- What is ABAIR?
- What is NVDA?
- Is the plugin for Irish free of charge?
- Will there be more voices and dialects?
- What about operating systems other than Windows?
- Can I use the voices on the iPhone, the iPad or Android devices?
- Is there any software in Irish?
- What type of synthesis do you use?
- Are there any websites in Irish where I can test the plugin?
- Can I get NVDA to say everything in Irish?
The ABAIR project is based in the Phonetics and Speech Laboratory in Trinity College Dublin. One of the project's main objectives is to provide state of the art text-to-speech synthesis for Irish. ABAIR is currently being funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
For more information about ABAIR check out the website abair.ie.
NVDA is a free open source screen reader for the Windows operating system. It is easy to install on any Windows machine. Alternatively, it can be run directly from a memory stick (if you prefer to test it first). NVDA is fully featured, which means it offers the same functionality as other screen readers like e.g. JAWS. An overview of NVDA's features can be found here. Thus, users already familiar with other screen readers will find it easy to use NVDA. What is more, NVDA can be installed alongside other screen readers, which means you can switch from one to the other without a problem.
Yes. The ABAIR plugins for the NVDA screen reader can be downloaded free of charge for private, non-commercial purposes. If you plan to use any of the plugins for commercial and / or public purposes, a permission to do so has to be obtained first (see also the licensing information on this website).
At the moment, the ABAIR plugin features all three major dialects of Irish: Ulster (Gaoth Dobhair), Connaught (Conamara) and Munster (Corca Dhuibhne). There are plans to create voices for other subvarieties of these three major dialects.
We are planning to cater for the three major operating systems (Windows, OS X and Linux). However, since the majority of visually impaired users work on Windows machines, the priority has been to make the Irish voice available for Windows first.
The short answer: No, you can't use them on any of those devices at the moment. The long answer: We are planning to make our voices available for both iOS and Android devices. Since the majority of visually impaired users are on Windows machines, Windows has been a priority for us. However, given the huge amount of iOS and Android users nowadays, we understand the importance of catering for those devices too.
Yes. There is software that has been translated to Irish. There is for example an Irish version of the internet browser Firefox. It displays all menus and dialogs in Irish.
This enables you to visit Irish language homepages without having to switch between languages when interacting with your browser.
For more information about software in Irish visit scriobh.ie.
The type of synthesis we use for our screen reader voices is called HTS. HTS analyses natural speech (recordings of a native speaker) and applies statistical models to calculate average values for each speech sound in each context. In other words, HTS voices emulate a real speaker which makes the voices sound more natural. Synthesis with HTS is very fast and has a small memory footprint, which makes it ideal for the use in screen reading software.
Yes. Here are some suggestions:
- An Irish language online newspaper based in Barna, Co. Galway, featuring news from Ireland and all over the world.
- Nuacht RTÉ
- RTÉ News in Irish
- Meon Eile
- An Irish language online platform based in Belfast, featuring news and stories from Ulster and beyond.
Yes. If you want menu items and the like to be read out in Irish as well, simply set the default language to Irish as described in the section Setting the locale to Irish. If you want to know what locale settings are, you may have a look at the section Locale settings.