the denim update it is hard to say for certain.

    To confirm I have the 920.
    12-20-2014 08:11 AM
  14. EspHack's Avatar
    ^ Really? I have not noticed this at all. AFAIK Cortana's location requirements are 99% Cell tower based and don't require GPS. Are you sure?
    nope, every time you open cortana it displays the location icon on top of the screen for a few seconds, not sure if that could mean it is actually using cellular network, in which case its still GPS, or A-GPS as they call it, having airplane mode with wifi on makes no difference so I think its just regular GPS
    12-20-2014 11:39 PM
  15. a5cent's Avatar
    nope, every time you open cortana it displays the location icon on top of the screen for a few seconds, not sure if that could mean it is actually using cellular network, in which case its still GPS, or A-GPS as they call it, having airplane mode with wifi on makes no difference so I think its just regular GPS
    So, you're absolutely certain that WP location services never rely on IP resolution, WPS or exclusively on cell tower triangulation (cell tower based) none of which have anything to do GPS or A-GPS?
    12-21-2014 02:33 AM

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