Nigerians Get Google Directions in a Local Accent

The technology giant Google has given Nigerian drivers an option to hear travel advice in a local voice when they use Google Maps. The new feature with the local accent is also available on Google Assistant.

Up to now, Nigerians have had to deal with travel advice from Google in an American accent, that struggled with pronouncing local names such as Lagos’ Alfred Rewane road – which came out as Alfred Re-wain. It also couldn’t cope with the suburb Oworonshoki.

Earlier, when it was tested by some Nigerians, they were surprised to hear an “accent that sounded like them”, according to social media comments.

Google said in the coming months, the maps feature will also allow users in Lagos to seek directions on what it calls “informal transit” – such as the yellow minibuses, known as danfo, that ply virtually every road in the comercial capital, but about which it is difficult for outsiders, or even Lagosians travelling to a new neighbourhood, to find information.

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