The heart of tech

This article was published on October 5, 2011


Apple hits bum note in Japan with iPhone 4S feature Siri

Apple hits bum note in Japan with iPhone 4S feature Siri


Jon Russell
Story by

Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

The announcement of Siri, the virtual personal assistant launched alongside the iPhone 4S yesterday, didn’t get the rapturous reception Apple was seeking everywhere in the world. Over in Japan, Siri’s unveiling succeeded in making the Cupertino giant the literal butt of jokes online.

The issues stems form its Japanese translation, Siri sounds suspiciously like Shiri (尻), meaning buttocks. When it emerged that the app did not support Japanese, Twitter users in the country got a little cheeky and began referring to Siri as ‘bottom’. Its kanji character quickly joined ‘Siri’ as one of the country’s trending topics, as the Wall Street Journal’s Japan Realtime blog notes.

More comedy ensued when one Google visitor found the search giant queried her initial search for ‘Siri’, asking if she was in fact looking ‘bottom’ (尻) instead.

Comical international translations are nothing new and, despite the setback, Apple’s virtual assistant may yet endear itself to the Japanese, if Apple can fix the language issue.

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