W3C Expands Support for Speech Synthesis of World Languages

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Those of us surfing the Web in English, or, for that matter, a Western, romantic language, forget sometimes that a very significant portion of the world’s population has a completely different understanding of language. The World Wide Web Consortium, an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards, is looking at the big picture. Today, the W3C took steps to broaden support for the world’s languages in voice applications on the Web.

From the release:

It is forecast that within three years, the World Wide Web will contain significantly more content from Chinese and Indian language families, among others. In many of the regions where these languages are spoken, people can access the Web more easily through a less expensive mobile handset than through a desktop computer. Today the world has more than ten times as many cellphones as Internet-connected personal computers. With an improved SSML, people worldwide will have an increased ability to listen to synthesized speech through mobile phones, desktop computers and other devices, extending the reach of computation and information delivery to nearly every corner of the globe.

See the full story here.