Being bilingual is not a strange thing, a lot of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual, in fact most research articles state that over 50% of the world can speak two languages fluently, and many studies have shown that there are a lot cognitive benefits.
AT IFA 2018, Google announced the launch of their multilingual support for Google assistant, where users can jump between languages across different queries. Languages include English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Japanese with more rolling out. The Assistant is now able to understand the language, interpret the query and respond in either spoken language without the users having to change language settings. Google calls it, “the first-of-its-kind.”
Google’s advancement in speech recognition and the increasing popularity of voice search goes hand-in-hand. In fact, ComScore estimates that by 2020, 50% of searches will happen via voice search. An article by TechCrunch states that over 39 million homes have smart home speakers.
Here’s how the new feature works:
Google has hit the nail on the head with this new human-like feature that will not only improve user-experience but also presents opportunities for businesses.
“It’s is obvious that with this investment into multilingual voice recognition Google takes its Voice Search technology very seriously and predicts a noticeable shift from typed to voiced searches in the very near future. This shift will re-shape the way we optimize websites. We’ll see an increase in “natural language” questions and related searches (due to home assistant devices) which will involve structured data, long-tail keywords, and shift towards conversational sentences that can easily answer these questions and queries. Creating content for someone using voice search will be key,” predicts Valèr Zamulin, founder of Seologist, a multilingual SEO company out of Toronto, Canada.
If your business operates in a country where more than one language is spoken or even internationally, then optimising for those languages should become an important part of your digital marketing strategy.
According to a study by BrighLocal:
– 58% of consumers have used voice search to find a local business within the last year
– 46% of users look for a local business on a daily basis
– 27% visit a website after conducting a voice search
With this new feature Google will also be able to gather an amazing amount of data around multilingual families, individuals and multilingual behaviour. This data will become invaluable for any business operating multilingually.