Posted on | January 29, 2008 | 6 Comments
Last month, Steve posted on his blog an idea of exchanging recorded vocabulary lists. He then made a very nice sample recording of an English vocabulary list. The first time I listened to it, I told myself that I must get one for my own list.
Here is the problem. I have over 1000 words/phrases on my list. Asking anyone to record the entire list is just inhumane. Well, perhaps I can find a non-human to do it for me. How about a Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine?
A quick survey of several online TTS services gave me the impression that the one from AT&T Labs produces the best result. Here is a sample in Spanish:
With a few trial-and-errors, I have refined the process so that it would take me only 5-10 minutes to make the audio file. Here are the steps:
- Select those words/phrases you want to learn and generate a print-view in LingQ
- Copy and paste the list onto a spreadsheet
- Remove the ‘hint’ column and massage the other 2 columns to make them consumable by the TTS engine
- Generate multiple WAV files 300 characters at a time (a limitation of the demo version of the engine).
- Merge the multiple files into one
- Copy and paste the list to the lyrics section of the MP3 file
- Upload the MP3 file to the MP3 player.
The audio quality from the TTS engine is acceptable for listening. But I would not recommend using it for serious speaking or parroting exercises.
Hopefully in the near future, I can generate the audio file with a few clicks from the LingQ system, played back with real voices.