Friday, July 4, 2008

More on proofreading by text to speech

In a previous post, I wrote about a proofreading solution using a commercial software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) to read out the text you  translated. Although the voice is not as natural as in Naturally Speaking, here is a free solution, SayzMe, thanks to a reader of this blog who pointed it out to me. The voice bundled with this free application is passable, and certainly better than some of the voices I had tried out a year ago. Download this freeware utility and try it out yourself.

I have recorded two simple Word macros that hide and un-hide hidden text when you use a CAT tool such as Wordfast. These macros may be used to conveniently hide the hidden text and proofread paragraphs or the entire document during the translation process. I have put them on Word's toolbar as you see here:

  Jules-01 To proofread a paragraph, you can run HidOff that hides the Japanese source text and displays only the translated English text, select the paragraph and hit Ctrl +C to copy the text to clipboard. If SayzMe is already running, it will read out the clipboard text.

You can record these two convenient macros yourself using the macro recorder in Word or copy them from here (Note: I have run these on Word 2003, and they work fine. If they don't work for you, try recording them yourself.)

CAUTION: When you proofread and wish to make corrections by deleting or writing over text at the beginning or end of sentences, make sure you turn the hidden text ON and then do the corrections. There is a good chance you may delete the hidden bookmarks inserted by the CAT tool when you delete/overwrite text.

I wanted to write about CAT tools, such as Wordfast and Felix the Cat.  unfortunately, looming deadlines have prevented me trying out Felix - hopefully in the near future. Here are the two macros:

Sub HidOff()
'
' HidOff Macro
' Macro recorded 2008/04/03 by Gururaj Rao
'
    Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
    Application.ShowWindowsInTaskbar = True
    Application.ShowStartupDialog = True
    With ActiveWindow
        .DisplayHorizontalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayVerticalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayLeftScrollBar = False
        .StyleAreaWidth = MillimetersToPoints(0)
        .DisplayVerticalRuler = True
        .DisplayRightRuler = False
        .DisplayScreenTips = True
        With .View
            .ShowAnimation = True
            .Draft = False
            .WrapToWindow = True
            .ShowPicturePlaceHolders = False
            .ShowFieldCodes = False
            .ShowBookmarks = False
            .FieldShading = wdFieldShadingWhenSelected
            .ShowTabs = False
            .ShowSpaces = False
            .ShowParagraphs = False
            .ShowHyphens = False
            .ShowHiddenText = False
            .ShowAll = False
            .ShowDrawings = True
            .ShowObjectAnchors = True
            .ShowTextBoundaries = False
            .ShowHighlight = True
            .ShowOptionalBreaks = False
            .DisplayPageBoundaries = True
            .DisplaySmartTags = False
        End With
    End With
End Sub
Sub HidON()
'
' HidON Macro
' Macro recorded 2008/04/03 by Gururaj Rao
'
    Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
    Application.ShowWindowsInTaskbar = True
    Application.ShowStartupDialog = True
    With ActiveWindow
        .DisplayHorizontalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayVerticalScrollBar = True
        .DisplayLeftScrollBar = False
        .StyleAreaWidth = MillimetersToPoints(0)
        .DisplayVerticalRuler = True
        .DisplayRightRuler = False
        .DisplayScreenTips = True
        With .View
            .ShowAnimation = True
            .Draft = False
            .WrapToWindow = True
            .ShowPicturePlaceHolders = False
            .ShowFieldCodes = False
            .ShowBookmarks = False
            .FieldShading = wdFieldShadingWhenSelected
            .ShowTabs = False
            .ShowSpaces = False
            .ShowParagraphs = False
            .ShowHyphens = False
            .ShowHiddenText = True
            .ShowAll = False
            .ShowDrawings = True
            .ShowObjectAnchors = True
            .ShowTextBoundaries = False
            .ShowHighlight = True
            .ShowOptionalBreaks = False
            .DisplayPageBoundaries = True
            .DisplaySmartTags = False
        End With
    End With
End Sub

2 comments:

Ryan Ginstrom said...

Nice macros. Watch out, though: VBA is a "gateway" language. It starts out innocently enough, but then you move on to harder languages, and pretty soon you'll need to do 10 lines of Python every morning just to quiet the shakes. :)

In your first post, you mentioned "good voices" so I didn't mention a free tool that I made, but since you widened the field a bit I figure I'll mention mine: Word Speaker. It's a free/open source add-in for MS Word, and you can select any voice you've got installed on your computer and that's available via SAPI.

By the way, I have heard this type of proofing called "proof listening." I blogged about it here (includes a reference to an old JAT article on the subject).

Translation said...

In time, probably soon, will be translator tools that will do the job by voice.