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Friday, April 03, 2009

Things that need to be invented, part VII 

Merriam-Webster's dictionary website has a handy feature that enables audio pronunciation of words by one's computer. So if one were to look up, for example, the word indict, one could find out it was pronounced "in-dite" not "in-dicked" simply by clicking the little red speaker logo. If one were capable of reading those funky phonetic symbols, this might mean something to you... \in-ˈdīt\ ...as opposed to this... \in-ˈdik\ The Clarion Content does not yet have anyone on staff who speaks that language. We need the little red icon. We cannot figure out how the word is pronounced simply from the phonetics. Recently, it dawned on us that there is another situation where we need the audio pronunciation too.


This very same application needs to invented for the pronunciation of words in Spanish. There are already many free translation sites in which words can be taken from English to Spanish (or for that matter a variety of other languages). Probably the best among these sites is Google translate. Natch. This makes Google the prime candidate to invent such functionality. It seems like the technology already exists. Programmers would simply have to tell the computer to pronounce the "j" in por ejemplo, for example, in Spanish, rather than pronouncing the "j" in the English manner.

Looking up the translation of words from one language to another, all but instantaneously on-line, is a wonderful innovation. Now we need it taken to the next level. For us Americans, starting with Spanish, we need audio pronunciation of the translation. Somebody please invent this! Thanks.

Find old "Things that need to be invented" posts here. (This post will show up first, older posts will be below it.)

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Update...Google translation now has the audio component we were calling for!!!
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