If you ask Apple's Siri, the virtual assistant for the iPhone 4S, what languages it can speak, it will now add Japanese to the already available options - English, German and French, despite the fact that the language is not yet available as a choice in its preference pane.

Last week, there were reports saying that Siri would soon support other languages like Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Japanese. Considering the rumors, now it appears that Japanese is very likely to be the next language supported by Apple's AI speech recognition interface. It looks like Siri just went too fast by letting that secret out a bit early.

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I speak Japanese, English, German and French. I'm studying some new languages, too, Siri responds when asked about the languages it can speak in.

You can change the language I'm using...just go to Siri settings, she adds after that.


Photo: Apple

MacRumors and 9to5Mac have even speculated that Apple will announce Siri's expanded language repertoire with the rumored iPad 3 release sometime in March.

It's possible that Siri's additional languages will be launched with the iPad 3 launch next month. That launch is rumored to be set for March 7, a MacRumors report said.

It now appears that Japanese is about to be announced, perhaps at the iPad 3 announcement next month. There is no word yet on Chinese or Russian, but those are also likely coming soon, said a report by 9to5Mac.

The third generation Apple iPad is highly expected to bring a number of key features like a high-resolution Retina Display, a more powerful processor, 4G/LTE support and improved cameras, and according to CNET, Siri is also one of them.

While we believe that it makes sense for Apple to have this feature on all of its newest devices, the company may not want to include this feature if there's a small chance that users will get frustrated at Siri when it fails (i.e. when the Internet connection is iffy), the CNET report stated.

Of course, there's always the chance that Apple may choose to implement Siri selectively on 3G/LTE models that are always connected.

Apple is reportedly hard at work at increasing Siri's capabilities. The company announced several job listings late last year for Language Technologies Engineers, who would help port Siri to other languages, according to Apple Insider.

When Apple announced Siri in October last year, it said that support for additional languages like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian and Spanish would follow this year.

Below is a part of an Apple Siri FAQ:


Photo: Apple

Technology news Web site Slash Gear is also betting on a Siri-laden iPad 3.

In a bid to make sure that iPhone 4S is the only device in which users can use Siri, Apple is using a new element called SetActivationToken that blocks third-party apps like Spire from accessing Siri's database. It can signal a focused approach by Apple to stop access to Siri for unapproved devices.

But there are thousands of Apple fans who desperately want to use Siri in their devices.

Apple has released SetActivationToken for this situation so that the iPhone 4S is the only device that can Siri the night away, it being a simple token in the software that detects your device in so many words - on the other hand, this fix could just be to allow in the upcoming iPad 3, Slash Gear reported.