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Smart Home

Google Assistant becomes bilingual as the Max arrives in Europe

The powerful speaker comes to the UK, France and Germany -- and now lets you use two languages at once.

Chris Monroe/CNET

If your family speaks multiple languages at home, your Google Assistant will now be able to keep up.

Google's officially making its digital assistant bilingual on Thursday. The company announced the news in a blog post along with the news that Google's most powerful smart speaker -- the Google Home Max -- is now available in the UK, France and Germany. You can now buy the Max in six countries in total including the US, Canada and Australia.

The built-in Google Assistant, the same assistant on your Android phone and the Google Home Mini smart speaker, has long been able to understand multiple languages. However, you had to select your language of choice in the settings. You couldn't give one command in English and a subsequent one in Spanish without going into the app and switching the language.

You'll be able to do just that starting on Thursday. Google will be able to simultaneously recognize any pair of languages from the following six: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. The search giant has promised many more languages will be added to the bilingual feature soon, and supposedly Google Assistant will be able to respond to more than 30 languages by the end of the year.

Speaking two languages interchangeably will certainly be handy for many households. Google will respond in kind to whatever language is spoken from your selected two.

Now you can take advantage of Google Assistant's many features by checking your calendar in English and controlling your smart home in Spanish.

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