Siri is meant to be a search tool, but we can also use it to practice English conversation with an iPhone! Do we really even need humans for English conversation practice anymore? How much can we learn with Siri on an iPhone? Read on and watch the video to find out.
What is Siri? You Might Already Know if You Have an iPhone…
Siri, a virtual voice assistant, was released as an app for Apple iOS on iPhones in February 2010. Apple acquired the app two months later. Siri was then integrated into iPhone 4S at its release in October 2011.
What Does Siri and the iPhone Have to Do with Improving the English Conversation?
Many of you are looking for native English speakers to practice with, so today I’m going to offer a solution — how to practice your English conversation with Siri.
Did you know that Siri has a personality, and funny answers to some questions too? I’m going to show you what to ask Siri (and what not to ask Siri) to practice your English speaking skills.
The problem a lot of English learners have is that you either do not know any native English speakers, or if you do, they are too busy to practice with you. Or, maybe you have to admit you’re a bit shy to even try speaking with them.
That’s why practicing with Siri is such a good way to practice English conversation, especially for an intermediate English learner — she’s a robot and can not judge you personally, but she can judge your English speaking skills!
Furthermore, I have used this to practice other languages, and you can practice lots of different languages with Siri!
How to Use Siri on the iPhone to Practice English Conversation
First, you need to set your iPhone language in English. You can do this under “Settings” and “Siri & Search.”
Important: if you don’t pronounce something correctly, she won’t understand you and you’ll have to try again until she does. That way, you know that if she understands you, your pronunciation is good!
Now, let’s take a look at several conversational English questions — that will help you with your English conversation and listening skills — you should try asking Siri to practice your English.
Sample English Conversation Questions to Try Asking Siri on the iPhone
These are regular conversational questions that you might use in your next English conversation with a real human. Why not try them out and build your confidence first with Siri?
Example conversational questions:
What does your name, Siri, mean?
Are you a robot?
How old are you?
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite animal?
What’s your favorite movie?
Do you have any pets?
What NOT to Ask Siri
Sometimes, you might wonder what Siri will say to more personal questions. I don’t recommend that you ask everyone or anyone these questions. Several of them may be a bit personal or inappropriate depending on the situation. We learned the hard way (see the video) that Siri knows how to deal with personal questions and put us in our places. Perhaps we can learn something from Siri!
Examples of personal questions Siri will respond to (but you might not want to hear the answers!)
What are you doing later?
Do you have a boyfriend?
Want to get married?
What are you wearing?
Will you go on a date with me?
What’s your best pick up line?
Are you my friend?
Fun Questions to Ask
Finally, these questions are not conversational questions, but they are fun! Siri will give you many smart answers if you ask the right questions. We found most of her answers to be quite advanced! You may learn some new vocabulary words from her answers.
Make me laugh!
Read me a haiku!
What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Will pigs fly?*
“When pigs fly” is a common idiom meaning “never.” You might see it as a response to a question. For example, “Will you ever get married?” “Of course, when pigs fly!” (meaning: never).
Why did the chicken cross the road?*
This is a common start to jokes. It is a cultural thing! Learn more about jokes that begin with “Why did the chicken cross the road” here.
How many Apple store geniuses does it take to screw in a lightbulb?*
We had a lot of fun having an English conversation on the iPhone with Siri. It made us wonder, do we need humans anymore?!
Of course, we still need to use English with humans, but using a voice assistant like Siri on the iPhone isn’t a bad way to test your English pronunciation and listening skills! Try it out and see how it goes for yourself.
Let’s keep learning! For more ideas of conversational English questions to ask robots or humans, click here for the best questions to ask to keep an English conversation going.