[Athen] foreign language OCR and TTS

Jeffrey Dell jeffreydell99 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 21 07:10:33 PST 2010

I wrote an article that I submitted to JVIB about the accommodations
we provided to a student taking Japanese. I need to do some editing
and either resubmit with them or shop it around. I was also planning
on putting together some webpages for more technical details of
providing such accommodations. That is what my CSUN presentation will
mostly be. If you are posting that info please include a link to
That page contains some Japanese Tenji tables that I created. The
info was obtained from a website that is no longer available. There
is no other english web source that is as complete for Tenji. It is
not great for screen readers because it does not give the dot numbers
it uses the duxbury braille font to produce the tenji cells to print
onto swell paper. Because I have not completed the project yet I have
not linked it to any pages on our website so it cannot be found in web
searches yet.

On 12/20/10, Wink Harner <winkharner at mesacc.edu> wrote:

> Jeffrey,


> This is a valuable resource. I'm working on a wiki for technology resources

> and I would like your permission to include your suggestions below.


> Thanks in advance.


> Wink



> ----- Original Message -----

> From: "Jeffrey Dell" <jeffreydell99 at gmail.com>

> To: "Access Technology Higher Education Network" <athen at athenpro.org>

> Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 2:19:07 PM

> Subject: Re: [Athen] foreign language OCR and TTS


> Hi Maureen

> The answer to your questions depend on what foreign languages you are

> scanning and reading. For European languages the regular Fine Reader

> or ScanSoft OCR engines that come with Kurzweil or Openbook work

> great. Because the programs that read the text need the program

> displaying the text to identify the language we usually use .doc for

> foreign language texts. it is easy to set and change between

> languages in MS Word. If you are using a foreign language keyboard

> Word will make the change automatically.

> For Asian languages we hire a student worker that knows the language

> to edit the textbook. for these texts we tried scanning with IRIS

> Asian Language edition but the scanned files required so much editing

> that it was just easier to have the student worker retype the text.

> It is not easy to purchase the voices for many foreign languages

> without burchasing it as part of some package with a TTS reading

> program. NextUP has a lot of voices availble with their TextAloud

> program. Read and Write Gold comes with voices for most European

> languages. Freedom Scientific programs have access to a wide variety

> of voices with their RealSpeak Direct features. If you want to

> purchase quality voices separately NeoSpeech, Acapela, and Cereproc

> offer many foreign languages. Most companies that make TTS engines

> will only sell development kits to other product developers.

> Most US programs will not work with Asian languages very well. JAWS

> will read them but will not identify specific details like Hiragana or

> Katakana in Japanese. Read and Write Golds features like

> Pronunciation tutor and alot of the reading features do not work well

> with Asian languages. Some of this info I will be covering with my

> CSUN presentation this year on Making Asian Language Materials

> Accessible to Students with Print Disabilities.

> This is what I can think of off of the top of my head with a head ache

> and a desire to start my christmas vacation. If there are more

> specific details you need give me a call at 216-875-9938 or e-mail

> jeffreydell99 at gmail.com.

> Jeff

> cleveland State


> On 12/20/10, Maureen Bourbeau <mbourbea at smith.edu> wrote:

>> Happy Holidays.........


>> I am looking for suggestions and best practices for OCR solutions for

>> foreign language reading materials.

>> What is preferred OCR software? (for both quality and ease of use)

>> what is best format for output file? (.doc, .rtf, .pdf)

>> and what text-to-speech tools and voices are being used by the end user?


>> In addition to accessibility, our Language Resource Center is beginning to


>> explore using foreign language TTS as a support tool to language learning.


>> The goal would be to have properly formatted source materials that could

>> be

>> used with text reading software.


>> Thanks for any and all suggestions!


>> Maureen Bourbeau

>> Assistive Technology Specialist

>> Smith College and Mt Holyoke College





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> --

> Wink Harner


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