Alexa first launched in Ireland in 2018 and today there are hundreds of thousands of Amazon Echo devices in homes across Ireland.
“Personalisation of Alexa’s voice is a highly desired feature by our customers” said Dennis Stansbury, Alexa Country Manager for UK and Ireland. “When customers told us they wanted an Irish-English voice option for Alexa we knew we had a big challenge on our hands as there’s so many different and distinct Irish accents.
“Our team of language experts created a number of different accent variations and we tested them with internal and external Irish natives to help us define the final accent. We’re really excited to launch this new voice option and welcome all customer feedback to help us refine and improve the experience.”
As well as the new voice option, Alexa has become smarter about Ireland, with new topics that interest users in the country. Here are some new fun things which Alexa can now respond to:
- “Alexa, what's the craic?”
- “Alexa, tell me an Irish joke.”
- “Alexa, what's the best Irish film ever?”
- “Alexa, do you have notions?”
- “Alexa, who is your man?”
- “Alexa, who is your one?”
Alexa can also answer hundreds of factual questions about Ireland, for example:
- “Alexa, how high is the Sugarloaf Mountain in Wicklow”
- “Alexa, what’s the highest mountain in Ireland”
- “Alexa, when is St Patrick’s Day?”
- “Alexa, when is the Rose of Tralee”
- “Alexa, what is the Rose of Tralee”
- “Alexa, play RTE Radio 1”
- “Alexa, play Joe Duffy”
- “Alexa, who’s the Taoiseach of Ireland”
The new Irish-English voice option will start rolling out gradually to customers from today, 17th November, on Echo Show and Echo devices. To access the Irish-English voice option, customers need to have the latest software on their Echo Device and Alexa app, and set their device location to Ireland for an optimised experience - customers who chose a location setting outside of their actual location will lose access to local information.
Once available, customers with existing applicable Echo devices can switch to the new voice option by navigating to Device Settings > Device Options > Language in the Alexa app and Echo Show devices. New customers will be offered the Irish-English voice option during their device set up.
To access the new Irish-English voice option, when available, customers should follow the below steps:
- Ensure your Echo Device is updated by saying "Alexa, do you have any updates?"
- Go to the Alexa app on your smartphone and navigate to your applicable Echo Device you’d like to enable Irish-English
- Click on Settings on the top-right
- Scroll to Languages
Select ‘Irish-English (Public Preview)’
To access the new Irish-English voice option on your Echo Show device, when available, customers should follow the below steps:
- Swipe down on your Echo Show home screen
- Click on Settings
- Scroll down and tap on Device Options
- Scroll down and tap on "Check Software Updates"
- Continue updating your Echo Show Devices’ software until it says "No updates found"
- Return to Device Options
- Scroll up to Device Language
- Tap on Primary Language and select ‘Irish-English (Public Preview)’