We are delighted to announce that LouderPages has been awarded a contract by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). We will develop and delliver voices as part of the ATscale Global Partnership in concert with UNICEF’s Assistive Technology Programme.
UPDATE: ATscale Announcement: “Speak my language: a first for digital voice communication in Turkmen.”
The languages to be developed are Turkmen, Nepali, Southern Vietnamese, and Setswana:
Turkmen – Türkmen dili
Primarily spoken in Turkmenistan and neighboring areas, belongs to the Turkic family of languages. It is closest to Turkish and Azeri, but it represents the biggest challenge our technical team has yet faced. It differs from all of the other Turkic languages in that its writing system does not provide many of the features present in speech.
Nepali – नेपाली भाषा
The official language of Nepal, utilizes the Devanagari script and is spoken in various regions of India, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The complexity in developing a TTS voice for Nepali lies in accurately predicting when the “schwa” sound in the writing should not be spoken.
Southern Vietnamese – Tiếng Việt
Pronunciation, used in southern regions of Vietnam such as Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, differs from that used by most other TTS which are based on Northern speech patterns. Vietnamese is a highly tonal language, but the writing system accurately sets out pronunciation – except for “compound” words.
A Bantu language spoken in Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia, poses challenges primarily because the tones it uses are – unlike with Vietnamese – not marked in the writing.
Turkmen and Nepali by the fourth quarter of 2023, Vietnamese and Setwana in the first quarter of 2024. Watch this space!