Regional Accents Affect Voice Control Experience

A story from the website Gear Hungry states that St. Louis residents have the most understandable accent for voice control platforms, while Maine residents have the least understandable accent.

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If someone has ever asked what time the Bruins’ game was at the “Gahden” to an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device and gotten an odd response, the regional accent could be the problem.

The U.S. has a range of accents that include the famous “Boston” accent, which people imitate by saying, “pahk the cah in Havahd Yahd,” and Southern accents that people will add, “y’all” to the end of a phrase.

Other famous regional accents include New Yorkers’ regional accents and Midwesterners’ accents from states such as Minnesota, In fact, even Californians, who are not generally known for their accents, have a regional accent that was once popularized during the 1980s by the movie “Valley Girls.”

A recently published story by the website Gear Hungry ranked regional accents and the ability of voice control platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Siri to understand the intelligibility of these dialects.

Ranking these accents in order from the most understandable to least understandable. Here’s a partial look at Gear Hungry’s list:

Starting with the most understandable, this doesn’t really qualify, but the website says, “general American accent.” Following the “general American” accent, the site says the next three most understandable accents are St. Louis, Long Island and Connecticut.

The eighth most understandable accent, and the first Midwestern accent to appear on the list belongs to Milwaukee, followed by the first Southern-based accent to appear on the list: Atlanta.

Ranking as the 18th most understandable accent is the aforementioned famous regional accent from the city of Boston.

Topping the list as the least understandable regional accents in order from five to one are Chicago, New Mexico, Northwestern, Alaskan, and Maine.

Here is the complete list of accent rankings.

About the Author

Robert Archer
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Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; both schools are located in Haverhill, Mass.

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Amazon Echo ShowGoogle HomeSiriVoice Control