Technology Advances … and Entertains

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I know, I know, it’s been a while.  I’ve had a busy week and I just haven’t been able to get my head into posting and writing.  I’m very sorry.  This is just a quick post to tell you about a new feature that I’ve just discovered whilst opening a PDF document.

I opened up my PDF reader (the usual suspect of course) and happened to decide to check out the options under the View menu.  There’s a new feature!  Oooh.  (Thinking cute but strange green alien clones right about now).  Or at least I think it’s a new feature, I’ve never seen or heard anything about it before.  Have you?  It’s called ‘Read Out Loud’.

Now, this sounds like a good idea, pro-disabilities amongst other things.  You can now have your document read aloud to you without having to have specialist (aka expensive) software.  I had to experiment.  It took a while to think about it, maybe it had to install something, maybe it’s just the treacly state of my computer.

Right, if you’re thinking ‘read with mother’, I think I was, then you’re going to be disappointed.  You have to click on a word for it to ‘read’ it.  One word at a time.  Or part word.  It seems to not be able to join the letters up as confidently as a four-year-old might.  It makes for some interesting sounds.   Or it just settles for telling you what the odd letter is here or there.  O-K.  Oh, and to make it even more intellectually stimulating, it says ‘blank’ every time you click on a space.  Just in case you didn’t realise that it wasn’t a word after all.

Disappointed?  Yep, me too.  You can’t even rely on it to reliably inform you how to pronounce unknown words.

Maybe I gave it a little bit of unfair road test.  My document was in French.  Which when ‘read’ aloud stiltedly in a heavy American accent sounds a little bit funny.  The only two big words I could get it to ‘say’ were ‘travaillent’ (work, as in they work) it came up with tra-vail-ent and then there was ‘aujourd’hui’.  I’m surprised it even attempted aujourd’hui.  It’s a very big word with an apostrophe to throw the ‘voice’ completely off track.

It was worth trying just to hear a new version of ‘aujourd’hui’.  Or-jurd-u-i.  I kept clicking on the word.  Small things.

I think I need to try this in English.  Who knows what new words await.

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8 thoughts on “Technology Advances … and Entertains

  1. Anonymous

    I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  2. Wow–I never look at the Adobe stuff anymore. I guess that it is time to check it out. I’ve often wanted some sort of microphone/software that I could talk into that would type what I say, the way I say it, except with correct grammar and punctuation.

    Yeah, I don’t ask for much, do I?

    • Hehe, the software is out there for that too. I’m not entirely sure how the punctuation works for it though, maybe you need to say ‘stop’ like an old fashioned telegram! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  3. I hadn’t heard of this feature, so it’s new to me as well. I’m definitely going to have to try it out. For the entertainment value, if nothing else. Although I am prepared to be disappointed. It seems like they could do so much more with it!

  4. I’ll try this — I’ll get it wrong. To learn French, I learned a lot of pop songs. I remember almost none of them now. But I remember one sort of that starts off

    aujourd’hui ….

    oh wait — I got close enough to find it on Youtube. It’s called Les restos du coeur. I do not remember the spoken intro, just the chorus

    And I completely did NOT ever see the video until now.

    This has NOTHING to do with your entry, but I instantly thought

    Aujourd’hui, on n’a plus le droit
    Ni d’avoir faim, ni d’avoir froid

    Which I did not have correctly apostrophized until I searched it.

    • I’m trying to work out how and why you learned just pop songs, part of your school curriculum?! Well any song called the ‘restaurants of the heart’ has got to be worth a look! And don’t worry about sharing your schematic journey, you’ve seen the evidence of how my works! :)

I'd love to know what you think, concrit is especially welcomed on fiction pieces. Thank you.

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