Apple's Siri to Speak Russian

Apple's Siri will be fluent in Russian.

Apple's mobile voice-activated assistant Siri will be fully fluent in Russian as part of Apple's March release of its newest smartphone software, industry website 9to5Mac reported.

Siri allows iPhone users to ask questions or issue commands to their mobile phone, such as locating nearby restaurants or calling a friend. The service was first released in English in 2011, and has since added a number of languages, including Japanese, Chinese and German.

In addition to Russian, the new iOS 8.3 software will offer Siri's services in Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.

Although Siri will only begin speaking Russian this year, the company has been working on the feature since 2012, when Apple advertised an opening for an engineer to teach Siri how to speak Russian.

Significant progress appears to have been made since then, as one Russian user on Twitter posted a screenshot of Siri digesting a complex Russian tongue twister in the latest release of the iOS 8.3 beta.

Apple has been expanding its commitment to the Russian market in recent years, opening its first official online Russian store in November 2014.

Apple doubled shipments of iPhones to Russia in 2014, reaching 3.25 million units and raking in $2.14 billion in sales, news agency Bloomberg reported last month, citing research firm IDC.

Samsung, Apple's primary competitor in the global smartphone market, still ships more phones to Russia — 6 million last year — but Apple's sales are higher.

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