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I was just pondering about kindle secrets for when my new baby will arrive (hopefully soon, amazon!) and found an interesting article by the NYT. Turn's out, the T2S feature on the K2 cannot correctly pronounce the presidents name. It was brought to the attention of Bezos at the last press conference, and the next day the company who runs the T2S corrected the pronunciation.

I'm pretty sure that the company only corrected the pronunciation because it's our President, and the problem may had the ability to become a slight disadvantage to the newfangled DX! ;)

I can imagine that the T2S feature is really rough, since it is a computerized voice. I can't stand to listen to it, and would probably be to distracted while actually trying to listen to it.

Full article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/business/media/08kindle.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss
 

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ttoomey said:
I can imagine that the T2S feature is really rough, since it is a computerized voice.
It may not compare to an actual audiobook in its pronunciation (and especially its intonation), but as far as computerized voices go it's about the best I've ever heard.

There's a link to a video somewhere here showing an ad that pitched the K2 against some other talking device. That other one was already better than most, but the K2 still won hands-down.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you test it out.
 

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The first time I heard TTS when I got my kindle, I wasn't impressed.  I tried customising it by changing it from male to female and making it read at the fastest speed.  I think it became easier to understand, but at the time I was still too distracted with how it read things incorrectly.  Then I demoed my kindle to my father, and he almost finished a book while I was visiting because he was either reading or listening to that book no matter what he was doing.  Now, I have been borrowing audiobooks from the library for about 3 years to listen to on my commute (it helps me avoid getting angry at crazies around me), but with my kindle I can be reading and listening to the same book!  It is worth putting up with the voice, and it is surprisingly easy to go back to reading, even with strange names that you find in some sci-fi stories.  In one book the character's name was Kodobos and the TTS would spell it out K-O-D-O-B-O-S, which annoyed me at the time but now is just kinda funny.  I still chuckle when it says 'wound' like a gash in your skin instead of the the past tense of wind (not the weather phenomenon), but it is an acceptable way to be able to hear my books out loud for no additional cost, and I don't ever run out of material.  Besides, an unexpected chuckle is welcome any time!
 

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Good to know Kindles are Republican.  :D

"Kindle owners in Boston, however, may want to avoid the sports pages for now. The Kindle pronounces “Celtics” with an initial hard “c.”"

I found that bit interesting since that's how the word -should- be and has been pronounced for thousands of years despite a basketball team popping up fifty years ago and trying to change it.  I hope the Kindle doesn't learn how to say it incorrectly just for the sports pages.
 

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Kindle pronounced the name of our president as "Black Alabama"! ;D

ttoomey said:
I was just pondering about kindle secrets for when my new baby will arrive (hopefully soon, amazon!) and found an interesting article by the NYT. Turn's out, the T2S feature on the K2 cannot correctly pronounce the presidents name. It was brought to the attention of Bezos at the last press conference, and the next day the company who runs the T2S corrected the pronunciation.

I'm pretty sure that the company only corrected the pronunciation because it's our President, and the problem may had the ability to become a slight disadvantage to the newfangled DX! ;)

I can imagine that the T2S feature is really rough, since it is a computerized voice. I can't stand to listen to it, and would probably be to distracted while actually trying to listen to it.

Full article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/business/media/08kindle.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss
 

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skanter said:
Kindle pronounced the name of our president as "Black Alabama"! ;D
As I understand it. . .the pronunciation rhymed with "Black Alabama". So something like Barrack Obamma. . .with flat short 'a's rather than a more schwa sound. Which, to be honest, if you never heard it pronounced might be what many a human English speaker would come up with on first try.

A related question: How do you pronounce "GHOTI" ?
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Answer: "fish". The GH as in "tough", the O as in "women" and the TI as in "nation".

English is a funny old language. . . .:)
 

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I read about this a week or so ago, and got a chuckle out of it. I was going to post it but then forgot all about it.

ttoomey said:
I was just pondering about kindle secrets for when my new baby will arrive (hopefully soon, amazon!) and found an interesting article by the NYT. Turn's out, the T2S feature on the K2 cannot correctly pronounce the presidents name. It was brought to the attention of Bezos at the last press conference, and the next day the company who runs the T2S corrected the pronunciation.

I'm pretty sure that the company only corrected the pronunciation because it's our President, and the problem may had the ability to become a slight disadvantage to the newfangled DX! ;)

I can imagine that the T2S feature is really rough, since it is a computerized voice. I can't stand to listen to it, and would probably be to distracted while actually trying to listen to it.

Full article
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/business/media/08kindle.html?_r=3&partner=rss&emc=rss
 
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