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Re: Request for clarification on I18N speech synthesis question

From: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 03:06:02 +0900
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-Id: <20000510030602T.mimasa@w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>
Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> wrote:

> I think that the user agent should allow for configuration of the following 
> options.  But option one in each case should be used if the user agent does 
> not support configuration.
> When the author specified language is supported:
> 1. Announce that a language change is taking place and speak the 
> word/phrase in the supported language

Hmm ... if language change doesn't occur frequently, that would make
sense, but when it occurs frequently, I think announcing language
changes would be rather annoying than helpful.

Suppose that a user's primary language is Japanese, and a speech user
agent supports Japanese and English.  These days many English words
appear in Japanese documents, especially in technical documents.
For example, when I'm reading a guidebook for HTML, I don't want to
hear "English Phrase" "HTML" "end English Phrase" each time a word
"HTML" appears if a UA doesn't support configuration - in that case
I have no way to stop it!  Anyway, I strongly recommend that UAs
should allow configuration so that users can choose not to announce
language changes.

> When the author specified language is non supported:
> 1. Announce that a language change has taken place and that it is not supported
> 2. Allow the user to get the numerical character information of the 
> unsupported language

BTW, I'm wondering what a UA should do when most part of a document
is written in unsupported language(s).  I tried IBM's Home Page
Reader 2.5 (English version), and it does change speech engine
when a document's language is specified via the `lang' attribute
of the `html' element.  It speaks languages like French and German
pretty well, in addition to English.

However, when it encountered a Japanese document, which is not
supported by the English version of HPR, the result was quite
terrible.  It got all Japanese characters as garbage (i.e.
misinterpreted them as Latin-1 characters), and just read those
garbage literally.  Just too bad.
(Note: the Japanese version of HPR speaks Japanese pretty well, though.)

In this case, is it appropriate that just announcing the document's
language is not supported and don't read the document?

Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa@w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Tuesday, 9 May 2000 14:06:11 UTC

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