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¿Habla español, Siri (or Sigi)?

¿Siri (or Sigi)?
¿Siri (or Sigi)?
modified image from Apple Inc. lists the iPhone/iPad assistant’s nomen, Siri, as being an abbreviated form of Sigrid - meaning beautiful or victory. Presently, Siri’s popularity for naming newborns is centered in Scandavian countries. Thus, according to THE WEEK, the Danish co-creator of Apple’s attendant, Dag Kittalaus was saving this moniker for his yet to be born daughter. When Kittalaus’s firstborn was a male, he bestowed the name of Siri to this digital, female offspring.

Interestingly enough, Steve Jobs was reportedly not a fan of the aforementioned namesake for this app; yet, he ultimately accepted the label after the company was unable to propose a more appealing alternative.

Moreover, while it is currently not possible to provide Siri with another feminine name, Apple has several preferences for drastically altering her via Settings -> General -> Siri. The two major changes in Siri’s settings are options for language as well as voice gender.

By selecting language, a menu displays the following nineteen choices:
• Chinese (Cantonese – Hong Kong)
• Chinese (Mandarin – China)
• Chinese (Mandarin – Taiwan)
• English (Australian)
• English (Canada)
• English (United Kingdom)
• English (United States)
• French (Canada)
• French (France)
• French (Switzerland)
• German (Germany)
• German (Switzerland)
• Italian (Italy)
• Italian (Switzerland)
• Japanese
• Korean
• Spanish (Mexico)
• Spanish (Spain)
• Spanish (United States)

Additionally, in America, Siri’s default gender is female. But, Discovery News reports that Siri is shipped with the masculine version enabled in much of Western Europe, so, as to match those countries’ conventions regarding instructors. In a unique choice by Apple, the male helper’s name is also Siri as opposed to Sigi (short for Sigmund that means victory, as Sigrid does, and protector).

When asked about the meaning of her/his name, Siri is not much help as she/he responds “it’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma, tied with a pretty ribbon of obfuscation” and “I don't think I can explain it in your language.”

As documented by THE WEEK, some on the internet have posited that this nomen is an acronym for "Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface." Nonetheless, the previously described hypothesis is neither substantiated nor debunked on Apple’s official Siri website.

While the latter option is preferentially based, the former changing of Siri's native vocabulary has some useful purposes, such as practicing a foreign language. That is to say that once an alternative dialect, such as Spanish, is chosen, then Siri exclusively comprehends and communicates verbal and visually in that language.

However, this author noticed that Siri’s utterance of phonemes is not as fluid in many of the language options as it is with English (United States). Hopefully, either with an additional update of the current operating system or, in September during the rumored release of the next iteration of iOS 8 and the iPhone 6, Siri will have perfected her/his elocution of these foreign tongues.

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