Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Will the text to speech work with foreign language words?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 21, 2009 1:19:18 AM PST
R. Nagell says:
I am concerned that the new kindle will have limited usefullness when it comes to foreign words. The old kindle had problems with transcribing foreign words. For example, I purchased an item with Hungarian words and got symbols where letters should have been. When I wrote to Amazon, I have received no response yet (30 days and counting).

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 5:11:37 AM PST
Jessica says:
The kindle doesn't support non latin fonts. Now i would assume the text to speech voice has been programed using english pronunciation rules rather than global pronunciation rules since there are just too many differeing ways to sound certain letter groupings if yu add in global languages. You might find some words will be spoken somewhat properly, but for the most part i would assume that unless it's english it won't do very well.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 6:34:42 AM PST
Brent says:
Kindle is a U.S. device marketed at U.S. readers. As nice as it would be to have a program that can read to you in any language, that's highly unlikely on a consumer device aimed at the U.S. market.

Remember, text-to-speech is an experimental feature. It's essentially a beta release; not full-featured yet.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 11:00:38 AM PST
Did you contact Amazon Support or Kindle Support - 2 completely different support organizations. Kindle Support knows about stuff like that. Use the "Call me now" option. I recently spoke to them about font/encoding support, and they even transferred me to a 2nd level support person.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 7:16:19 PM PST
L. Furrow says:
I spoke to CS the other day with this same question. I enjoy reading Spanish and need the practice of listening as well. The Kindle seemed like it would be the answer to my dreams with the text to speech and its ability for the listener to slow the speech down. CS told me the Kindle is set up for English only - it can show the French or Spanish text but would read the foreign words as if they were English. What a disappointment.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 7:16:28 PM PST
L. Furrow says:
I spoke to CS the other day with this same question. I enjoy reading Spanish and need the practice of listening as well. The Kindle seemed like it would be the answer to my dreams with the text to speech and its ability for the listener to slow the speech down. CS told me the Kindle is set up for English only - it can show the French or Spanish text but would read the foreign words as if they were English. What a disappointment.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 7:16:50 PM PST
L. Furrow says:
I spoke to CS the other day with this same question. I enjoy reading Spanish and need the practice of listening as well. The Kindle seemed like it would be the answer to my dreams with the text to speech and its ability for the listener to slow the speech down. CS told me the Kindle is set up for English only - it can show the French or Spanish text but would read the foreign words as if they were English. What a disappointment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 12:34:32 PM PST
Yep.... That would be really great. I don't think that the software upgrade that is required to read in spanish or other languages is a difficult thing to implement. I am sure that they will come out with this improvement in a couple of months. Specially now that the Kindle is being shipped all over the world.

Posted on Jan 29, 2010 2:19:28 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
The voice of the Kindle is a mature product from Nuance, the company that makes Dragon NaturallySpeaking, called RealSpeak.

They do offer a number of different accents. However, one of the things people may not realize is that there are actual humans behind those voices. You can't just change the recordings that they made (and then synthesized) of Tom Glynn's voice into appropriate tones for Japanese or Spanish, for example.

Hypothetically, they could offer multiple voices on the Kindle (they currently offer two), but those would also presumably take up a lot more memory. On a K2, about thirty percent of the memory is not available to the user (.6 gig out of 2). That's close to what it was on a K1 (76 mb out of 256). That suggests that the voices don't take up that much room. :)

The other alternative would be to allow people to purchase the Kindle with a certain voice installed. That would probably up the production costs, of course.

It is fun to go to Nuance and listen to the thirty or so different voices...or at least, it was fun for me. :)

Bufo Calvin
Amazon Author Central page:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002E0NBIW

Posted on Jan 29, 2010 2:28:58 PM PST
Seems like the answer would be audio books in the other languages.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 2:41:35 PM PST
While you're waiting for Kindle upgrades that have foreign language audio, try the Audiobooks application for Itouch, or even Itunes on your computer. They have several older works in foreign languages read by native speakers. These days, I'm being lulled to sleep by Perrault's Contes read by a beatiful French voice--great bedtime stories as when we were young!

Posted on Jan 29, 2010 2:51:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2010 2:53:05 PM PST
The rules of pronunciation for different languages are wildly different, and would require a whole new set of software from Nuance. It isn't just an 'accent'. They would have to offer so many different varieties of the software (which is currently embedded) that it would not be a reasonbly profitable option.

You can always look for software that reads in different languages, to install on your pc. I bet it is pretty expensive, though, if it does a good job. Spanish would be easiest, with Italian a close second. English is actually fairly difficult, because we have words from so many sources.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2010 11:48:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2010 11:50:58 AM PST
Even if they had a feature that can pronounce Spanish words correctly (easier to implement, because Spanish pronunciation is regular), I think that actual recorded voices (as on an audiobook) would make for better listening practice than the text-to-speech robot.

If you need to slow the speech down without lowering the pitch, you can use any of numerous software programs, such as Sound Studio for the Mac. I don't know what's available for Windows. Even slowed down, it will sound more like natural speech than the robot.

My preference is to get an audiobook and play it at normal speed over and over again, in the background while I'm driving or doing other things. At first, it seems astonishingly fast, but after repeated listenings it becomes crystal clear.

Other sources of Spanish audio are the magazines Think Spanish and Puerta del Sol, or podcasts such as spanishpod.com. These have the text printed as well as vocabulary help.

Edit: The magazines Think Spanish and Puerta del Sol (do a search) have the text printed. Spanishpod.com is on the web, and you can print them out, or transfer the text to your Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2014 10:57:15 AM PDT
W L Stringer says:
Now they have integrated "print" books sync'ed with the audio books for English. They have Spanish audio books, and Kindle Spanish books, but I cannot find them integrated. Will that be coming? That is my big wish. Integrated reading would be huge for learning Spanish.

Posted on May 3, 2014 12:19:44 PM PDT
The integrated audio book and text book is not text-to-speech, which is what this (very old) thread was about. Why did you resurrect this very old thread to say what you said? No one know what Amazon has coming, they never leak anything before the actual product announcement.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2014 4:18:22 PM PDT
W L Stringer says:
I understand that it is not text to speech. I just did a search on the topic for Spanish and this was the closest I found. I found the integrated for English, but not Spanish. I was just asking if I was over-looking something. Apparently not. Thanks for your reply.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2014 5:56:46 PM PDT
I agree. Simultaneous reading and listening to a target language is a wonderful way to acquaint yourself with the sounds of the language, and I imagine that having it follow along with the Kindle Fire immersive reading would be even better.

Anyway, stuff gets made available for English sooner than for other languages. Somebody will do it for Spanish sometime, probably in the next few years.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2014 7:56:37 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
W.L., you might do best letting Amazon know you would like that...you can do that at

kindle-feedback@amazon.com
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Kindle forum

Discussion Replies Latest Post
Announcement
NEWS: Kindle for iOS Software Update 4.5
74 3 hours ago
Announcement
Update re: Amazon/Hachette Business Interruption
0 Jul 29, 2014
Announcement
Hachette/Amazon Business Interruption
0 May 27, 2014
Announcement
Have a Kindle Question?
0 Sep 12, 2012
RAoK #78 and still going! 8994 26 seconds ago
Al's Place 35mm 3398 1 minute ago
How to turn the Kindle Paperwhite off 224 3 minutes ago
KINDLE KITCHEN #4: Home of Family, Friends and Good Food! 3922 8 minutes ago
When you get your Fire HD6, tell us about it 0 8 minutes ago
Kindle paperwhite cannot connect to my home wifi!! 444 11 minutes ago
Kindle Voyage delivery 80 13 minutes ago
FREE Books & Chat - Wed/Thurs Oct 1 & 2, 2014 78 13 minutes ago
 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Feb 21, 2009
Latest post:  May 4, 2014

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 5 customers

Search Customer Discussions