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Cortana will be fluent in Canadian in time for Windows Phone 8.1

Canadians will be happy to hear that Cortana will be ready for The Great White North in time for the rollout of Windows Phone 8.1. Cortana was shown working live at a Canadian telecom conference, and 8.1 is due sometime this summer, so expect to get your hands on the feature soon.

Cortana is a voice-based assistant that helps users with all sorts of daily tasks, such as booking meetings in the device calendar, conducting on-the-fly web searches, initiating calls, get GPS directions, and plenty more.

There are, of course, workarounds to the U.S.-only localization of Cortana, and many will likely still have to resort to them in the immediate future, but the Canadian release bodes well for further global expansion of the signature Windows Phone feature.

Americans, how often do you guys use Cortana? Are you happy with the performance?

Source: MobileSyrup

242 Comments
  • Nice
  • It sure is! (I'm not Canadian but the more countries the better, in my opinion).
  • Remind me at tree o'clock ---.. Cortana you want to buy a tree clock?
  • Eh?
  • What's this all aboot?
  •   We don't say 'aboot'!  But, it's impossible to spell how we do say it.    
  • Thought it was more like "aboat" and not "aboot"
  • You don't know what you're talkin aboot
  • Well oil beef hooked
  • Exactly. How Americans (and I'm speaking as an American who emigrated to Canada in 1997) hear "aboat" as "aboot" is a mystery to me because it sounds NOTHING like "aboot." Great Anglo Canadian shibboleth isn't about though since they mostly pronounce it American style here in western Canada- it's "sooorry" which Anglophone Canadians pronounce like that coast to coast- and yes I've been in Victoria and St Johns and have heard it pronounced like that, "sooooorry," on both coasts and everywhere in between.
  • I'm Canadian, always have and always will, and I say "About", IV never heard anyone say "Aboot" or anything other then "About". Unless they are joking.
  • Not to say that this is necessarily the case for you, but I used to think the same way until someone actually tried to make me annunciate 'ab-out' quickly. When I said it, it was totally more like 'a-boat'. A sad realization.
  • Hilarious. Laughing for days; never heard that one before ever.
  • You've never seen South Park?
  • Damn! That's what I was going to say.
  • I'm sorry you didn't get to say it first
  • So happy right now :) can't wait to ride my polar bear home to tell my wife, eh?
  • and by home you mean your igloo 
  • There is no igloo here, we do not live in Alaska !!!
  • Can't be that difficult...
    String.Replace("or","our");
    String.Append(", eh?");
    ;)
  • +920 :D
  • Yay us Albertans are going to get Cortana. It's not like the rest of Canada matters as much anymore. Lol. So does Rob Ford have windows phone.. His reminder should be don't let people take pictures of me in basements. Lol
  • He doesn't have a Windows Phone. He has a CRACKberry. Hehehe
  • Lol
  • Canadian Cortana basically just says 'eh' & "You're not my buddy guy"
  • You're not my guy friend
  • He's not your friend, buddy!
  • Maybe they say aboot far north in Canada but in Ontario we say about.. And I got a good laugh reading that Alberta is the only province that matters.
  • No, you absolutey say "a boat." Absolutely. Alberta doesn't matter- Calgary does :)
  • I've never heard someone say "aboat". Everyone in southern Ontario says "ab-out". I even grew up in a small town that was basically just like that Out For a Rip parody video. That video gets the accent right.
  • The Arrogant Worms have this to say about other parts of Canada http://youtu.be/iRjurRdep_Q
  • Bring to India please
  • Will need to call NaMo even for this...!!
  • LOL!
  • Haha. Cortana development under NaMo hands.
  • +620
  • Kejriwal ko bulao.. Wo hunger strike pe jayega to Cortana ayegi India.. LOL.. XD
  • Yeah India should be first-we have the largest base of wp users!
  • Good
  • Don't forget the big China!
  • Cortana will be available in the few weeks in China and UK.
  • When will it be available for Belgium ? :P
  • I don't know, sorry.....
  • Cortana, kan je mij helpen? 
  • Hurry up UK !
  • I just decided to do the work around today... So far, don't see what all the fuss is about. Hopefully it gets better. I need better localization. Right now...i kind of miss Bing... Never thought I'd see the day!
  • +1020
  • I guess with final 8.1 we gonna get data on/off in action Center. And few highly request features! But who knows!
  • 8.1 is already final. Changes like this will come with GDR updates.
  • That and the localized headlines.
  • I got rid of Microsoft sport coz I installed it for the world cup and when I launched it on Saturday it said that no matches were pending and there were four games lol
  • What does that have to do with action center? Fwiw... Sports is working fine for me.
  • Man, you need to add the leagues that you want to watch
  • That feature is already available! Its called flight mode!
  • Ok so enable flight mode and then try making a phone call or sending a text......
  • I wonder if she's fluent in maple syrup.
  • Will she say about or aboot? eh?
  • She will be sorry a lot that's for sure
  • :D
  • I'm wondering if Cortana in other languages will sound like Jen Taylor or different?
  • Yeah me too. I have a british accent but i won't change the speech language if I can't hear Zen Taylor's voice.
  • I can never imagine Cortana speaking Hebrew... And it'd probably never will... :'(
  • Yeah, Arabic as well :/
  • What about Sanskrit?
  • I feel bad for them too, who actually speak this legendary language ?
  • That would be interesting... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure if there are any VA's that understand or speak any Semitic languages
  • What do you mean by VA ?
  • I would assume 'voice actor'.
  • Aha that makes sense now, thanks !
    well, i think arabic should be on the list since arabic is the third or fourth spoken language in the world (according to wiki)
    but man can only dream :\
  • I'm sure it will be in short order; from what I understand, WP (or at least Nokias) are still pretty popular in the Middle East.
  • As a canadian, this makes me quite happy.
  • Been using Cortana in Canada with the whole US region set. It will be nice to get it with KM and Celsius info instead of the US stuff though.
  • Im with you man, please Microsoft work on this
  • +1020
  • Yeah finally.
    Will switch just for that
  • No kidding.  Farenheit and miles are just awful.
  • Funny because with me Fahrenheit and KILOMETRES is awful, lol (UK)!
  • That's because you Brits can't make up you minds
  • Neither can Canadians- weight in pounds, height in feet, distance in km, temperature in celcius!
  • Nope.  Maybe some of us who grew up with pounds and feet, but my kids and theirs don't understand them.
  • Yup. Can't get my head around it even though I've been living in the US for some time now.
  • Have lived here (USA) for five years still the only thing I know is 1mile=1.6km and 90F+ is too hot))))
  • Aye. Would love to go back home to Blighty :)
  • Don't care for the metric system. "oh it's 28 deg centegrate, oooooh that's hot!" 
  • Everything in metric is based in multiples of ten. What's silly is systems that aren't like that. How many feet in a mile? How many miles in a furlong? How many stone in a pound? Here's the strength of metric. 1 milliliter = 1 cubic centimeter = 1 gram. 1 liter = 1 cubic decimeter = 1kg Conversions are so easy.
  • While annoying, if you ask, Cortana will give you measurements in different units.
  • I have done that many times. Just wish there was a way to have it keep the setting.
  • Surely when 'optimizing' it for Canada that is one of the first things they would have done.
  • I think we do have the option somewhere in the settings for it to use either standard or metric... Not tied to region
  • I'm in Sweden with region set to USA, but I'm so going to change the region to Canada when it gets released just to get kilometers and celsius!
  • Now if only we could have a Windows flagship phone to run it off of.
  • Touché! I still love my 1020, but I would like to have a new option available.
  • Flagship?! At this point we don't even have mention of any 8.1 handsets at all let alone top end devices.
  • The Lumia 630 and assorted? The two micromax phones
  • We do the ones in India ;-)
  • I see the 930 (black, unlocked) listed as pre-order on Expansys.ca, but no price yet.
  • If that news came from a 'carrier conference', though admittedly I may be unsure of what exactly that is, hopefully that means that they were talking about the implementation of new WP8.1 handsets and training their staff. That could, of course, be wishful thinking.
  • With Microsoft's purchase of Nokia, that starts a whole other round of phones for launch....which are usually gated for the fall. But hey, better to get the kinks out now than before a brand new device launches, I'd say. As for me? My Icon suits me quite nicely. Best Windows Phone I've ever owned...zippy, perfect size, and such a clear screen!
  • I wonder if India would like Cortana. I'm surprised there's not more clamoring.
  • There is!!!NaMo is going to mention her in his upcoming lecture
  • Getting exciting!!!!
  • Cool! Quick question, will it understand French? I hear in some parts of Canada, French is the native language.
  • I sure hope it will!! I'm still gonna use it if it's english only, but it'd be awesome to be able to use it in French!
  • Printed product are required to be bilingual. Not sure about this.
  • Too my knowledge, this wouldn't apply. That said, I'm sure that if its not in this update, Québec French will come along with Cortana's roll out in France; which can't be that long given WP's growing popularity there.
  • What are you talking about? Quebec French and France French are totally different. And Quebec makes up a sizable chunk of Canada's population. With them and the eastern provinces I'd say at least 35 of Canadians are Francophones. The ONLY reason that makes sense for the delay of Cortana's release in Canada is because of French localization. Our English accents aren't that much different than the northern states.
  • Awesome! I can't wait :P
  • This is what im waiting for.
  • please bring out a german version for germany, austria and switzerland!
  • Österreich FTW
  • With beard?
  • Huh ?
  • Oh geez, eh!!!
  • When for the Netherlands?
  • As a Canadian, I'm glad to hear this is coming sooner than I originally thought. Nice to see the support. Now we just needs some new phones(available through carriers).
  • I'd rather have new carriers.
  • Ya, either that or wind had got to step it up with the reception
  • I just want a carrier with a sales force that DOESN'T try to convince me to NOT use WP.  It's like they are actively trying to kill WP or something.  Geez.  They problem is, they have no idea how to use WP and if they tried it, they'd probably like it (like how I did, despite how skeptical I was at first).     
  • + gazillion -  same experience I had!    The sales people are young adults with limited technical experience beyond what youth use devices for (i.e. no business experience).  For us adults that use devices to produce in business, WP is excellent!   The sales people just can't relate.  & they don't care about privacy, which adults in business legally have to care about.
  • That's what I'm talking aboot, aye.
  • Scottish?
  • Lol. I just remembered Brave Heart movie- William Wallace, they say "Aye" alot there)))
  • It's eh, eh.
  • Please bring French to Canada as well :) (says a French who's waiting for Cortana and can't understand how French is more difficult to implement than Chinese o_O)
  • "yer ou le caliss de IGA?" "Désolé vous êtes incompréhensible"
  • LOL Too funny, not sure Cortanna will ever get that. That being said, it's nice to get some love Microsoft. After months of waiting for OneGuide on XBOX (arrived last week), and never receiving Local Scout, to get Cortana with the official launch is a big step in right direction. Now waiting for the next flag ship announcement to upgrade my 920.
  • Je suis avec toi pour ça!! Ça ne devrait pas être si compliqué... ;)
  • I don't use Cortana. She drains my battery on my Nokia 521 to fast.
  • Take it off vibrate
  • That's what she said... ?
  • lol
  • What language is Canadian? French, English or a mixture of both?   On a side note. I hope that Cortana can play my music, since they are in Spanish but I use the English locale version for my Phone. Example: Cortana, please play (insert song name here).
     
  • She plays stuff for me without issue.  Will even skip tracks and pause them for me.
  • Same here. Will play playlists, songs, artists etc.
  • English or French, with people from some parts of Québec and Eastern Ontario speaking a rather hideous combination of both.
  • What about Canadian french? Is that included in the Canadian fluent news???
  • I think it would have to be in order for them to officially launch it. Correct me if I'm wrong?
  • "What can I help you with, eh?" "try 'Find maple syrup near me.'"
  • "Show some movies around me" Cortana: "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that, eh" Oh, sorry, "Show some movies around me, eh" Cortana: "Here are movie times at the theatre closest to your location, eh" "I'm sorry that I forgot the eh, eh" Cortana: "It's okay, I'm always sorry, eh" "eh" Cortana: "eh, eh, eh, eh, eh" "Hockey and s#!%, eh" Cortana: "Look, I'm Rihanna. 'Under my umberella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh, eh,' eh" "You're hilarious, Cortana" Cortana: "I'm sorry, I didn't quite get that, eh" Sorry, "You're hilarious, Cortana, eh" Cortana: "Well that's how I'm programmed, eh"   I live in Maine. WE'VE GOT MAPLE SYRUP TOO YOU KNOW.
  • Haha. Do they [Canadians] really have eh at the end of every sentence?
  • It's not really that extreme, I'm just poking fun.   Maine is actually somewhat similar/worse, most "r" sounds are replaced with an "ah" sound. Lobstah. Dahling. Lambahghani.
  • I do have a habit of saying it from time to time.. probably about 3 or 4 times a day.  It's usually when something truly awesome happens and my immediate response is "Holy Shit, eh....." 
  • Im a Canadian and have family is Mass. that like to poke fun of us for saying eh. Then I remind them how they talk "Hey Mawk, grab me a beah from the cawh" lol.
  • Ah I see. Would be interesting to hear it.
  • It's actually getting kind of rare...
  • Yeah, I've noticed that in high-population areas. It seems to be only the smaller towns where heavy accents are surviving.
  • Not at all eh
  • This video represents the small town Canada accent perfectly. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F-glHAzXi_M
  • Fookin' eh, bud. I'm gonna go out fer a Timmies and smoke a dart.
  • Finally some love for Canada haha
  • "Don't make a girl a promise you can't keep, eh."
  • "But those are the best kind..."
  • I was going to reply back, but it would just spoil the movie
  • Number First! Tabernac it took those tete carres long enough. I just hope when I ask Cortana where to go to get some hot poutine she doesn't think I'm speaking Spanish eh! N'est pas?
  • I've used Cortana several times.....mainly for GPS directions.  Just from the few times I've used it, the wife (who has an iPhone) states that Cortana definitely works better than Siri.....and I agree.  Cortana automatically launches the Here Drive app too.  Slick!
  • Agreed! Best deal there...now if only Cortana could give the voice directions.....;)
  • When will Cortana come to India speaking Hindi fluently!!!??
    Waiting for any official to reply...
  • SEA ? When is SEA ?
  • Aboot time..
  • Great news. Really hope the next flagship comes to Canada.
  • Windows Phone 8.1 is rumoured to be released June 24, right? Well that's great, Cortana is finally coming to Canada soon!
  • Waiting for UK Cortana!
  • +1520
  • +930
  • Omg I hate gaps in the start screen!
  • I don't use the region hack for one simple reason, can't use the findmyphone service :(
  • Find my phone work for me even if i set my region in US to get Cortana!!
  • Thank you!
  • Awesome! Just need a new high end phone to go with it! 930...!
  • Germany!
  • Shaweeet! Now all I need is an upgrade from my Lumia 920 to the... oh wait... there is no upgrade for the 920 in Canada... WHOMP!
  • When it get to Sweden I try it.
  • Watta hell is canadian?!
  • Midway between the British and American accent.
  • With some Irish/Scottish flavors
  • Why is it hard to learn Cortana to speak Canadian?
  • Teach
  • Some people never learn :D
  • Danish.
  • Seems faster eh?
  • Lol eh
  • I dunno what you're talking aboot. ;)
  • I'm Canadian and glad Cortana will finally be fluent in Canadian English lol
  • Rejoice!  All Canadians are to meet at the tree in Edmonton...
  • Yup. No where else in Canada to meet.. Must be Alberta eh!
  • I pee on that tree and your hockey team.
  • Im Canadian and Cortana can localized a lots of place like my home, my work and other place i go often like my friends home, restaurants, bar, cinema...etc
  • _AWESOME_
  • Americans, how often do you guys use Cortana? I never use Cortana. Similarily I never attempt to charge my phone by plugging it into the outlet that I know full well does not work.
  • Yay ill be able to buy stuff from the store and the localization will be better!!!!
  • Just so that people know, in Canada have 2 official languages (English and French) .
  • Don't forget Albertan, and Nufi by... and some native slang. Maa whatch you think we don't matter too? it will be interesting if she understands all dialects.
  • Take off...That's great news eh....
  • Take off!    LOL  - haven't heard that in a few decades!.   From "The Great White North"  - SCTV -  (Canadian 80's version of Saturday Night Live) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-ZvAVcBIrQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04u58ifxmRA With Rick Moranis  - it's amazing he ended up in "Hunny I Shrunk the kids" type movies  :) Watch it yah hosers!   :)
  • AKA English? It already works just fine.
  • they could've just released it to Canadians....it's not like american english is that different from canadian english except "ehhhh" 99% Cortana will recognize with no problem. If they released from the the get go, it wi