[Athen] Interesting Jaws bug when reading foreign languages

travis at travisroth.com travis at travisroth.com
Sun Apr 26 05:31:28 PDT 2020

Hi Debee,

The current behavior makes sense to me.

"language detect change" Is meant to override the default setting when it
encounters markup saying the language has changed.

Wins+Ctrl+l is just changing the default setting.

It sounds like you also want it to turn off "language detect change"? But
this would make a real bug.


From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Deborah Armstrong
Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2020 9:59 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Interesting Jaws bug when reading foreign languages

. though FS tech support says it's the way it is supposed to work.

This is only relevant for JAWS users who are studying or just reading
foreign languages.

If you turn "language detect change" on in JAWS settings center or quick
settings, then JAWS will read in a diferent language if the document (word
or html) is properly marked up. That all works as expected.

If you turn "language detect change" off, then it ignores this markup. You
would turn it off when markup is incorrect and JAWS starts reading in the
wrong language.

But, here's the buggy part. If you press Windows-Control-L, JAWS pops up a
menu to let you choose which language it should be pronouncing. If you pick
a foreign language it is supposed to begin reading in that language. You
would use this feature if you need to read a document that isn't marked up
properly, or you need to read within an application where such markup isn't
possible. A good example is an online interactive lab in another language.
Another example are bookshare books which don't have markup for foreign

However, this pronouncing in a foreign language works only if "language
detect change" is off. If it's turned on, then JAWS will continue to read in
English, even if you've selected a foreign language. But its message and
keyboard voice will be read in the foreign language. The voice JAWS calls
the "PC cursor" will continue pronouncing the foreign language as English.
(The JAWS cursor voice will read in the foreign language correctly.)

I've sent a report to FS but I think they are just going to tell me again
that this is how it is supposed to work. However it makes no sense to me
that the message and keyboard voices would use the foreign pronunciation
while the screen voice continues pronouncing in English.

At least it's easy to solve the problem; simply turn "language detect
change" off to actually get the reading voice to read in the proper language
when you select it with the Control-Windows-L menu.

I have tested this with Eloquence the default voice but also with the
Vocalizer Expressive high quality free voices you can add to your JAWS
installation. They are particularly useful for foreign language study.

As far as I know, NVDA and VoiceOver users don't have this ability to change
the reading language on the fly for documents without proper markup. If I'm
wrong, I'd like to know!


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