Website of the Week

Can you say “Dog”? I admit that’s easy, but did you know that your computer can say “Dog” too, without the Baha Men pumping from an MP3?

Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies have created “Text-to-Speech,” which allows users to type a series of words and listen to a digitized voice. Did you ever wonder how a computer-generated gnat would say, “I am the most annoying creature on the planet?”

There are American English, German, Spanish and even Canadian French interfaces, as well as several different voices (including the aforementioned gnat) on the English site. The Java version allows particularly creative users to craft voices by playing with pitches, speaking rate and breathiness. A blast from the past, the Pig Latin Translator would be perfect for those seven-year-olds who could never decode the language.

So on those long, lonely nights, when you are sitting at your computer writing a paper, be sure to procrastinate and give this site a whirl. A computer’s rendition of any tune is sure to boost your confidence when singing along with the Backstreet Boys.