Talk to us: GOOG-411 now available in Canada

Friday, June 20, 2008 | 7:00 AM



Our mission, to organize the world's information and make it accessible, certainly doesn't stop at the US borders. With that in mind, we've recently expanded our GOOG-411 service to Canada. If you're in Canada, you can now find business listings by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-4664-411) from any phone -- for free.

You can use GOOG-411 to find and connect with businesses you've never called before, such as when you're in an unfamiliar city or when an immediate need arises -- like a plumbing emergency. You can also use GOOG-411 as a "fast dialer" for calls to your dentist, car mechanic, bank, or any other business that you call more than once but isn't in your phone's contact list. For example, instead of memorizing or making a note of the number of your favorite Chinese restaurant, you can call GOOG-411 and connect directly to place your weekly take-out order.

At Google, we work hard to tailor products to specific markets and regions. We believe that accounting for the unique characteristics of each country can make the difference between an OK service and a great one. Although English is spoken in both the US and Canada, there are enough differences between the way it's spoken in the two countries that we engineered GOOG-411 especially for Canadian English. We incorporated some Canadianisms such as "eh," "Traw-na," "Cal-gry," and, of course, "aboot." We also took into account geographical differences. Whereas users in the US are prompted for "city and state," Canadians are asked for your "city and province."

The service is still experimental but offers all the same features available in the US, such as free call, free connection, SMS info, iPhone "Map-It" integration, and more. For now, the service supports only English queries, but we're working hard to make it disponible en Français dans un proche avenir.

Please give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

10 comments:

Ted Avery said...

Wasn't this already implemented awhile ago in Canada? I've been using it no problem :)

Alison said...

is this free?

Cam said...

I really digg it! You should totally get residential listings in there too, that would be amazing.

Amanda said...

What about French? Or English spoken with a French accent?

joeclark said...

This posting’s half-assed mockery of Canadian English is at least consistent with the parochialism and outdated skillset of Google, which can’t even wrangle HTML properly, let alone accurately and fairly assess the differences between spoken dialects.

Meaning of friends said...

when will GOOG-411 service be available in other countries particular about India

David said...

The 'about'/'aboot' thing really needs to stop.

"However there is no region in Canada that pronounces it like [əbut] 'a boot'"

-Wikipedia - Canadian Raising

Andrew C said...

Quite fast, and the voice recognition is pretty good. One glitch is that it misreads streets like "No. 3 Road" - it should say "Number-three-road," not "No...Three-road."

Christopher said...

I have a question re: data storage and GOOG-411. Is Google keeping a correlation between the phone number of a person calling GOOG-411 and the business/business type that they are inquiring about? Has the GOOG-411 service been determined to be in compliance with PIPEDA and FIPPA?

srelano said...

I've never had the map it feature work. It also never works when I mention a place with the name "root" - it confuses the word with "route". Maybe this is the whole Canadian thing with about/aboot. Other than those issues, the service works great!