Acapela Heather pronunciation of 'wise'

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Acapela Heather pronunciation of 'wise'

Postby tphiau » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:23 am

Hi,
I have two challenges with the Acapela voices.
They all perpetually pronounce 'wise' as 'wiz'. 'wiser' as 'wizer' etc.
I have tried the Acapela phoneme editor. It pronounces 'wise' correctly without modification. Tried both basic and advanced editing in Textaloud. Can make basic sound right in the test. But it reads as 'wiz' in text. No surrounding punctuation marks. After punctuation etc.
Any thoughts on how to fix this?

Also, the Acapela voices do not work (nothing is read) in the advanced editor. They work in basic. Other voices work. Is this a known problem? Can anyone suggest anything?
Thanks,
Tony
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
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Postby D.Leikin » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:06 pm

Hi Tony,

Different voices may use different phoneme sets, and the Advanced phoneme editing only works with AT&T and RealSpeak US English voices.

However, Acapela Voices are bundled with their own proprietary dictionary editor (DicoEdit.exe) that can be used to create user-defined pronunciation rules and store them in a dictionary file.

A few tips below might help you get DicoEdit to work

(i) Fully exit TextAloud (File - > Exit)

(ii) Move the files academo.exe, DicoEdit.exe, and VMan.exe to parent folder.

For example, on Windows XP, you’ll have to move these files from

\Program Files\NextUp-Acapela Multimedia\bin\

to the parent folder

\Program Files\NextUp-Acapela Multimedia\

(iii) Launch DicoEdit and select a voice from the drop-down list.

(iv) Create a new lexicon file by ckicking the “Sheet” button, enter a name for this file (say, the name of the voice), then press “Save”. Make sure the ‘Read’, ‘Write’, and ‘Enabled’ boxes are checked, then press ‘Apply’.

(v) Create a new dictionary entry, for example,

Word: anyhow
Translation: any how

and press the green tick to add the the new pronunciation to the dictionary.

(vi) Save the dictionary file by pressing the ‘Floppy’ button.

Now you should have to assign a dictionary to a voice. (Note: you can assign a dictionary to several voices.)

(vii) Click the “Bookshelf” on the left of the “Door” button to open the “Default Lexicons” box

(viii) Click the button on the left of “Red cross” icon in the “Default Lexicons” box

(ix) Click the “…” button to locate the dictionary file (it should have .dic extension) , highlight the file, click “Apply” and then exit DicoEdit

(x) Start TextAloud, make sure the word you modified is not present in Basic and Advanced editors, close Pronunciation Editor, select the Acapela voice, type in the word you modified, then press the ‘Read’ button to see if it goes ok now.

There are two ways to edit pronunciations with DicoEdit. Namely,

(a) by using alternative spelling

Example: Heather pronounces ‘anyhow’ as something like ‘an eye ho’. So one can use the alternative spelling to fix the issue:

Word: anyhow
Translation: any how

(b) or by using phonetic transcriptions

Phonetic transcriptions MUST start with the hash sign ‘#’ (otherwise they will be treated as ‘alternative spelling’) and consist of space-separated phonemes.

Word: anyhow
Translation: # E n i h aU

Hope that helps.
D.Leikin
 
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Re: Acapela Heather pronunciation of 'wise'

Postby tphiau » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:33 am

Hi D.Leikin,
thanks for your reply.
I have the Apapela phoneme editor working already - as per the changes you mention. And you answer a question that has been bugging me re the acapela voices not working in the advanced editor. Thanks for that.

As I say in my post, I can't even get the Acapela phoneme editor to effect the text correctly. 'wise' pronounces correctly inside the editor with each of three acapela voices I have, but it does not pronounce correctly inside of a passage of text.
In fact, I can get a correct pronunciation in the basic editor too, I just can't get TA to pronounce 'wise' or its derivatives correctly in MS word 2003, or even if I paste it directly into TA.
I use TA every day to read back my writing. It helps to hear it. But it bugs me that there are a few words like this that I can't seem to sort out.
So I'm still looking if anyone has any bright ideas on how to fix this.
Thanks,
Tony


tphiau wrote:I have tried the Acapela phoneme editor. It pronounces 'wise' correctly without modification. Tried both basic and advanced editing in Textaloud. Can make basic sound right in the test. But it reads as 'wiz' in text. No surrounding punctuation marks. After punctuation etc.
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:11 am

Postby tphiau » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:59 am

Hi D.Leikin
Unfortunately it doesn't matter where the word is in a sentence, or what punctuation comes before or after, or what other words surround it.The word always sounds clearly like 'wiz'. Whereas in the phoneme editor, it is clearly 'wise'.
Cheers,
Tony
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:11 am

Postby D.Leikin » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:25 am

Something that might help is to make sure acapela phoneme editor works ok in your setup.

If a different pronunciation rule, say,

wise -> sage

is used in DicoEdit, would it be recognized by TextAloud?
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Postby tphiau » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:11 am

Hi D.Leikin,
I checked it as you suggest.
I used this sentence:
'You wise old mistop monkey. I monkey saw wise.'

Changed 'wise' to 'worry'
mistop to snail
monkey to teatree.

I got:
You wiz old snail teatree. I teatree saw wiz.

So... It's working. But not on wise.
Nor 'wis', as it turns out. And I further discovered 'rise' is pron as 'riz'. And if I substitute 'ise' with something else, it doesn't change. But it does pronounce it correctly.
Do you have acapela voices? I would be interested to hear whether anyone else gets this kind of error? If no, maybe I should reinstall the whole thing.
I don't know whether it's relevant, but I'm using Vista 32. But I'm sure I got the same result on XP.
regards,
Tony
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:11 am

Postby D.Leikin » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:59 am

Haven't had any problem with reading that sample prose by NextUp-Acapela Heather.

The symptoms you describe might indicate something happens to ‘wise’ before text reaches the voice engine.

So it might be reasonable to

1. make sure pronunciation edits in TextAloud aren't messing with 'wise'
2. check whether or not other sapi5 voices are reading 'wise' in that sample text correctly
D.Leikin
 
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Postby tphiau » Sun Nov 04, 2007 10:30 am

Hi D.Leikin,
The Scansoft voices read it correctly, and there are no other references to 'wise' in the basic or advanced pronunciation editors in Textaloud.

I told you it is an oddball mystery.
I suppose I could uninstall the whole lot and try again.

What I find so strange is the Acapela voices read 'wise' and 'rise' correctly within the phoneme editor. Just not in Textaloud.

I don't suppose you know whether there are different versions of the Acapela speech engine? I bought mine very early on while it was still in pre-release.

Thanks for all your suggestions. I am stumped to find a fix for this.
Cheers,
Tony
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:11 am

Postby D.Leikin » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:51 pm

Heather installation file I used in ‘wise’ experiment was downloaded 05-20-2006.

Its unique attributes are:

md5 checksum: 508EF5D0F8744DC7F765B7B0919BC2A3
installer version: 1F64F0B8-C252-448D-92A2-7A135B661C52

(version id shows up under the right tab on .msi file properties)
D.Leikin
 
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Postby tphiau » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:24 am

My versions are all .exe files.
But 13 Sept 09.
Actually, I had the voices while they were in beta, But Ken sent me the new ones after they went public, and this is the version I am using now.
When I open the PROPERTIES>DETAILS tab, I get a File version of 110.0.0.35197, and a Product Version of 6.00.0000. Of course, that's no comparison with yours, but its the only detail I can find.
Do you know if nextup updates its voices? I thought I read somewhere that they do from time to time. Though your versions sound earlier than mine.

I don't know that there's anywhere left to turn. I think I could clean out all my pronunciation files, and see if it works. That shouldn't be too hard to accomplish. Then I could reinstall everything. A bit more of a nuisance, but still do-able.
Of course, it's just possible it could be something with Vista, but I don't see how. The new OS hasn't been an advancement for me.
thanks,
Tony
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:11 am

Postby D.Leikin » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:59 am

Hi Tony,

The timestamp only indicates file download date, so we seem to be using the same file/product version.

Rarely if ever, errors may occur during the download. Calculating md5sum is one of the best methods to check whether on not the download was successful. I have calculated the md5sum for Heather’s .exe installer so that you could make sure the exe file you downloaded is ok.

If you move the file TextAloud\UserTranslations.chl) from the program folder to a different location, TextALoud should create a new empty file upon the restart, so you will be able to see if the dictionary is causing any problem without deleting your pronunciation edits.

Backup:

Open TextAloud, click Help -> Open Data Folder, locate UserTranslations.chl, cut the file, paste it to, say, desktop, go File->Exit. When you restart TextAloud, a new empty UserTranslations.chl file will be created.

Restore:
move the backup copy of UserTranslations.chl back to \TextAloud\ folder overwriting the empty file, then restart TextAloud.

You may find more info on backup/restore procedure by checking out this topic:

http://nextup.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1507
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Postby tphiau » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:53 am

Hi D.Leikin,
That's excellent. I'll give that a go first thing in the morning.

Can you tell me what the result of yours checksum calc was? And perhaps how I would use it on my end. I'm pretty computer savvy (used to code in assembler back in the darkest days of the dark ages), but have never used md5sum before.
Regards,
Tony
tphiau
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:11 am

Postby D.Leikin » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:08 pm

I think assembler was the fastest code I’ve ever seen.

As for md5.exe, it can be downloaded from MathWorks (you will also find html help file in the md5.zip archive)

http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/ ... tType=FILE

To calculate md5sum you will have to put md5.exe into the same folder with the file to be checked, then click Start->Run, type ‘cmd’ and hit Enter to invoke the command prompt box, then use ‘cd’ command to change to the directory where md5 and the file reside, and then issue the following command

md5 the_name_of_the_file_you_need_to_check

Heather’s .exe installer I checked has the following md5sum: 508EF5D0F8744DC7F765B7B0919BC2A3
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