TTS and Vocabulary/Sentence Review/Learning

Alexis

状元
Just an idea for when TTS is ready for Pleco.

It would be have a tool for learning/review that didn't require interaction. You could just hit play and it would go through your vocab list, say the Headword, pause for a period of time, then read the definition. Also cool if it could read an example sentence in one language, leave a pause, then read the sentence in the other language. This could loop X number of times per word/sentence depending on user setup before moving on to the next one.

This feature would be similar to Chinesepod's audio review MP3s.

I thought of this because I was thinking of a way to study HSK vocab/listening while doing other things (like driving, etc).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Alexis said:
It would be have a tool for learning/review that didn't require interaction. You could just hit play and it would go through your vocab list, say the Headword, pause for a period of time, then read the definition. Also cool if it could read an example sentence in one language, leave a pause, then read the sentence in the other language. This could loop X number of times per word/sentence depending on user setup before moving on to the next one.

This feature would be similar to Chinesepod's audio review MP3s.

I thought of this because I was thinking of a way to study HSK vocab/listening while doing other things (like driving, etc).
Already in our plans, in fact auto-advancing flashcards are one of our most popular feature requests. They're the main reason we licensed an English TTS engine to go along with our Chinese one. We're even wondering whether we could offer very simple voice recognition (not some fancy networked thing, but a quick-and-dirty system that understands a few dozen commands) for people to indicate whether they remembered a card correctly or incorrectly for SRS purposes, though that's probably not something we'd do in the first release of this.
 

Alexis

状元
mikelove said:
Already in our plans, in fact auto-advancing flashcards are one of our most popular feature requests.
Do you know when this might be available? I am thinking of purchasing a separate flashcard app and TTS library for android, but may wait if it's coming to Pleco in the not-too-distant future.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Alexis said:
Do you know when this might be available? I am thinking of purchasing a separate flashcard app and TTS library for android, but may wait if it's coming to Pleco in the not-too-distant future.
TTS should show up in some form by the end of the quarter, including at a bare minimum the ability to use it to play audio for sentences / sentence-length flashcards, but timed flashcard auto-advance might take a bit longer. (and will probably debut on iOS first)
 

Alexis

状元
Just had some general thoughts regarding TTS I thought I'd share (you probably already thought of these, but just in case).

I've been experimenting a bit with "Flashcard Buddy Pro" and "SVOX Mandarin Yun" TTS voice. Flashcard buddy pro has an "AutoTTS" mode that runs through a list of flashcards as I had previously described. Unfortunately, I quickly found out that the Yun voice was quite good for Mandarin, but is horrible for English (couldn't always tell what the english word was supposed to be). If Flashcard buddy supported a different voice per side of the card, then it would be quite usable.

Which made me think that, for Pleco, it would be really cool if the TTS system could figure out what language is being spoken (either by looking at the script, or tagged data, or looking at the type of dictionary being used, or whatever), and use the appropriate language voice. I believe on Android anyways, you can switch between multiple languages on the built-in TTS system, assuming that the TTS plug-in you are using supports those languages (like SVOX). Or perhaps just having one TTS voice that had a native english speaker for the roman letters, and a mandarin speaker for the chinese characters (though I guess this wouldn't work well with Chinese to Non-English dictionaries). For reading documents, maybe the user could have a setting for pronouncing non-chinese characters (but may not work too well though with japanese/korean and chinese texts). Pinyin might throw a wrench in the works....
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Alexis said:
Which made me think that, for Pleco, it would be really cool if the TTS system could figure out what language is being spoken (either by looking at the script, or tagged data, or looking at the type of dictionary being used, or whatever), and use the appropriate language voice. I believe on Android anyways, you can switch between multiple languages on the built-in TTS system, assuming that the TTS plug-in you are using supports those languages (like SVOX). Or perhaps just having one TTS voice that had a native english speaker for the roman letters, and a mandarin speaker for the chinese characters (though I guess this wouldn't work well with Chinese to Non-English dictionaries). For reading documents, maybe the user could have a setting for pronouncing non-chinese characters (but may not work too well though with japanese/korean and chinese texts). Pinyin might throw a wrench in the works....
We'll certainly do that with flashcards, but I don't know if enough people are working with mixed English/Chinese documents to bother auto-detecting languages in that; in fact we hadn't been planning to support English TTS in the document reader at all, we were really only planning to use it in flashcards. Are you working with a lot of texts that include both English and Chinese? What sorts of texts are they?

(our longstanding policy of totally ignoring native Chinese speakers is actually making it a good bit easier to license dictionaries - Chinese publishers can work with us without having to worry about hurting their domestic business - and frankly, given how easy Apple has made it for several of our potential Chinese competitors to fake their way to super-high download numbers / hit us with waves of 1-star reviews, I'd rather not to try to compete with them for visibility in that market anyway)
 

Alexis

状元
mikelove said:
We'll certainly do that with flashcards, but I don't know if enough people are working with mixed English/Chinese documents to bother auto-detecting languages in that; in fact we hadn't been planning to support English TTS in the document reader at all, we were really only planning to use it in flashcards. Are you working with a lot of texts that include both English and Chinese? What sorts of texts are they?
I was mainly thinking of flashcards that had example english and/or pinyin and/or chinese sentence(s) in the definition. I probably wouldn't see much use for mixture in the text reader (unless one sends a definition to reader which contained sample sentences).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Alexis said:
I was mainly thinking of flashcards that had example english and/or pinyin and/or chinese sentence(s) in the definition. I probably wouldn't see much use for mixture in the text reader (unless one sends a definition to reader which contained sample sentences).
I see, thanks!
 
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