NYT: 'Newspaper-Saving' Redneck Kindle Can't Pronounce President's Name

Illustration for article titled NYT: 'Newspaper-Saving' Redneck Kindle Can't Pronounce President's Name

Pointing out the clunkiness of the Kindle's text-to-speech feature is tired, but with the new Kindle DX being lauded as a newspaper savior, the NYT has a point: "Bay-rack Oh-bamma" won't cut it.

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The Kindle's voice feature works like any other, so pronunciation foibles are expected, and even predictable. Says the developer Nuance, the technology licensed by Amazon:

It's not even considered a bug. If it encounters a word it has never seen, it approaches it almost like a kid, phonetically.

But for the speech feature to be useful in a newspaper context, as Amazon wishes it to be, its library will have to be constantly updated—over the air, presumably—with pronunciation overrides for whatever weird names or places are in the news at a given time.

Of course, this would be extremely unwieldy and only marginally effective, so Amazon probably won't do it. Good luck with today's leading NYT story, Kindle owners. You might even have to read it. [NYT]

DISCUSSION

English is not my native language, so is interesting to found that Americans (never been in England, so I don't have an opinion there) take so many liberties about English pronunciation, and I don't mean accents or slang.

Twenty pronounced "tweny", Forty = "fory", Wednesday = "Wensday", island = "iland", party = "pary"

What is wrong with you people? English is easier to learn than Spanish or French because it has a lot less verb tenses. But now I have to learn to learn to ignore, add, replace or misplace letters because the locals do?