October 12, 2010
Loquendo First Female Arabic Voice, Laila
By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor
The company’s first male Arabic-speaking voice, Tarik, was released in June.
Officials with Loquend said that Laila and Tarik both speak Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the lingua franca for approximately 208 million Arabic-speaking people and one of the United Nations’ official languages.
MSA is the formal Arabic language that is written and spoken throughout the contemporary Arab world, the language of the news media and universally taught in schools.
According to company officials, with the launch of its Arabic language TTS in June, the company also released a new version of Loquendo TTS Director – the multi-platform tool for creating prompts by means of a listen-and-edit procedure.
Company officials said that for anyone working with written Arabic, TTS Director now functions as a fully comprehensive text editor, seamlessly managing text orientation - right to left for Arabic characters and left to right for numbers, foreign words and all Loquendo user control tags.
Arabic texts can be right-aligned with one mouse click, but for editing purposes non-Arabic speakers may align the text to the left if required.
According to company officials, Loquendo TTS Director also enables the automatic insertion of Arabic diacritics (representing short vowels and consonant length, they are normally omitted in written Arabic).
The user simply inputs the text (without diacritics), and with one mouse click, a new window opens displaying the full text with diacritics automatically inserted.
Company officials pointed out that as with all supported languages, Loquendo TTS in Arabic offers a wide range of ‘expressive cues’ – commonly used Arabic phrases given an extended emotional range, along with a series of paralinguistic events (coughs, sighs, laughter, etc.) for adding additional color to your TTS prompts.
Again, as for all languages, pauses are automatically inserted at appropriate points in the prompt to enhance the prosody and intonation of the synthetic speech.
Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf