Re: mathml to plain text | audio?

I don't want to appear contradictory, but I strongly disagree with the
statement that MathML is not suitable for speech.  A proof of this is
already available in MathPlayer.  MathPlayer is a free download for
displaying MathML in IE.  In version 2.0, which was released a few months
ago, Design Science included a demonstration of MathML-to-speech technology.
Design Science worked with major screen reader vendors so that recent
releases of JAWS, Window-Eyes, and HAL all work seamlessly with MathPlayer
to read MathML -- both presentation and content MathML.  For those not using
a screen reader, there is a "Speak Expression" right button menu item that
can be used to speak the MathML.

We are working with other vendors to incorporate synchronized
speech/highlighting into high-end magnifiers that use speech and learning
disability tools.

This work was funded in part by a grant from the NSF, and we fully
understand that the speech output can and should be improved from the what
is part of MathPlayer 2.0.  We also understand that navigation of large
expressions and generation of various braille math codes such as Nemeth code
are important and we are working on these aspects of the project.

For more information, see

I recommend downloading MathPlayer from
before reading the later URL as it contains MathML.

If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement after trying out
MathPlayer, please feel free to contact me.

 Neil Soiffer
Senior Scientist                 phone: 562-433-0685
Design Science, Inc.   
"How Science Communicates"
MathType, WebEQ, MathPlayer, Equation Editor, TeXaide

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 4:52 AM
Subject: mathml to plain text | audio?

> is a group of organisations who produce smil based
> 'talking books'. Synchronised text and audio for blind and partially
> sighted people.
> We are starting to look at incorporating mathml into our schema,
> and that's fine for producing braille, just hard work.
> However, for 'spoken' math(s), it presents a problem  of automation.
> For more complex stuff, human readers tend to make mistakes, hence
> synthetic speech is often used.
> Put simply, mathml isn't 'readable' in its XML format (my view :-).
> Certainly if serialised it wouldn't sound very good via a TTS engine.
> I'm informed others have looked at mathml to 'plain text' transforms,
>  perhaps with paragraph level formatting.
> I'm wondering if any such transforms are available open source, or could
> be licenced to the daisy group for our readers?
> Any pointers appreciated.
> Regards DaveP.

Received on Tuesday, 1 June 2004 12:23:33 UTC