A blind user demonstrating the new Turkmen voice to an audience of children

Dünýä – A Voice for the Turkmen Language

Pronunciation of the name, Dünýä which means “world” in Turkmen.

We delivered our voice to ATscale for acceptance testing a few weeks ago. And, on 20th Noverrmber, 2023, Dünýä was announced and presented at UNICEF Education Turkmenistan, in Ashgabad.

ATscale Social Media Announcement

During the event, two TTS users demonstrated how to use the technology to read an e-book, visit a website, send a text and use an app.

“Reading a 100-page book in Turkmen without a Turkmen screen reader used to take me as many as five months, but with this new application I can finish a book in 10 days,” says Muhammetmyrat Orazov, 24, describing the time-consuming process of decoding Turkmen texts one character at a time.

Until now, Muhammetmyrat had been using a similar software to access digital information in English or Russian, but had been unable to read anything in his native language using the text-to-speech technology.

Thanks to this project, people with #screenreaders will be able to download the text-to-speech voice in Turkmen via the app RHVoice. The TTS technology in the Turkmen language was produced in Turkmenistan in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, ATscale, the Blind and Deaf Society of Turkmenistan, LouderPages (the producers of RH Voice), and the UNICEF country office in Ashgabat.

Participating in the event through a recorded video, Pascal Bijleveld, ATscale CEO, said “having seen how this can work, we now know that millions of other people might benefit from similar projects”, as he referred to plans for similar projects in other languages.


In the Press

Here is a local, English language news article about the event:

Orient.tm: Turkmen Text-to-Speech Digital Voice comes live on World Children’s Day

And, here is Dünýä reading the Turkmen version of that article. (Note that in the Turkmen language, the letter, “S” is pronounced like the “th” in English “thin”, and the letter, “Z” is pronounced like the “th” in English “this”.

  Görmek mümkinçiligi bolmadyk adamlara türkmen dilindäki ýazgyny sesli görnüşe öwürýän programma işe girizildi

Some more photographs from the event. (Photo credits: UNICEF Education Turkmenistan)

Photograph of large group of attendees smiling and waving to the camera
Photograph of young visually impaired children sitting, with UNICEF man bending down to talk to them.
Photograph of officals sitting behind large table, facing audience.