We’re sure you’ve at least heard of Amazon Alexa, even if you’ve never owned a product powered by her. Amazon’s voice assistant is an impressive network tool, reliable smart home controller, and a Pandora’s box of entertainment skills that has changed the way we interact with the web, our homes, as well as our friends and families (especially those with Amazon devices of their own).
Want to remotely dim your smart lights? Alexa can do it. Want to blast your favorite music? You got it. Order something on Amazon? Alexa will tell you when the package is delivered to your front door by way of flashing lights on the device, along with a notification from your Alexa app. 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 virtual assistant. But let’s be frank: Alexa’s default speaking voice sounds pretty monotone. Fortunately, you can change Alexa’s settings and have her speak in another language or regional accent. There’s even a skill for adding celebrity voices to the mix, although these add-ons are more for entertainment and less for day-to-day Alexa commands.
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 others.
If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, or you’re learning a second language and want to practice, 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 Alexa’s capabilities. Things like music streaming and other skills may not be compatible with every choice.
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 language preferences.
How to enable skills for celebrity voices
Did you know you can converse with celebrities using Alexa? Thanks to Alexa Skills, you can have folks like Gordon Ramsay, the famously foul-mouthed TV chef, speaking to you from your Alexa device.
Do note that Ramsay’s voice won’t be replacing your Alexa’s default voice. Instead, there will be predetermined phrases spoken by the chef, featuring his penchant for harshly criticizing perfectly edible food. You can use these steps to enable skills for other celebrities, too, including Samuel L. Jackson, Deadpool, and Pikachu.
For today, let’s stick with the angry chef. Here’s how to get Ramsay to criticize your cooking skills.
1. Open the Alexa app
Once again, open up the Alexa app, and tap Menu.
2. Add the skill in the Alexa app
Select the Skills button. From there, type in Gordon Ramsay to search for his voice. Select the first skill that pops up. The top result 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.
3. Add the skill with voice commands
You can also add specific skills to your Alexa by merely asking her to enable them. Before you issue the order, make sure you know the exact name of the skill. Alexa works best when you’re as specific as possible with add-skill commands.
In the case of Gordon Ramsay, you can say, “Alexa, enable Gordon Ramsay skill.” Your device should respond with “Here’s the skill, Gordon Ramsay, from Ground Control.” Alexa’s response indicates that the skill is now part of your Alexa app. After this step, your self-deprecating yet oddly satisfying conversation with Chef Ramsay can begin.
Though Alexa’s utility extends far beyond her voice range, it helps to know how to make adjustments to the language and tone. Maybe you want a bit of entertainment with celebrity voices or need to swap dialects to help Alexa understand you better. Either way, there’s an easy way to achieve your voice-control goals either through the app or via a conversation with your go-to voice assistant.
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