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Mamma Mia! “Accent-gate” Hits Apple iPhone in Italy

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It looks like the problems with the new Apple Maps aren’t the only ones plaguing the iPhone 5. It turns out that the autocorrect feature is adding “random” accents to anything you type in Italian. There have been multiple reports of this issue in Italy, so it’s not just affecting a small handful of users.

I can’t speak or read Italian, but I do understand that accents can have a dramatic effect on words, completely changing their meaning. Present tense becomes past tense and the word for “and” can become the word of “he is,” for example. This comes about when you use the autocorrect feature with iOS6 and, well, everyone uses autocorrect on their smartphones these days.

While the autocorrect seems to “learn” its mistakes when the user manually selects the correct replacement, this process can take up to seven iterations for that single mistake. Considering how many words in Italian have (and don’t have) accents, you can see how this problem would affect nearly every possible piece of text you could type up on the iPhone.

So, what is the only current solution to “Accent-gate” on Italian-language iPhones? Turn off autocorrect…. or, if it makes any sense for you, switch to another language until Tim Cook and the team at Apple fix this issue.

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  • Nicola

    I’m from Italy and I can confirm that this problem is quite frustrating since it forces to rewrite the same word that is wrongly corrected adding accents. This can completely change the meaning of a sentence and it seems that seven corrections per word aren’t enough for the system to learn.