New Welsh Voice from ReadSpeaker gives learners UDL and accessibility options in Welsh to help them engage more deeply with learning materials when at school, at home, in training, or at college or university
Friday, October 7, 2022 — CARDIFF, Wales – ReadSpeaker has released a new Welsh text-to-speech voice for use in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities and the workplace in Wales. At the click of a button, learners can enable the ReadSpeaker text-to-speech (TTS) tool which will read school websites, course content, training materials, and assessments in a Welsh voice that has the same natural-sounding intonation and inflection as a native speaker. This move is in support of accessibility requirements and the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, which mandated that all public services give equal parity to Welsh and English and to teach Welsh in the nation’s schools.
Not only do students with learning differences benefit, but any student can use the ReadSpeaker voice tools to help them better understand and engage with what they are reading. Webpages, PDF documents, assignments, exams, training manuals, learning materials and even pages of a textbook can be read in English or Welsh, which the student can speed up or slow down as needed. They can also choose other tools like text highlighting, screen mask and reading ruler to improve focus, or select variations in font, size, and colour. These options not only support SEND (special education needs and/or disabilities) students but also learners who need additional help in learning the language, or those who prefer to engage with content differently. ReadSpeaker complies with local privacy laws as well as Joint Council for Qualifications rules for reasonable adjustments during exams so students are always able to work on a level playing field and independently in the classroom, at home, and in exams.
“We are pleased to introduce ‘Anwen,’ a Welsh voice option for our ReadSpeaker text-to-speech tools in Wales, in support of the national effort to encourage Welsh fluency,” said Roy Lindemann, Chief Marketing Officer for ReadSpeaker. “Developing Anwen’s voice is important because it means that learners have extra language support while they are in school or while learning at home. Research shows that students who engage with a language in multiple ways reach fluency sooner and with greater success.”
Giving learners options for how they interact with lessons, study materials, and other course work is one way to help them engage. That’s why ReadSpeaker is a step above free text-to-speech enablement tools. ReadSpeaker’s tools are significantly more robust than simply turning words into audio. ReadSpeaker lets students listen to written materials while reading along with highlighted text, using a voice of their choice. They can enable audio anywhere in the materials to take notes, or upload documents to have them read back, to use dictation and listen while they type, to download audio files to listen on a phone, or more.
As an important support for institutions to move to Universal Design for Learning (UDL), ReadSpeaker can be purchased individually or as a site licence, giving every student access across the virtual learning environment (VLE) as an integrated tool. No need for downloads or to leave the learning environment for all learners to have the opportunity to use audio in their learning.
- Stop by the ReadSpeaker Stand 54 at the National Education Show Oct. 7 at Cardiff City Hall to see ReadSpeaker in action.
- Learn more about Teaching the Welsh language here.
For over 20 years, ReadSpeaker has been giving a human-like synthetic voice to more than 10,000 education and industry applications in 70 countries. ReadSpeaker creates custom digital voices and offers more than 200 expressive off-the-shelf voices in over 50 languages to enhance the User Experience through engaging voice interactions. At colleges and universities, in primary and secondary schools, and at businesses around the globe, ReadSpeaker brings voice to websites and learning content. Learn more at ReadSpeaker.com or on LinkedIn and Twitter (@ReadSpeaker).
See attached Audio files for reading the following phrases in Welsh:
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod y Gymraeg yn un o ieithoedd hynaf Ewrop. Dechreuodd y Gymraeg ddatblygu fel iaith ar wahân rhywbryd rhwng 400 a 700 OC?
- In English: Did you know that Welsh is one of the oldest languages in Europe. Welsh began to emerge as a distinctive language sometime between 400 and 700 AD?
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod 29.1% o boblogaeth Cymru yn gallu siarad Cymraeg?
- In English: Did you know that 29.1% of the Welsh population can speak Welsh?
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod pobl yn siarad Cymraeg ym Mhatagonia, De America?
- In English: Did you know that Welsh is spoken in Patagonia, South America?
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod Cymru’n gartref i’r enw lle hiraf yn Ewrop. Llanfairpwll-gwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch?
- In English: Did you know that Wales is home to the longest place name in Europe. Llanfairpwll-gwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob-wllllantysiliogogogoch?
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod seiniau ‘unigryw’ y Gymraeg yn debyg i rai o ieithoedd Brodorol America?
- In English: Did you know that the ‘unique’ sounds of the Welsh language are similar to some Native American languages?
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod bod bron cymaint o siaradwyr Cymraeg yn fyw heddiw nag ar unrhyw adeg arall erioed?
- In English: Did you know that there are almost as many Welsh speakers alive today as there have even been at any point?
- Oeddech chi’n gwybod mai pobl ifanc yn y grŵp oedran 12-15 sydd fwyaf tebygol o allu siarad Cymraeg, gan fod 68% yn gallu siarad rhywfaint o’r iaith, o gymharu â dim ond 21% o bobl 65-74 mlwydd oed?
- In English: Did you know that 12-15-year-olds are the age group most likely to be able to speak Welsh, with 68% having some ability to speak the language, compared with only 21% of 65-74-year-olds?
Source: Pando Public Relations