Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Reading/IPA audio renderer

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Random proposal◄ Reading  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

IPA audio renderer

  • Problem: Not everyone can read IPA markup (e.g. /ˈbɜːrmɪŋəm/ for "Birmingham")
  • Proposed solution: A tool or gadget that takes IPA as input and outputs an audio file or stream.
  • Who would benefit: Anyone wanting to know how a word is pronounced, but who cannot read IPA
  • More comments: The Phabricator ticket includes various examples of third party tools that do this, as proofs of concept.
  • Phabricator tickets: phab:T298950; phab:T33221
  • Proposer: Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:40, 15 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Community Tech project page for this wish is at: Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Generate Audio for IPA


  • Great idea. After all, the whole point of IPA is that it can be machine-rendered with reasonable accuracy. Rollo (talk) 19:04, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The idea does sound good, I want to add though that we are kind of depending on having a open source library the provides audio rendering of IPA markup. Is anyone aware of one? KSiebert (WMF) (talk) 13:58, 19 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support this solution. When I read biographies in other Wikipedia, I want to hear how the name and surname are pronounced. IPA is unreadable to me. A reading machine would help a lot.--Rosewood (talk) 09:46, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It appears there has been some work around using espeak, Akathelollipopman (talk) 20:32, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Aren't there 2-3 variants of IPA? (Only different in certain symbols)? - no idea, not a linguist.-Eptalon (talk) 23:54, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hi Eptalon. Yes, mostly with tonal indication, but it is not such a big deal, there is several systems but no overlapping between them. Something else: A language with a large diffusion could have more than one way to capture the phonological representation, I mean the most systematic one despite local changes. This could still be conflictual between contributors when a phonetic change is typical in a large area such as a change on the sound of the letter d in Canadian French. Well, that was a serious answer. I hope you got the point (I am kind of a linguist). A shorter answer could have been: Yes, one IPA is a beer, the other one a script Noé (talk) 13:33, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I dare to say we have overlapping proposals here Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Wiktionary/Get free pronunciation data :) Xavier Dengra (MESSAGES) 23:56, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This would be awesome and would be especially useful when learning new words on Akathelollipopman 20:24, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am not favorable to this idea, I think a human voice is more accurate and give a useful warming touch. Noé (talk) 22:26, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You are not obliged to listen to IPA pronunciations. I look forward to hearing your plan for having a human voice on every article currently using IPA. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:22, 4 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Sebastian Berlin (WMSE): Is this something WikiSpeech could solve? Ainali talkcontributions 15:42, 29 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It should be able to, to some extent. It would help if there is a consistent markup for IPA (don't know if this is the case). As discussed above, IPA can be written a bit differently and with varying levels of detail. Having a TTS that can pronounce all possible IPA may not be realistic and some conversion will likely have to be implemented. E.g. when I did a quick test now I had to convert to /ˈbɝmɪŋəm/ for the TTS used by Wikispeech. Sebastian Berlin (WMSE) (talk) 09:07, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Can IPA actually do this? The enwiki IPA help pages are full of indications that the same IPA is pronounced differently in different accents or dialects of English, warnings that the symbols aren't directly equivalent in other languages etc. If it can work reliably, this would be a useful feature, as IPA is incomprehensible to most readers. But we don't want a system that pronounces every word in (say) a mid-Atlantic accent, as if that's the only correct pronunciation. Modest Genius (talk) 20:49, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Yes. See the linked proofs-of-concept, on the Phabricator ticket. Also note that at least one of them offers a choice of voices. Even so, better to have "every word in (say) a mid-Atlantic accent" than no audio pronunciation at all. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:20, 4 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Would have supported if I had known voting ended at 18 UTC. ~~~~
    User:1234qwer1234qwer4 (talk)
    19:58, 11 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]