Where would we and our smart homes be without our ultra-handy Alexa devices? Amazon’s powerful Internet-of-Things controller and friendly voice assistant has changed the way we interact with the web, our homes, as well as our friends and families. Need a controller for your smart lights? No problem. Want to blast your favorite music? You got it. Order something on Amazon? Alexa will notify you when the package is delivered to your front door. Looking for a quick dinner recipe? Ask away. Want to make phone calls without your phone? Your Alexa speaker can do that too.
With developers adding and tweaking Alexa functions and skills on the daily, the sky is truly the limit for Amazon’s digital wunderkind. But let’s be frank: Alexa’s default speaking voice sounds pretty monotone. Dare we say boring?
Fortunately, you can change Alexa’s voice to incorporate different regional accents. You can even teach Alexa to speak in a totally different language. Want to mess around with these language preferences? No problem, we’ll teach you how. But be warned: Changing Alexa’s voice will also make it harder for the device to understand your own voice, that is if you don’t speak to your Echo Dot in the new accent you’ve chosen. So, unless you can do a perfect U.K. accent that would make Benedict Cumberbatch and the Queen of England proud, Alexa may be confused by your commands.
Still want to change Amazon Alexa’s voice? Here’s how.
How to change Alexa’s accent or language
1. Open the Alexa app
Grab the device you use to control Alexa’s settings, whether it’s your smartphone or tablet. Tap on the Alexa app icon to open up the app. Tap the three-barred menu icon at the top left of the home page, then tap Settings > Device Settings. Wait until the list of connected devices pops up on the screen, then choose the device for which you’d like to change Alexa’s voice.
2. Select your language
Once you’ve chosen the device you want to configure, scroll down until you see Language, and give that word a tap. You’ll see a drop-down box featuring a mixed list of English accent options, including Canadian, United Kingdom, Australian, French, and a few more.
If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, or you’re learning a second language and want to practice your chops, you can change Alexa’s default language to German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, or French.
Do note that not all language choices will support all of your Alexa’s normal capabilities. Things like music streaming and other skills may not work the way you’ve come to expect.
3. Confirm changes
When you’ve made your accent or language choice, the app will ask you to confirm your selection. Now, go ahead and ask Alexa a whole bunch of questions to test your device’s new dialect capabilities.
How to enable skills to get celebrity voices to talk to you
What if you want to have a famous celebrity speaking to you from Alexa? Thanks to Alexa Skills, you can have people like Gordon Ramsay, the famously foul-mouthed TV chef, speaking to you from the device.
Note that Ramsay’s famous voice won’t be replacing the default voice altogether. Instead, there will be predetermined phrases spoken by the chef, featuring his penchant for harshly criticizing perfectly edible food. Here’s how to get Ramsay to criticize your cooking skills. You can use these steps to enable skills with other celebrities as well.
1. Open the Alexa app
Once again, open up the Alexa app, and tap Menu.
2. Select the skill
Select the Skills button. From there, type in Gordon Ramsay to search for his voice. Select the first skill that pops up (it should be from Ground Control, otherwise it’s probably not the one you want). Then, sit back and enjoy being mocked by one of the most famous chefs on the planet. Ask him what he thinks of your scrambled eggs or to try your french toast.
You can also add voice skills to your Alexa by simply by asking her to enable them. Before you issue the command, just make sure you know exactly what the voice skill is called. Alexa works best when you’re as specific and articulate as possible with new skill commands.