Voice Interface Fail

I am in Germany, with a rental car, going places I have never been. To make this a little easier, I got a GPS unit.

One of the features of the GPS is that the voice turn-by-turn can be set in multiple languages. I (reasonably) set it to “American English.”

I have got to say that I have not heard such creative mangling of German street names since I was stationed over here in the Army.

Here is the irony: This little device, by the nature of its basic function knows exactly where it is. How about, people, programming it to speak the directions in English, but the street names in the local language.

Perhaps it would help if the designers actually tried to use the product in different countries.

This is a safety issue because I should not be having to suppress so much amusement when I am trying to navigate German traffic.  🙂


4 Replies to “Voice Interface Fail”

  1. I just returned from a trip to Boston and was amused (well, rather frustrated) how the rental Garmin failed to navigate through overlapping highways. It got very confused around Logan Airport and me into the very wrong corner of the area. In the end I just followed the classic street signs.
    And this in the homeland of satnav… 🙂

  2. I remember reviewing a “machine translation” of a technical book — I think it was on metal stamping — from German to English some years ago. The German version was included in the package. I could puzzle out enough of the German to see how hilarious the English version was. I only wished I had time and enough German to read the whole thing.

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