Colin Robinson

Just another guy on the internet

Visual impairments are a part of the physical world. Thank god we live in a virtual one.

We have alt tags for screen readers, well let’s be honest, people only do it for SEO and no screen reader is perfect . But what if your “alt tag” had perfect IPA phonetic transcription…

Tell me more

Here is the current w3 draft:

http://www.w3.org/TR/speech-synthesis/

 Demo:

go to this page

http://www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php

and copy/paste this element:

<phoneme alphabet=”ipa” ph=”kæt”>dog</phoneme>

The body of the phoneme element can be left empty, but in this case I wrote “dog” just for fun.

Can’t we just make computers better at speaking English?

Sure, and it would be trivial to make a build jQuery plugin that converts  ALT attributes to IPA ones. But what about regional dialects and made up words like Flickr or Imgur. What about ambiguous acronyms? Should the company AAA be pronounced “ay ay ay” or “Triple A”? Is it “My S-Q-L” or “My sequel”?

Sounds good, when’s it coming out?

Fair enough, maybe you sacrifice a goat we could get it in IE11. Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe never. The spec hasn’t been touched since 2004 but I hope people start taking it seriously.

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