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Narrator should change voice depending on content

    General discussion

  • Hello,

    After a discussion here, I have a suggestion to make on how Narrator works (if you have a workaround, please tell me):

    Let's say we have a PC configured for German language, and we're using an app providing content in English (let's say it's a technology site). We want the Narrator to speak German in general (to navigate Windows, tell us that we just hit the spacebar, that we're on the 5th out of 6 elements in a list etc). BUT, when the Narrator tries to read content of this app (not just navigating like "this app got focus" we want it to use an English voice - because that's the way the pronunciation will be understandable (try tell the German narrator voice to pronounce "burst" or "Streetwise").

    So I'm suggesting a new inherited XAML property "AutomationProperties.Culture". The intended behaviour is the following:

    1. The narrator speaks with the voice chosen by the user as (s)he's navigating. When it has to announce the contents of an element having the aforementioned property set, if the current voice is at least in a matching language, nothing special happens. If not:
    2. The Narrator tries to find an installed voice matching this culture. If not, it tries at least with the language. If there's one voice installed the Narrator switches to this language (if multiple are installed, we try to preserve the sex of the Narrator), and describes the contents of this element. It switches then back to the previous language.
    3. If no appropriate voice is installed, Windows prompts the user to download an appropriate voice. There are 3 choices:
    • Yes: Windows downloads the language in the background - temporarily still speaking with the previous voice.
    • Never ask me again for that language: Obvious
    • Not Now: The Narrator won't prompt the user for further elements using this language in this app, until the app is Terminated.

    What do you think? It requires some development, but the current situation makes any app providing English content to foreign people with eyesight problems almost useless, even if we spend the necessary time to make the app accessible.

    This should apply to both WPF and WinRT apps...

    HTML has an equivalent lang tag.


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    Monday, August 19, 2013 1:25 PM