DOING AWAY WITH ESPEAK


Christo Vorster
 

Hi list

 

I do not necessarily agree with the idea to do away with ESpeak. I believe that is a case of "horses for causes."

 

In South Africa, more specifically, at the Institute for the Blind in Worcester where I am a lecturer, we extensively use ESpeak to read Afrikaans. And may I say, the quality of ESpeak's Afrikaans is actually very good.

 

I won't mind if the developers do away with ESpeak, but before that happens I want definite proof that the replacement program has, at least, the same quality, preferably, better.

 

Cheers

 

Christo


Jacob Kruger
 

Christo,

Am also based in SA, and, yes, eSpeak is my choice when using NVDA, partly due to it handling multiple languages, but, also, since while it's not particularly natural sounding, it is definitely very clear-sounding, makes it easy to be pretty sure what you're hearing it say, etc. - which is also pretty important when working as a programmer/software developer.

In other words, while understand why some people might prefer somewhat natural sounding voices, they're definitely not of too much interest to some of us, all the time...<smile>

Stay well

Jacob Kruger
Blind Biker
Skype: BlindZA
"Roger Wilco wants to welcome you...to the space janitor's closet..."

On 2016-04-20 10:53 AM, Christo Vorster wrote:
Hi list

I do not necessarily agree with the idea to do away with ESpeak. I
believe that is a case of "horses for causes."

In South Africa, more specifically, at the Institute for the Blind in
Worcester where I am a lecturer, we extensively use ESpeak to read
Afrikaans. And may I say, the quality of ESpeak's Afrikaans is actually
very good.

I won't mind if the developers do away with ESpeak, but before that
happens I want definite proof that the replacement program has, at
least, the same quality, preferably, better.

Cheers

Christo


Christo de Klerk
 

Hello from another South African

eSpeak has some features not found in other synthesisers which, in my view, make it an essential synthesiser to have around. It is the only one I know which can pronounce the International Phonetic Alphabet and the Greek alphabet when using an English voice, which is extremely important for anyone interested in linguistics. It reads diacritic characters correctly which expensive synthesisers like Ivona cannot even do. Apart from these linguistic features, eSpeak must be just about the most responsive synthesiser. It also probably is the most accurate in its pronunciation of any synthesiser I know; in other words, it mispronounces fewer words than other synthesisers do. I think the author of eSpeak, Jonathan Duddington, did a truly wonderful job with eSpeak.

Another point: if you don't particularly care for the default voices used by eSpeak, you can install and use the MBrola voices which are also supported by eSpeak and which can pronounce everything eSpeak does. These voices have a very natural sound. I use the UK English voice. Installing MBrola is admittedly a mission, but once installed they definitely are worth the trouble.

Kind regards

Other Christo (by the way, it is not true that half the men in South Africa are called Christo).

On 2016/04/20 1:15 PM, Jacob Kruger wrote:
Christo,

Am also based in SA, and, yes, eSpeak is my choice when using NVDA, partly due to it handling multiple languages, but, also, since while it's not particularly natural sounding, it is definitely very clear-sounding, makes it easy to be pretty sure what you're hearing it say, etc. - which is also pretty important when working as a programmer/software developer.

In other words, while understand why some people might prefer somewhat natural sounding voices, they're definitely not of too much interest to some of us, all the time...<smile>

Stay well

Jacob Kruger
Blind Biker
Skype: BlindZA
"Roger Wilco wants to welcome you...to the space janitor's closet..."

On 2016-04-20 10:53 AM, Christo Vorster wrote:
Hi list

I do not necessarily agree with the idea to do away with ESpeak. I
believe that is a case of "horses for causes."

In South Africa, more specifically, at the Institute for the Blind in
Worcester where I am a lecturer, we extensively use ESpeak to read
Afrikaans. And may I say, the quality of ESpeak's Afrikaans is actually
very good.

I won't mind if the developers do away with ESpeak, but before that
happens I want definite proof that the replacement program has, at
least, the same quality, preferably, better.

Cheers

Christo


Rob
 

Christo de Klerk <christodeklerk@gmail.com> wrote:

I think the author of eSpeak, Jonathan Duddington, did a truly wonderful job with eSpeak.
Now if we could make it sound less metallic. It isn't clear sound at all--at least to me. It sounds, tonally, like an 80s flashback synth. Nobody is deying its responsiveness or accuracy. However, those qualities were put in place at the expense of clarity.