Text to speech services is meant to help make things easier, especially for people who cannot read because of specific reasons. With such services available today, it is possible to read an e-book while exercising, or doing other chores because it is verbalized. These services come with numerous benefits, including helping people who cannot read to still benefit from useful content when the text is synthesized in a language they know.
The idea of talking machines started a few centuries back in the 1700s. Over time, technological advancements have made it possible for this technique to become a reality in most devices. But how does it work? The written words will not automatically transform into voice content until it is synthesized in several steps:
You will start with a few words, say a paragraph or more. Reading may appear easy for people who enjoy doing it, but it is not the case for those struggling. Fortunately, the conversion of text to sound allows such people to enjoy written content without reading the strain. The first step is normalization/pre-processing, where the content is analyzed for appropriateness, and any forms of ambiguity removed.
At this stage, the written content goes through a cleaning process. This is to help the computer or device to make fewer to no mistakes. Unlike humans, computers and machines cannot make sense of what is written unless it is interpreted well. Fix the content such that the machine will easily know what comes next.
Once the machine figures out the words that will be used, the next stage is to create sounds from the said words. The synthesizer will create specific sounds for each letter of the words. Each word has a list of phonemes that make up the various sounds.
Phonemes are synonymous with letters in written language. These are the sounds that each word contains. Rearranging the phonemes will create a different sound from what you started with originally. These sound parts are what form the final sound one hears when the synthesis is complete.
When phonemes are generated, the next step is to synthesize them in the final stage. This involves converting these parts into the normal sound most people hear. It can be achieved in three different ways. The first one requires that the human voice is recorded while saying the exact phonemes. In a different method, a machine or computer is utilized, while the last step involve human voice imitation. Regardless of the technique used, the resulting voice or sound interprets the written content verbally, and that is what people hear.
Knowing that there is something to opt for when you are not in a position to read a text on your own is comforting. Thankfully, speech synthesis allows for people to enjoy their favorite stories without having to strain with reading. Find out which of the synthesizers work best for you before jumping on this train.