Google Assistant on Home speakers always felt great in English, but we were skeptical about it being as good in Hindi. But Google has surprised us and surpassed expectations.
But, before we jump in and talk about my experiences with Google Home in Hindi, let’s take a quick look at how you can change the primary language for your Assistant to Hindi:
Setting Hindi as Default Language for Google Assistant
For this first step, you will have to use your smartphone to change the default language for Google Assistant. These steps are as under:
1. Long-press the home button to bring up “Google Assistant” and tap the explore icon on the top right, followed by the ‘three dot’ icon to access the Settings menu via the overflow menu.
2. Scroll down to the ‘Assistant’ tab in the Settings, select the ‘Languages’ option and tap on your selected language to change it.
3. From the pop-up menu, select ‘हिन्दी (भारत)’ and it will set as the default language. You can also choose to add another language to make the Google Assistant bilingual.
Now that you’ve chosen Hindi as your default language, which you may be fluent in and want to use to communicate with the Google Assistant, we get to some of the very basic commands.
The Basic Stuff
I started off with some of the most familiar commands such as ‘Aaj bahar mausam kaisa hai?‘ or how’s the weather today and ‘Mujhe mere din ke baare mein batana‘ or tell me about my day and the speaker handled these in Hindi pretty easily. These are possibly the easiest queries you can ask the Google Assistant.
You can also ask your Google Home speaker to set alarms/ reminders for events (mujhe mummy se idli kaise banate hai puchna yaad dilana) and add things to your shopping list (meri shopping soochi mein do kilo aloo jod dena) in Hindi, which is also some thing you might scream frequently at the speaker from the comfort of your bed. Google Assistant handles it all with great aplomb, but you’ll need to talk to it in your best Hindi.
Next up, if you’ve got a Google Home speaker set up in your room, asking those burning trivia questions to Assistant is a common affair. I too did the same. I asked questions such as ‘Bharat ke Pradhan Mantri kaun hai?‘ and to test if it could keep up the conversation – just like it would in English. And then a few more questions about world leaders.
I then up the ante and asked 2-3 back-to-back questions about Steph Curry and got all answers, so Continued Conversation works in Hindi as well.
Google Assistant in Hindi does not play well with Hinglish!
However, I will warn you of one thing and do remember this while asking queries because the situation can turn out to be quite frustrating otherwise. Google Assistant in Hindi does not play well with Hinglish commands, i.e a mix of Hindi and English.
The Home speaker may respond to queries every so often but not always. This means if you ask Google Assistant ‘Mujhe office ka rasta dikhao’ (show me the way to the office) then it’s possible the Google Home won’t really be able to help you out. We expect Google to add mixed language support in the next few months, so we may see Hinglish added too.
Location & Directions
It was amusing to hear Assistant pronounce Italian names with an accent when we searched for places to eat at near us. But I found that the Google Assistant struggled when I asked to navigate to a specific location. I had to be very clear and deliberate in the way I asked the directions, especially to my work location.
Hindi Google Assistant couldn’t tell me traffic info on the way to work, which was quite frustrating.
While it did manage to show me the location for my workplace,, the Google Assistant in Hindi couldn’t help me navigate and tell me an ETA. This was quite frustrating for me.
Joke Nation 101
While the Google Assistant may not always elicit laughs with its ‘Dad jokes’ in English, Hindi is another matter, as we have seen right here.
So, ask the Google Assistant random questions in Hindi and be prepared to be surprised, laugh, and appreciate its humor. You can ask it to sing (ek gaana gaake sunana) as well.
This is where Assistant struggled in Hindi. Asking Google Home to play songs in Hindi was a hit and miss, which is a big disadvantage. Google Assistant faced no issue when I generally asked it to play the latest songs, or play songs by Indian artists and from Bollywood movies.
However, I was again disappointed to see that Hindi Google Assistant isn’t exactly able to keep up when even a little bit of English is brought into the mix. The Assistant had a lot of recognition issues when I asked it to play non-Hindi songs in Hindi.
While it was able to recognize and play tracks by artists like Ed Sheeran and Linkin Park, asking it to play ‘Highway to Hell’ disappointingly turned up no response. I was faced with similar problems while asking it to play global playlists or artists such as Mac Miller, My Chemical Romance.
The Dialect Test
I know, it sounds like the Google Home is appearing for the JEE exam and that’s what it felt like – but in a fun way. Once I was tired of volleying questions at Google Assistant, I brought in some help to check how well it handled different Hindi dialects.
Google Assistant does a decent job of understanding different Hindi dialects, even though recognition was a hit or miss
And well, the Assistant did manage to fare quite well in this test and understand queries thrown at it by my colleagues, but there were times the speaker picked up a wrong word or didn’t respond back at all. The experience, however, was a laugh fest and the Assistant’s witticism in Hindi is what we loved the most.
Additionally, you can also ask the Google Home for conversions, connect to third-party applets like Hello English to learn, well, English and ask it to find your phone – which means it will start ringing it. You cannot, however, ask the smart speaker to place calls, open apps on your phone, or play YouTube videos, just yet.
Is Google Home In Hindi Any Good?
You can surely see that Hindi support on Google Home is pretty well-rounded for now, and Google Assistant can handle most of the commands thrown at it. We still want to see it improve its recognition of mixed phrases. Ultimately though, English support is a ton better, more user-friendly, and intuitive.
However, if you are a native Hindi speaker, and plan to use the Google Home solely in Hindi, then you can definitely start that. We are sure you will not have any major problems in using Google Home’s chief features. And it’ll only get better with time.
Have you tried using your Google Home speaker in Hindi? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.