Lowering default espeakup speed?

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Mon Jul 23 11:26:51 EDT 2012

Hi, Samuel:

It's good that you're considering the particular needs of beginning
users. I think you're very correct that those of us who want fast speech
will know how to readily adjust speech speed to our preferred rate.

However, I have a caution I would like to express on this topic. In my
experience much of beginning user problems with synthetic speech is
simply the fact that it is synthetic and not human speech. Intonation is
different, pronunciation is different, etc. etc. But beginners will not
express their confusion in these terms. The common understanding is that
slowing speech down will increase comprehension. But this is only true
up to a point. Comprehension cal also be impeded by going too slowly,
much like trying to ride a bicycle too slowly results in a rider falling

The best cure, imo, is not listening, but creating content. The
beginning user who is typing will learn to understand the TTS engine far
faster than someone who just listens. This is because one knows what one
is typing and thus can more quickly associate the TTS engine's way of
saying things against their expectations of how certain content should
be spoken.

My bottom line is please don't set the default too slow. I would tend
toward slightly slower than average speaking rate.


Samuel Thibault writes:
> Hello,
> We are getting contradictory feedback from users:
> - a lot of them find espeakup too fast
> - a lot of them find it too slow
> so I'm wondering whether the current default speed (the average) is
> really a good default value.  People who want fast speed are usually
> also those who are able to find in the documentation how to request
> speed increase, while those who prefer a slow speed are often beginners
> who have no clue about such things.  So the idea would be that the
> default would be a "welcoming" slow speed, which people would be able to
> increase at will along getting used to it.
> What do people think about it?
> Samuel
> _______________________________________________
> Speakup mailing list
> Speakup at braille.uwo.ca
> http://speech.braille.uwo.ca/mailman/listinfo/speakup


Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
			sip:janina at asterisk.rednote.net
		Email:	janina at rednote.net

The Linux Foundation
Chair, Open Accessibility:	http://a11y.org

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair,	Protocols & Formats	http://www.w3.org/wai/pf
	Indie UI			http://www.w3.org/WAI/IndieUI/

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