Background: I work at a small startup company in Canada who makes simple FAQ Chatbots for companies who waste a lot of resources on the same Customer questions over and over.

So we were making this one bot for a provincial government who wanted a bot for students to be able to ask questions regarding the upcoming election and how to vote, etc. and get the answers they were looking for. Since it's Canada and a government bot, it had to be in both English AND French.

These bots take some time to train (we use Wit.ai mostly) in english so it was a challenge to train it in French. However I am bilingual (not very strong in French but can manage) so I did my best and the bot didn't turn out too bad. (English was great, French was, Id say, "not terrible").

HOWEVER, now that it is done (The company loved it, even with the less than perfect french version). The sales team (who know nothing of the process of making/training these bots) is now telling companies we support "SEVERAL LANGUAGES" and are currently about to sign a contract with a company overseas that wants a bot done IN JAPANESE!!.

To make matters worse.. when we (the dev team) brought up that it would be EXTREMELY difficult to do this, their answer was ... "You did it in French so you can just do the same but in Japanese"


Oh well, Rosetta Stone here I come, I guess it's time to learn Japanese.

  • 8
    "it would be EXTREMELY difficult to do this"

    That's the mistake, you need to say it is impossible for you.
  • 5
    🇨🇦 congrats on the bot. I assume Canadian politeness is included in your ai.
  • 5
    Tell your company to hire a japanese ai dev, with a strong language comprehension, and to work with him to develop the other language.

    And also, I hope you have a way to continue to train the bot in French, or you’re going to be bashed for language inequality and all that. It’s really making headlines in Qc right now.

    Anyway, can you share it? (I guess it’s public because it’s for students)
  • 2
    Use a decent translation api, convert to English, use your existing bot to answer; and then convert back to Japanese.
  • 1
    @jonii no, he has to ask for investment of a huge amount... they will immediately decline “multi language” requirements,....
  • 0
    @Zombiesen yeah that'd probably work better, if you can think of some reasonable ones
  • 0
    Sounds like my office.
  • 0
    You are not bilingual if you are not strong in the other language.
  • 3
    @electrineer Correction, you are technically not bilingual if one of your parents don't natively speak the other language :)
    I'm almost more comfortable speaking English than speaking French (and I'm from France) and yet the best I'll be able to be called is "proficient" or "fluent" (excluding Business and specifications). I hate this, but bilingual is something I'll never be called, apart with the colloquial usage of the word :(
  • 1
    @TheOct0 I think there are more than one definitions for the word, but on dictionary.com it's:


    [bahy-ling-gwuh l or, Canadian, -ling-gyoo-uh l]


    able to speak two languages with the facility of a native speaker.
  • 3
    @electrineer I must be referring to the academical one (about the skill level) then :/
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