Alexa, turn on the lamp.

Alexa, turn on the lamp.


I never worry about Alexa listening to my private conversations, because half the time she doesn't listen to me anyway.

Sometimes, getting Amazon's digital assistant to respond can be a challenge. And depending on where you live, it can be more aggravating because the device has trouble understanding some accents more than others.

One of those difficult-to-interpret dialects is the Yooper accent.

Yooper English (sometimes referred to as Yoopanese) is heavily influenced by Finnish and French Canadians who settled in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Some letter sounds are softened so "there" often becomes "dere." Another Yooperism is to drag out Long O sounds. "Sorry" is enunciated at "Sow-Ree" and "About" can become "A-boat."

Yooper English is ranked as the 20th most-difficult accent for Alexa to understand. Those who live in the state of Maine may have the most difficulty communicating with digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google.

Ironically, I stumbled upon the list on a website from a TV station in the Upper Peninsula. WLUC in Marquette lists the top-20 accents that Alexa struggles with:

  • 1. Mainer
  • 2. Alaskan
  • 3. Northwestern
  • 4. New Mexican
  • 5. Chicago
  • 6. Ozark
  • 7. Hoi Toider
  • 8. Kentucky
  • 9. Mississippi
  • 10. Colorado
  • 11. Tallahassee
  • 12. Midwestern
  • 13. Virginian Piedmont
  • 14. Kansas
  • 15. Western
  • 16. Southern Ohioan
  • 17. Appalachian
  • 18. Charleston
  • 19. Minnesotan
  • 20. Yooper

The website compiled the list by surveying 3,000 smart home gadget users across the country.

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