Voice Synthesizer: Listen to Text Easily
Voice Synthesizer: Listen to Text Easily
The voice synthesizer is a technology that allows you to listen to a text in digital format through the automatic reading of an artificial voice. Also known as speech reading or speech synthesis, the voice synthesizer is based on the text-to-speech (TTS) technique, which translates from written text to spoken language. Voice synthesis automates the reading of a digital text by reproducing it as an audio file on common devices such as PCs, tablets, or smartphones.
How voice reading works
Most voice synthesizers allow you to select the text you want to listen to (for example, a sentence or entire passages) and with a few clicks, simulate automatic reading with a digital voice, which can be male or female, in different languages and speeds depending on the type of tool and, of course, its price.
Advanced voice synthesis software also offers automatic word highlighting, which dynamically highlights the background of the text being read so that the listener can follow word by word what is being read automatically by the synthesizer. This technology, also known as highlighted speech synthesis or "karaoke effect," offers the additional advantage of helping students maintain their attention while listening, making it an active listening experience.
Voice synthesis for students with learning disabilities
Voice synthesis is a fundamental tool for children and students diagnosed with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), especially for those with dyslexia. Dyslexia, especially in more severe cases, makes reading and understanding long texts slow and difficult. The difficulty in deciphering words often discourages students and hinders their autonomy in studying, making the support of an adult necessary.
Various research and studies have shown that using voice reading software has positive effects on text comprehension for dyslexic students. If introduced gradually and with the support of experts in the pedagogical field, voice reading software helps compensate for reading difficulties. For all these reasons, voice synthesis is recognized as a compensatory tool (by law n.170/2010), on par, for example, with concept maps and writing software.
The advantages of voice synthesis for dyslexic students are:
- Facilitating text comprehension, making it faster and less strenuous;
- Improving autonomy in reading texts, and therefore, independence in studying;
- Increasing students' self-esteem.
How to choose voice synthesis software
Generally, to use voice synthesis, you need a PC, tablet, or smartphone, a digital text, such as a Word or PDF document, and voice synthesis software to reproduce the text with artificial voices. In the case of online voice synthesizers, you will also need to be connected to the Internet through a browser such as Google Chrome or Safari.
There are different solutions for voice synthesis software, with varying levels of technological advancement, free or paid. The most common ones are:
- Pre-installed voices on PCs, which are sometimes free but offer low-quality voices with robotic tones, lack of fluency, and no highlighting.
- Software on pen drives, ready-to-use solutions but with the obvious risk of being damaged or lost as they are small objects.
- Downloadable programs, paid ones offer good quality voices, even in different languages, but have significant limitations in compatibility, updates, and usability.
- Online voice synthesis, the best solutions because they integrate quality voices, are accessible from anywhere on any device with an internet connection, and are always up to date with the latest version.
So, the main factors to consider when choosing the most suitable text-to-speech synthesizer for your needs are:
- Compatibility and ease of use;
- The quality and variety of voices (male and female voices, different languages);
- The ability to slow down or speed up playback;
- Automatic karaoke highlighting of the text being read.
Algor Education's online text-to-speech synthesis
Algor Education's text-to-speech synthesizer is the best solution for listening to digital documents and books. The platform, accessible from anywhere via PC, tablet, and smartphone, allows students of all ages to upload their digital texts, annotate them, and listen to them easily and quickly. Furthermore, on the same screen, digital documents (PDF and Word) and a multimedia environment can be accessed, where concept maps can be created with just a few clicks based on the digital texts.
Algor Education allows you to use its excellent text-to-speech synthesis in the PDF environment, thanks to the convenient draggable toolbar, or in the multimedia map environment. Once the text to be played is selected, you can start playback, pause, or stop it. In addition, the text-to-speech synthesizer is also integrated into the concept map environment and allows you to listen to the nodes of your online concept maps.
Here are the key features of Algor Education's text-to-speech synthesis:
- High-quality male or female voices;
- Text-to-speech synthesis with karaoke-style highlighting;
- Vocal reading in different languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish);
- Ability to change the playback speed for slower or faster listening.
Algor Education's text-to-speech synthesizer is available on a Basic subscription (classic text-to-speech) or a Pro subscription (text-to-speech with highlighting). All you have to do is try it for free, just create an account and activate the Free Trial.