The Wikispeech projects (Wikispeech 2016, Wikispeech 2019) aim to make Wikipedia and other projects accessible to people that, for different reasons, have difficulties reading. This will be made possible by creating a TTS (text-to-speech) solution that runs on MediaWiki, using FLOSS components. Volunteers will be able to improve the quality of the text-to-speech in true Wikimedia fashion.
Wikipedia contains a lot of information that is freely available to everyone, except that it may not be presented in a way that makes it possible for everyone to take part of it. About 14% of the worlds population is illiterate and about 25-30% learn better from listening than reading. Since most of the information on Wikipedia is written text, this means that it's not available to a significant part of potential readers.
Adding TTS as part of MediaWiki will help these readers to access the information. Having the TTS built into MediaWiki also means that the reader doesn't need any extra equipment or a particularly powerful device to use it. While there are a several TTS solutions, the availability of these greatly vary between where you live and what language you speak.
For the MediaWiki extension, see mw:Extension:Wikispeech.
For the Text-to-speech sever, see http://stts-se.github.io/wikispeech/.
I like this project...
... and I would like to help out
Please add yourself below if you are interested in helping out with the project. Please specify who you are and your areas of interest and any relevant expertise.
- YOUR NAME − WHAT YOU CAN HELP WITH
- Heath Ahrens (hahrens at ispeech dot org)- can help with text to speech in 27 languages. Founder of http://www.iSpeech.org
- brion (talk) - browser side stuff and mediawiki integration :)
- Pawel Cyrta – ex-Samsung s-voice tts engineer for european languages
- Andrew Krizhanovsky – can test application in Russian language with my students
- High-five for bringing such an amazing project. Would love to contribute for the Odia language. --Psubhashish (talk) 11:07, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
- Bodhisattwa - Interested to have this feature for Bengali language wikis.
- Arabic --Zack (talk) 15:26, 2 January 2017 (UTC)
- Dr Mel Ganus - working with American Foundation for the Blind - community building and engagement --DrMel (talk) 19:53, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
- Alangi Derick (alangiderick at gmail dot com) - I would like to help out as a volunteer developer on the project. --Alangi derick (talk) 12:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
- I love this project and will contribute in Telugu language. --Pavan santhosh.s (talk) 06:28, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
- Egbe Eugene (agboreugene at gmail dot com) - This is an interesting project and I will like to help as a volunteer developer in building tools for other volunteers to make it easier to improve the Wikispeech lexicon --Egbe Eugene (talk)
- Robin Owain, Wikimedia UK Manager in Wales; Cymraeg / Welsh language; Admin/Bureaucrat on cywiki; browser side up. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 23:02, 17 May 2017 (UTC)
- SEAN patrick- aspiring linguist/teacher. Can at least understand Espanol and speak English. Only 21 years young and interested in language in all sorts of ways from books to people all over the world. firstname.lastname@example.org
- I may not know the answers but it's 2017 I know where to find them. Shawshank
- Moritz Schubotz - Help with support for math. --Physikerwelt (talk) 09:18, 31 May 2018 (UTC)
- Floblack - Can help with italian language and user testing
... and I would like to endorse it
Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page.
- YOUR NAME − WHY YOU THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT
- Awesome ! Best news emerging from the Wikimedia movement in the recent times!--Ravidreams (talk) 07:09, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
- a worthy effort. Can we expect it to work in Hebrew as well, not only Arabic? Esh77 (talk) 10:05, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
- Yes - Endorse! Delighted to see you've already gotten so much done - keep up the good work! I hope to connect with you all soon! DrMel (talk) 19:53, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
- Yes - I totally Endorse this project. This will go a long way to make even the visually impaired read Wikipedia (which they are a percentage of the society out there). This is a great initiative --Alangi derick (talk) 19:16, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
- Support, Recording Audio is time consuming and developing a TTS would improve accessibility. Will there be considerations made for other projects with specalist markup like Wikisource? (A lot of formatting in templates for example).
I'll also note that IIRC Edinburgh Universaity had done a LOT of work of so called voice banking, so they may be a useful academic partner to approach. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:10, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
- Yes, I endorse the project. The tools built here will totally be of great help to volunteers to improve the Wikispeech lexicon by highlighting words which will be added to the lexicon -- Egbe Eugene (talk).
- Will serve a lot of people.--Nizil Shah (talk) 20:05, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
- A very good idea to built a server based solution, to get independnet from locally installed software. --X:: black ::X (talk) 20:21, 30 June 2017 (UTC)
- strong suport Excellent. Now that we have an unique account for all Wikimedia projects, interactions between different languages begin real. This tool can help this interaction, as increases accessibility to our projects, becoming this way more inclusive. --Camelia.boban (talk) 11:09, 31 October 2017 (UTC)
- Strong suport -Nabin K. Sapkota (talk) 08:15, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
- Yes, we strongly need this for the visually impaired people to make Wikipedia accessible to more people
- Very important for the future of Wikimedia. MichaelSchoenitzer (talk) 21:21, 4 March 2019 (UTC)See also
For more information on Wikispeech and its design process, see these directory pages:
- Blog post about Dr. Nawar Halabi and the Arabic voice for Wikispeech
- Accessibility/mw:Accessibility for the general efforts in this area
- Extension:PronunciationRecording (for Wiktionary)