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Brain Training doesn't like Northern accents

Brain Training doesn't like Northern accents

Nintendo advises players to follow the instructions in the manual. Oh and "try to avoid using strong dialects or accents."

The BBC's Watchdog TV programme has claimed this week that Nintendo's Brain Training game cannot recognise Northern English accents.

A reporter from a Manchester radio station complained that the game was unable to understand what she was telling it during one of its minigames – where players have to say the colour in which a word appears and not the word itself.

"Basically, you have to say the different colours that flash up on the screen as quickly as possible. I'm saying, blue, blue, blue and it's saying no, even though it was blue. Then it got to yellow. I'm going 'yeller' and everyone's saying to me you need to be a bit posher. You need to say, 'yellow' and as soon as I did, it picked it up," claimed Michelle Livesey.

Livesey was surprised to discover that some of her colleagues were also suffering from the same problems.

"I don't know what's wrong with the way I say 'blue'. I can say it as many different ways that I could try and it just really wouldn't pick it up," explained Michelle Grogan, one of Livesey's colleagues.

Nintendo has sold over 2.5 million copies of Brain Training in the UK since its release in June 2006. The company says that it has received very few complaints from people frustrated by the voice recognition system, but would like to apologise for anyone that has been affected by the problems.

The console maker claims that it has continuously monitored the voice recognition efficiency and also carried out extensive research to ensure that the Nintendo DS voice recognition software would recognise a range of different accents and regional dialects. It also pointed out that voice recognition is only a small part of Brain Training, stating that it is not an integral to the overall enjoyment of the title.

Players wanting to use the voice recognition functionality are advised follow the directions in the game's manual. This suggests that you should be in a quiet environment and be between 20 and 30cm away from the device when speaking, while also avoiding the temptation to shout or blow into the microphone. Finally, you should also aim to "pronounce each word as clearly as possible, and try to avoid using strong dialects or accents."

Have you bought Brain Training and had problems with the voice recognition software? Let us know your experiences in the forums. Reet naa, I say.

25 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
keir 7th February 2008, 14:04 Quote
Blue was the ******* of that software :(
JADS 7th February 2008, 14:08 Quote
I don't think there are enough super-computers in the world to correctly voice recognise a northern accent ;)
badders 7th February 2008, 14:10 Quote
EE - NUN - SEE - ATE

Blue was a bugger, even with my slight essex twang, but you can't expect a £20 (?) Game to have top-of the range voice recognition.

I wonder how it copes with Glaswiegan docker's accents?
Johnny Bravo 7th February 2008, 14:23 Quote
Is she sure she wasn't just getting the wrong answer? :D
Hugo 7th February 2008, 14:40 Quote
Uh! Mah! Gud! Diiis iz redikulus mon innit, like how iz we sopposed to play uh game wen we iz talkin narmal like and it iz sayin we iz no speek proper?

I don't see how people can be so indignant that a game can't tell that 'bloo' and 'bluh' or 'yell-oh' and 'yell-uh' are the same thing when it's been programmed to understand the 'correct' way to speak the language.
p3n 7th February 2008, 14:41 Quote
All the more reason to chop off the north and set it a drift... we could call it the 'northern rock'!
steveo_mcg 7th February 2008, 14:45 Quote
oi i've a good mind to attach you to France for that comment. Don't worry wales we wouldn't do that to you.
Omnituens 7th February 2008, 15:05 Quote
notice they are both women - in the manual it does state that someone with a higher-pitch voice might have difficulty with some of the voice recognition words.

Personally, ive not had any issues with the game - except i ran out of sodoku.
Tomm 7th February 2008, 15:15 Quote
This new article really comes to life if you read it aloud in a proper Manc accent.

It's little steps like this that are needed to rid the world of horrible accents like the Mancunian one. Scottish / Irish / Welsh are fine for me, but I think the world could do without Manc and Brummie accents. IMO of course.
liratheal 7th February 2008, 16:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
All the more reason to chop off the north and set it a drift... we could call it the 'northern rock'!

Yeah, and then it'd sink.. That's not an issue, is it?
specofdust 7th February 2008, 16:22 Quote
Just a quick correction, it's northern English people that are having trouble with accents, not northern UK. Northern UK would be roughly where I live, and up here we can actually speak the language... I mean, sure, weegies won't get on well but most Scots will do fine.

I'm never really sure what goes through southern English people's heads when they refer to the north of England as "The North" - what does that make Scotland, ultra-north? Or are we so far north we're south? :P
Tim S 7th February 2008, 16:28 Quote
Uber North, of course ;)
Demon Cleaner 7th February 2008, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
notice they are both women - in the manual it does state that someone with a higher-pitch voice might have difficulty with some of the voice recognition words.

As I said on another forum that led with this story, Watchdog concluded that it wasn't the accent that causes problem (they went all over England), it was the pitch of the user's voice. Women were told to speaker in a deeper tone. Does no one actually listen to the whole story any more?? :(

Edit - To be fair that bbc link doesn't mention that, but that is how they concluded on the programme itself.
Veles 7th February 2008, 17:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
I'm never really sure what goes through southern English people's heads when they refer to the north of England as "The North" - what does that make Scotland, ultra-north? Or are we so far north we're south? :P

We call it Scotland

I'm sure when someone in China says "the north" they wouldn't mean Mongolia.
specofdust 7th February 2008, 17:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
We call it Scotland

I'm sure when someone in China says "the north" they wouldn't mean Mongolia.

Yeah, but, me and you live in the same country mate ;)
Tim S 7th February 2008, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon Cleaner
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
notice they are both women - in the manual it does state that someone with a higher-pitch voice might have difficulty with some of the voice recognition words.

As I said on another forum that led with this story, Watchdog concluded that it wasn't the accent that causes problem (they went all over England), it was the pitch of the user's voice. Women were told to speaker in a deeper tone. Does no one actually listen to the whole story any more?? :(

Edit - To be fair that bbc link doesn't mention that, but that is how they concluded on the programme itself.

Does that mean that Brain Training is sexist instead? :p
Jamie 7th February 2008, 17:57 Quote
The queens accent worked perfectly.
Cinnander 7th February 2008, 18:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
The queens accent worked perfectly.

What about Bronx?
*hides*
DLoney 7th February 2008, 18:50 Quote
it hates southern accents. first hand experience right here.
teamtd11 7th February 2008, 21:45 Quote
It works fine from me. And im from teh Boro!
r3Q 8th February 2008, 02:46 Quote
i thought English was an American language?

all of you people are speaking it wrong... :|



lawl.
completemadness 8th February 2008, 03:06 Quote
Its meant to pick up english, not that garbled rubbish :p

(yeller? wtf?)
johnmustrule 8th February 2008, 04:27 Quote
So in the USA its up north or down south if your talking about location. Do they do the up north/down south thing in Europe?
eek 8th February 2008, 11:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmustrule
So in the USA its up north or down south if your talking about location. Do they do the up north/down south thing in Europe?
Yes, we also have the words East and West to help describe location. Also, it's possible to combine North/South with East/West to aid with being more specific. Amazing huh?
johnmustrule 8th February 2008, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eek
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmustrule
So in the USA its up north or down south if your talking about location. Do they do the up north/down south thing in Europe?
Yes, we also have the words East and West to help describe location. Also, it's possible to combine North/South with East/West to aid with being more specific. Amazing huh?

Its a dialect eek, I'm not referring to geographical positions and their inherent relation to the English language , a dialect... ok.
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