Language Handling

Alexa has its own language setting (Alexa’s Language) that controls how Alexa listens, speaks, and displays content. This is separate from the vehicle language setting (System Language).

This section will cover how to use Alexa’s Language, how to keep it in sync with the System Language, and how to handle potential mismatch scenarios. For a detailed list of Alexa-supported locales, view the API documentation.

How to apply Alexa’s Language.

When you set Alexa’s Language, Alexa automatically uses that language for listening, verbal responses, and visual responses. You need to additionally ensure that other vehicle UI relating to Alexa (e.g. Alexa app UI) uses this language.

(Required) Display Alexa content according to Alexa’s Language.

This applies to Setup, Settings, and any other UI text coming from the Alexa application. This helps set right customer expectations for how to speak to Alexa.

(Required) If Alexa’s Language is set to a bilingual pair, display Alexa content according to the primary language of the pair.

For example, if a customer selects “English / Español” then Alexa content is displayed in English. If the customer selects “Español / English”, then el contenido de Alexa se muestra en español.

First-time setup

(Required) During Setup, if Alexa supports the System Language, set Alexa’s Language to match the System Language.

Setup can then proceed without presenting the customer with any language-related settings.

(Required) During Setup, if Alexa doesn’t support the System Language, prompt the customer to select a language for Alexa as the first step of Alexa setup.

Use the UI elements shown below. Since Alexa’s Language is not yet set, the UI language for these initial screens should be chosen according to your system’s language fallback rules.

Language Selection intro
Language selection list

(Required) When showing the list of Alexa’s languages, ask customers to confirm their language selection before proceeding.

Making an incorrect selection may lead to customers not understanding the displayed content and abandoning setup. To avoid this, ensure the customers explicitly confirm their selection with a “confirm” or “continue” button.

Language selection flow

(Required) After a customer confirms their language selection, display the remaining Setup screens in that language.

As detailed in the Setup section, resolving language mismatches scenario is the very first step of Setup. If a customer (for example) selects German at this step, the rest of Alexa setup should proceed in German.

Presenting language settings

(Required) Provide customers with a way to change Alexa’s Language via the settings menu.

Use one of the two approaches listed below:

Option 1: Preferred - Display Alexa’s Language alongside your System Language settings.
Putting these two settings next to each other helps customers understand the relationship between the two, and makes it simpler to resolve potential mismatch scenarios.

See below for a mock-up of what a system settings menu might look like with both settings in it. Make this screen accessible from both your existing Settings hierarchy, and via the “Language” item in the Alexa menu.

Language settings within system settings
Selecting Alexa’s Language within system settings

Option 2: Display Alexa’s Language within the Alexa menu.
If you’re unable to modify your system language menu, provide the ingress to both settings via the Alexa menu. Use the UI elements shown below - make this screen accessible from the “Language” item in the Alexa menu.

Tapping System Language brings up the system UI for changing languages.
Tapping Alexa’s Language shows the list of supported Alexa languages.

Language menu within the Alexa menu
Selecting Alexa’s language within the Alexa menu

Handling System Language changes after Setup

When a customer changes their vehicle’s System Language after setting up Alexa, follow the guidance below:

(Required) If Alexa supports the new System Language, set Alexa’s Language to match the System Language.

For example, if Alexa’s Language is English when the customer changes the System Language to Spanish, update Alexa’s Language to Spanish.

(Required) If Alexa doesn’t support the new System Language, inform the customer of the mismatch and give them the option to select a new language for Alexa.

Use the UI elements shown below - in this example, Alexa’s Language was set to English when the customer changed the System Language to Polish (not supported by Alexa).

Tapping CONTINUE or dismissing this screen keeps Alexa’s Language set to English.
Tapping ALEXA SETTINGS opens the Alexa’s Language settings menu (see Menu and Settings).

Language mismatch popup - use a dynamic string to replace “English” with the current value of Alexa’s Language

Handling changes to Alexa’s Language

When a customer changes Alexa’s Language manually via the settings menu, follow the guidance below:

(Required) If the customer selects a language that is different than the System Language, and the System Language is supported by Alexa, surface a notification of the language mismatch.

Use the UI elements shown below - in this example, the System Language and Alexa’s Language were both set to English when the customer changed Alexa’s Language to German.

Tapping YES confirms the new selection for Alexa’s Language and closes the menu.
Tapping CANCEL cancels the change and the user is returned to the Alexa’s Language menu.

Language mismatch popup - use a dynamic string to replace “English” with the current System Language and “German” with the selected Alexa Language