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M2 Presswire

No hable? No Problem!; Rhetorical Develops English/Spanish Voice For American Market

May 22, 2003
Copyright © 2003
M2 Presswire. All rights reserved. 

Scotland - Rhetorical, a leading developer of text to speech technology, has created a new voice capable of seamlessly switching between Spanish and US English.

The strength of Rhetorical`s Americas Spanish voice lies in its ability to automatically select one the two languages to reflect natural speech patterns.

The technology recognises when to use Spanish pronunciation and when to use English pronunciation from a simple text input. For example, in a sentence like "Central Bank es un banco central" it will read the first occurrence of "central" as an English word and the second occurrence as a Spanish word.

The Americas Spanish voice also automatically reads out the numbers and abbreviations of an address in the correct language. For example, an address written as "7th Ave" would be spoken as "Seventh Avenue", whereas "C/ Juan XX" comes out as "Calle Juan Veinte." Rhetorical`s Americas Spanish voice is optimised for addresses in North America, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico and Spain.

While this voice has huge potential in North America, the ability to speak Spanish opens up new markets for Rhetorical in South America. This is in keeping with the company`s successful tactical approach to niche markets.

Rhetorical CEO Marc Moens said:

"Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the US. Many areas in the US have names or streets which are of Spanish descent. There are around one and a half million Spanish speakers in California alone but also many more in places like Texas where the US borders Mexico.

"The ability to cope with Spanish names and numbers has been a flaw in speech synthesis technology but not anymore. With this new voice we have solved a major problem for US call centres with a natural sounding voice that people can identify with."

Rhetorical, has been responsible for many breakthroughs in text to speech technology. This latest release is based on the rVoice4 platform with similar performance and interoperability capabilities. This latest expansion comes on the back of record results for three-year-old Rhetorical, which recently announced a 70% increase in revenues for 2002.

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