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German Support and failures

I am trying to test my skill and German and it's a mess. I have a set of features that is fully supported in English but in German the Documentation says it's not. For instance:

Changing the Volume

https://developer.amazon.com/docs/device-apis/alexa-stepspeaker.html

Or Saying Play or Pause

https://developer.amazon.com/docs/device-apis/alexa-playbackcontroller.html

Both say that the Smart Home Directive is not Supported in German.... Yet Harmony and Other Smart Home Skill say that the functionality works for German Smart Home Skill.

So, so maybe the document is out of date, but wait it has support for Italian and Spanish, which is not yet released so the documentation looks up to date. That's not the problem though, the problem is trying to invoke the phrases to use the features.

Here are the steps that work 1/4 times

  1. Create JSON Discovery with Directives for a Devices to Volume up/down (Step Directive) and Pause/Play (Playback Driective) in German
  2. Switch Alexa Dot to German and run discovery
  3. Turn on Device in German (works 2/4 times)
  4. Pause (works -only if I say Turn on Device first otherwise fails each time)
  5. Play (Says there is an errors with CBS on TV or Says Devices doesn't support it or says you need a Video Skill or It works 1/4 times)
  6. Volume Up / Down (same errors as 5)

So after a couple of hours of testing using Google Speak to speak German, I conclude that German does not Support These Directives. Okay, plan B, Only support Turn on / off Directive as this is supported in German. Still the success rate of 1/4.

I create a new JSON Discovery with Directives for Scenes and try the following Utterances

  • Alexa, schalte Fernsehen ein auf Wohnzimmer (4 success/ 4 tries)
  • Alexa, schalte Fernsehen aus auf Wohnzimmer (1/4)
  • Alexa, schalte Pause auf Fernsehen ein (2/4)
  • Alexa, schalte abspielen auf Fernsehen ein (0/4)
  • Alexa, schalte Vorheriger Kanal auf Fernsehen ein (4/4)
  • Alexa, schalte Nächster Kanal auf Fernsehen ein (4/4)
  • Alexa, schalte Lautstärke erhöhen auf Fernsehen ein (1/4)
  • Alexa, schalte Verringern Sie die Lautstärke auf Fernsehen ein (1/4)
  • Alexa, schalte Zum Fernseher wechseln auf Fernsehen ein (1/4)

So, at this point I don't think I should continue developing for German if Alexa fails 3/4 times. The two questions are:

1. Can someone at Amazon Alexa Team please confirm if German Directives (PlaybackControls, StepController, InputController, ChannelController) will work for Smart Home ?

2. Why is German Failing to turn on a scene name? The English version works fine. Is there something wrong with the translation or something wrong with my Profile since I don't know German and use Google Speak to say the utterances?

Thanks,

-- Jorge

alexa smart home
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1 Answer

Amazon_Bernardo Bezerra avatar image
Amazon_Bernardo Bezerra answered

Hi Jorge and thanks for your message.

I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you.

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. Yes, German Directives work for Smart Home. Just want to make a comment on this. TV are considered to be entertainment devices which implement these interfaces.

2. It is a relatively new API for German so there might be some issues, but it should work.

Regards,
Barry

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