Text to speech (TTS) technology is increasingly popular, allowing computers to read text into audio with a human-like voice. Japanese TTS is also gradually developing and widely applied.
Japanese is a complex language with many challenges for TTS technology. First, the writing system combines Chinese characters (kanji), kana and Latin characters, making the text processing process more complicated. Second, Japanese has a wide variety of context-based intonation, making the synthesis of natural intonation challenging. Finally, Japanese has many forms of polite language based on the social relationship between speaker and listener.
However, Japanese technology companies have developed many impressive Japanese TTS technologies. Companies like NTT, ATR, Panasonic, etc. has applied AI and Deep Learning to improve natural voice quality like a human. They use techniques such as LSTM language modeling, reinforcement learning, linear correction sampling, etc. to synthesize speech.
Basically, the Japanese TTS process includes the following steps:
Text preprocessing: Convert written text into Hiragana/Katakana sounds.
Grammar analysis: Analyzing syntax and semantics based on context.
Phonetic rules: Determine how to pronounce each word based on context.
Choose voice: Choose the suitable voice from the database.
Speech synthesis: Synthesize sound segments from the phoneme dictionary.
Signal processing: Edit audio parameters to be as natural as a real voice.
Users can use online or offline Japanese TTS tools and services to convert text to speech. Some popular tools include ReadSpeaker, iSpeech, Natural Reader, Amazon Polly,… with built-in high quality Japanese TTS.
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The advantage of Japanese TTS is that it supports reading many types of text such as news, documents, books, poems, scripts,… bringing convenience to Japanese learners as well as the visually impaired. The drawback is that the quality is still not perfect, the voice is somewhat artificial.
In general, Japanese TTS has made great strides thanks to the application of AI and deep learning technology. With the continuous development of technology, it is hoped that in the future Japanese TTS will become more and more perfect and popular, providing effective support for foreign language learners as well as people with disabilities.