Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.4: Speak different languages Apps
I have used this technique almost daily on my job, as I live in an area where there are many nationalities who don't speak English. I have two copies of Tiger's Translation Widget open at once -- one set to translate English to the language native to the person, the other set to the opposite. I type in English, they type in their language, and life is pretty much good except for translation errors.

But what to do when you have a non-English speaking customer on the phone, and no one else speaks the language? Pretty much the same method. Open up the Translation Widget and convert what you wish to say to the language being used. Copy the resulting other language and open a new TextEdit document. Paste the translated words into that document and highlight the whole sentence. Then choose the Edit: Speech, and choose Start Speaking from the sub-menu. The built-in voices in Mac OS X will speak the language for you. You can then either repeat them to the customer, or put the phone mic to the speaker of the computer and let it speak to the customer.

This works for all non-character/glyph type languages in OS X Tiger. Greek, Russian, and Asian type languages do not work. German, Spanish, and other such languages do work. I use the Vicki voice for now, as it is the most clear over the phone and to my ears. I can't wait until Leopard to try this out with the new improved voice.
    •    
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (2 votes cast)
 
[11,710 views]  

10.4: Speak different languages | 19 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.4: Speak different languages' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: Mr. H on Sep 12, '06 07:37:23AM

I believe that the "new improved voice" in Leopard is English only.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: sezme on Sep 12, '06 09:04:21AM

According to Apple (from the Leopard Accessibility page:

"With support for foreign language add-on speech synthesizers, VoiceOver for Leopard speaks your language. VoiceOver even includes support for two-byte languages such as Japanese and Chinese."

I'm not sure if this means it would work out of the box, or if you need to buy an "add-on speech synthesizer"

Anyway, this tip is a bad joke as far as I can tell. The voices in Tiger speak Spanish as well as any english speaker who has never studied Spanish. I'd suggest to the original poster of this tip that he read the translated text aloud himself. It'll probably sound better than what Vicki can manage.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: HiramNL on Sep 13, '06 12:52:12AM

I heard that more languages will be included with 10.5. But 10.4.7 really doesn't speak anything but English. The author of this hint is mistaken.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: adrianm on Sep 12, '06 07:54:26AM

I didn't know Vicky spoke Spanish, German etc.

Whenever I tried, she just reads it like it's English.. ie badly.

---
--
I'm too old for a fancy .sig



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: markhuot on Sep 12, '06 07:58:07AM

Or save yourself some trouble and just select the text in the widget and control (right) click and choose "Speech" > "Start Speaking". No more Text Edit.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: NB on Sep 12, '06 08:10:32AM

Wow. Well, maybe your system differs from mine, or your customers are -VERY- nice with you.
It does not work.
As adrianm stated, it reads as if it was English, "badly".
Try to make it say :
"Bonjour, il est dix-sept heures douze."(It means "Hello, it's twelve past five in the afternoon." in french)
Then ask someone who speak french to check the result.

It does not work, it can not work and there are so many problems and issues that prevent it to work it hurts me to see this tip.

I've had fun trying to make MacInTalk speak french since macos 8... It has not changed a bit. (There's hope for Leopard)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: siMac on Sep 12, '06 09:22:24AM

Yeah, this is so far from working it's funny.

Please people, do NOT try this - the pronunciation is hilariously wrong and no-one will understand a word.

Even if it did work, how do you propose understanding your customer's replies?

I can't believe this made it through Rob's screening....



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: osxpounder on Sep 12, '06 12:02:41PM

I don't usually complain about tips, and this isn't really a complaint, but ... as many have said, the original tip here is just plain wrong. You must be able to speak [both talking and listening] at least one foreign language before you'd even have a chance at knowing whether this tip would work. As you've seen, some of us do. So do I. It doesn't work. When I type German words, I hear some awful and strange pronunciations from the Apple, but nothing that sounds like German.

I was almost going to ask, "How the heck can you listen and respond on the phone to someone speaking a language you don't understand?", but it's a moot question.

Sorry, I know you meant well, but your tip is wrong.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: daGrimm on Sep 12, '06 09:40:03AM
I tested the same in German and it works terribly - far from understandable.

Thought I'd just post it to see if there actually are any languages being pronounced properly.

I tested with vici voice, by the way.

[ Reply to This | # ]

10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: gwmac on Sep 12, '06 10:13:51AM
Tiger only reads in English, whatever voice you choose. This is is a really erroneous tip. The only method I know of to have speech to text in other languages is by using the Cepstral voices. You can even listen to a demo here.

http://www.cepstral.com/demos/

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: boxcarl on Sep 12, '06 12:10:37PM

This hint is terrible. The quality of machine translation is bad enough, but to add on top of that a voice system that can only read words with English pronunciation? It's a train wreck. Maybe you can get away with it in whatever your job is, but don't think the customer on the other side is happy about it at all. There is no one who is happy to hear a robot mangle into unrecognizably an already mangled literal translation of an English text.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: giaguara on Sep 19, '06 02:41:45PM

I agree fully.

It reads it but as if it was english words .... which is the case for ... English. and only that.

---
Giaguara



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: zyp on Sep 12, '06 01:37:37PM
try infoVox iVox from Acapela and AssistiveWare at the following adress :
http://www.assistiveware.com/infovox_ivox.php?lang=english
They have the best voices on the market

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: HairyPotter on Sep 12, '06 05:44:51PM

take care with these translation systems, cause 101% of all them simply do not work and produce grotesque ridiculous translations. Look what I got when I translated a portuguese written site to english using Google translate:

Well, this article with capture plate this simply excessively.
Parabens!
Voce is one of the people who make me to believe that with Linux if EVERYTHING can more and a little. ; -))

You may sound fool to your customers.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: sneeper on Sep 12, '06 10:20:07PM

This has to be a joke. Besides what everyone else has pointed out, how do you input what they are saying to you into the translation box? Do you happen to know how to spell words in french? I cannot believe you use this method at all.




[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: _Gekko_ on Sep 13, '06 07:10:09PM

Maybe this hint isn't the best thing to do, however it gives you an idea of what you could do if you meet someone that does not speak english. I often encounter sites in Dutch that have been translated by some computer, and yes, sometimes it is horrible, but at least you are able to read and understand the content. Having the text spoken to you by a computer voice with english accent still seems better to me than someone telling you they can't help you out because they don't speak french. Even if it is difficult to understand, a whole lot of people will appreciate the effort. Just to say that I do appreciate the hint allthough I don't really need it ... :-)



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages shortcut key
Authored by: jcwils on Sep 14, '06 01:24:05AM

You can set up a shortcut key to speak any selected text in "system preferences". I've done this (shift-cmd-enter) and use it when I don't feel like reading a long email (I prefer to gaze out the window).

I've tried using the speak text for french before and found it very poor.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: MilMascaras on Sep 16, '06 12:28:35PM

In OS9, (and possibly System 8.1-8.6), there was an "extras" in the OS installation that let you pick "Carlos", and he had an acceptable mechanical spanish text to speech accent.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: Speak different languages
Authored by: Thermaikos on Oct 05, '06 02:06:31AM
I noticed that in the 10.4.8 PPC-combo-Updater, there is a Russian localization!
Maybe in short future we gonna see a REAL international Mac OS X.
For now, I'm little bit disappointed, because Greek language is not supported
(no Greek language support in Help-texts, finder messages, Apple's applications)

http://www.wewantapplegreece.com

[ Reply to This | # ]