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Re: vocalization and BIDI in SSML (was: RE: Consolidated comments on SSML)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 13:14:42 +0200
Cc: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org, www-voice@w3.org
To: David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk
Message-Id: <BC05E380-9B34-11D7-A448-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

I agree with Dave. "Lack of broad support by vendors" doesn't seem like 
a strong enough rationale to ignore the problem.


On Tuesday, Jun 10, 2003, at 09:03 Europe/Zurich, 
David.Pawson@rnib.org.uk wrote:

> I'm certainly not happy with the response below.
>> From our 3 year experience with synthetic speech it is blatantly clear
> that "As long as  there is a way to write the text, the engine can 
> figure
> out
>  how to speak it." produces jibberish in many cases.
> This is the basis for the external 'speak as' file. The synth
> can usually speak a word reasonably if 'taught' by such a
> method.
> Fine if the end user can glance at a piece of text, but a lot
> more important if the audio is the only access the user has to 
> information.
> regards DaveP
> Al wrote:
>> I think we may want to consider how these responses fit with
>> accessibility.
>> from Dan Burnett on behalf of Voice Browser WG:
>> -- Please quote this citation in follow-ups:
>> http://www.w3.org/mid/ED834EE1FDD6C3468AB0F5569206E6E91AF1CF@M
>> PB1EXCH02.nuance.com
>> ]
>> Dear Martin (and the Internationalization Working Group),
>> [VBWG responses follow]
>> [1] Rejected.  We reject the notion that on principle this is
>> more difficult for some languages.  For all languages supported
>> by synthesis vendors today this is not a problem.  As long as
>> there is a way to write the text, the engine can figure out
>> how to speak it.  Given the lack of broad support by vendors
>> for Arabic and Hebrew, we prefer not to include examples for
>> those languages.
>>> General:
>>> [01]  For some languages, text-to-speech conversion is
>> more difficult
>>>        than for others. In particular, Arabic and Hebrew
>> are usually
>>>        written with none or only a few vowels indicated. Japanese
>>>        often needs separate indications for pronunciation.
>>>        It was no clear to us whether such cases were considered,
>>>        and if they had been considered, what the appropriate
>>>        solution was.
>>>        SSML should be clear about how it is expected to
>> handle these
>>>        cases, and give examples. Potential solutions we
>> came up with:
>>>        a) require/recommend that text in SSML is written in an
>>>        easily 'speakable' form (i.e. vowelized for Arabic/Hebrew,
>>>        or with Kana (phonetic alphabet(s)) for Japanese. (Problem:
>>>        displaying the text visually would not be
>> satisfactory in this
>>>        case); b) using <sub>; c) using <phoneme> (Problem: only
>>>        having IPA available would be too tedious on authors);
>>>        d) reusing some otherwise defined markup for this purpose
>>>        (e.g. <ruby> from http://www.w3.org/TR/ruby/ for Japanese);
>>>        e) creating some additional markup in SSML.
> -
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Received on Thursday, 12 June 2003 13:12:18 UTC

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