Two Words — Sounds Like “Black Alabama”

New Kindle can't quite say president's name

033009 Obama Autos
AP

Kindle has come under fire.

The electronic device heralded as the print media savior has trouble pronouncing what very well could be the two most ubiquitous words in news: Barack Obama.

The Amazon Kindle displays newspaper articles and book text and can speak with a computerized voice -- but the machine gets tripped up when it reads the president's name.

U.S. & World

Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.

Protests Over Police Killings Rage in Dozens of US Cities

DC Protesters Clash With Police, National Guard Activated

The voice of the Kindle rhymes "Barack" with "black," and instead of saying "Obama" the machine blurts out something similar to "Alabama,"  The New York Times reported.

"That's unfortunate," chief executive of Amazon.com Jeffrey Bezos told The Times when informed of the error.

Amazon said it confronted Massachusetts-based Nuance Communications, which provides text-to-speech technology for the Kindle, and the correct pronunciation has been wirelessly updated.

"Nuance has updated its dictionary, which we plan to include in an upcoming wireless update to Kindle devices," Amazon spokesman Andrew Herdener told the Times in an email. 

The latest version of the Kindle was unveiled Wednesday.

Contact Us