[Athen] Natural-sounding text-to-speech tech?

Shelley Haven ShelleyHaven at techpotential.net
Tue Apr 20 11:49:36 PDT 2021

Voice "human-ness" notwithstanding, it may help to use TTS options that include a pronunciation editor feature (sometimes called pronunciation dictionary) where the user can specify how particular words are pronounced. This is especially helpful if a tool’s TTS constantly mispronounces the same words used frequently for a given specialized topic. Off the top of my head, Kurzweil 3000, Read&Write for Mac & Windows, Natural Reader, and Voice Dream Reader include pronunciation editors – other tools may, too.

As for the complex math and science equations, you can try selecting the equations (even as images) and then either type in appropriate alt-text or override the OCR’d text with how that equation would be spoken aloud to be understandable (e.g., "x = the fraction, numerator, -b plus or minus the square root of…").

- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant

> On Apr 20, 2021, at 9:38 AM, Mary Popish <popish at pdx.edu> wrote:


> Hi everybody,


> I hope you are well! I'm writing to see if anyone has suggestions for text-to-speech tech that:

> Can reliably pronounce science and math content correctly, and

> Sounds as natural as possible.

> I'm working with a student who is taking upper division science courses and is struggling with mispronunciation from the computer-generated voices in Kurzweil, Voice Dream Reader, and Voice Over. The student is an iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS user.


> In a best-case scenario, the student would prefer a human voice recording, but most of their course materials are not available in audiobook format. I'm working on finding a creative tech-based alternative, and I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have!


> Take care,

> Mary


> Mary Popish

> Adaptive Technology Specialist & Alternate Formats Coordinator

> Disability Resource Center

> Portland State University


> Phone: (503) 725-9119

> Fax: (503) 725-4103

> Email: drc at pdx.edu <mailto:drc at pdx.edu>

> URL: http://www.pdx.edu/d <https://www.pdx.edu/disability-resource-center/>isability-resource-center

> Pronouns: she / her / hers


> ---


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