00:40 GMT +322 January 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): While a national debate has ignited over making Hindi the national language follwing the Indian home minister nixing the idea, e-commerce giant Amazon has rolled out support for Hindi language on Alexa.

    The move is to further expand the services of its voice assistant Alexa to the interior of India.

    In India, nearly 50 percent of the total population of 1.37 billion understand and communicate in Hindi.

    With the addition of Hindi, people in India will now be able to ask Alexa for assistance in a language they are most comfortable with.

    Amazon officially announced the update while noting that bringing support for Hindi to Alexa had been in the works for over a year, media reported on Thursday.

    Hindi on Amazon’s smart devices began rolling out through a software update. Initially, Hindi on the virtual assistant will only be available in one voice type.

    Discussing Amazon’s plan for Alexa’s future in India, company executives revealed that in the months to come the company would add support for multi-lingual households to help family members to fluently interact with the voice assistant in their preferred language.

    Alexa users in India are offered over 30,000 skills across categories including Bollywood, cricket, and education through smart speakers from Amazon itself, as well as from other manufacturers like Sony and LG.

    Even though Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa entered India just two years ago, a 2019 report by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) claimed Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with a 59 percent share in 2018, followed by Google Home with 39 percent.

    Considering the multi-fold growth in the user base of digital assistants in the country, earlier in June, on the sidelines of Amazon's flagship "re: Mars" event in New Delhi, Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, had said they were working on infusing regional language capabilities for the Indian market.

    Reacting to Alexa speaking in fluent Hindi, netizens took to Twitter to share some tickling reactions.

     

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