Amazon takes Alexa and Echo to France

Smart assistant gets skills and devices tailored to French market.

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Amazon's smart assistant Alexa and line of Echo smart speakers are making their debut this month in France.

Ian Knighton/CNET

"Alexa, parlez-vous francais?"  The answer, as of Tuesday, is "oui."

Amazon said its smart assistant will begin shipping next week to customers in France, along with its line of Echo smart speakers. Amazon said it worked with developers to create skills and devices focused on the French market.

"We've built an entirely new experience from the ground up that honors the French language and culture, allowing customers to just ask to get music, weather, news, information, and more—just by asking," Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president of Amazon Devices International, said in a statement.

Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo has helped popularize smart home tech, with nearly 19 million units sold, mostly in the US, according to research by Morning Consult [PDF]. The Echo Dot, a smaller-format smart speaker, acts as a central smart hub within the home, answering questions via Alexa.

With Alexa's latest expansion, the smart assistant is now available in 10 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand.

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