American Accent Training: Can car voice recognition systems interpret accents?
Imagine that you’ve just purchased a new $95,000 Mercedes GL 500. You tell your Voice Recognition System (VRS) to take you down to the local supermarket and are surprised when you hear, “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Please provide a location.” After all, you are speaking British English. This very situation has happened to Collin and Rachel Britton. Their car’s VRS has a difficult time interpreting the couple’s distinct British accents. Rachel has tried to work around this problem by adopting an American southern styled accent on occasion, but even this accent posed a problem for the vehicle’s VRS.
That Britton she had to resort to such tactics in an attempt to get her car to carry out simple directives does not bode well for English speaking commuters with heavy accents. These people must deal with the daily reality that they may be misunderstood by native English speakers. One can easily imagine their frustration level only increasing when they are not understood by a machine. Are accents really to blame for these difficult exchanges, or is it that technology has yet to fully appreciate the inherent complexity of human language and factors which influence its delivery, including tone, volume and pace? And how can American accent training help make for clearer communication between humans and machines?
American Accent Training: Consonants are key
Upon buying a car equipped with a VRS, consumers naturally expect the system to interpret their voice commands as easily as a smart phone. They can then make calls while driving, enter destinations, and browse through sightseeing options or restaurants.
According to a survey by research firm Strategy Analytics, 1 in 4 U.S. motorists use the VRS in their car on a daily basis, while 53 percent use it at least once a week, a 47 percent increase from 2012. It’s anticipated that by the year 2020 68 million vehicles will be controlled in part by voice. Voice recognition systems now have a vocabulary database of over 2 million words and utilize natural speech recognition software. The software operates by honing in on key words within a sentence and acting on them.
Foreign business professionals beginning American accent training should focus on consonant sounds. Although vowel sounds may be pronounced differently in various regions of the U.S. due to the influence of local dialects, consonants are only pronounced one way and depend on proper placement of the lips and tongue. Your American accent training coach can help develop a personalized list of consonant sounds for your to practice depending on your native language. Some car dealers have suggested voice recognition systems can be prone to failure due to surrounding noise from people inside the car, the air conditioner, highway traffic etc. Those in American accent training can test the clarity of their speech by interacting with the voice recognition systems in their cars on a daily basis.
American Accent Training: How to Take The Next Step
This is just one of our many blog articles written to teach more about American accent training If you’re interested in learning more about ways to reduce your foreign accent, you can practice accent reduction after starting with a free screening to determine the severity of your foreign accent. Within 48 hours, you will receive results regarding your foreign accent on a severity scale of 1 (very heavy) to 7 (very mild) accent. If you’re looking for more American accent training, we have in office and online starter program options! Within 12 sessions, clients have demonstrated accent reduction of 50% or more.