[OSM-talk] handling street names in speech

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Tue Jul 16 15:53:31 UTC 2019

The reason for wanting to expand abbreviations in OSM is surely to avoid
ambiguity, not specifically to aid pronunciation or recognition. In the
case of "1e ..." in a certain language context, would that not be
unambiguous? Would a speech synthesiser not know how it should be spoken
in its working language? 

Slight digression: The question does arise of which rules to use to
pronounce foreign names. If I am in Warsaw for example and my satnav
started pronouncing street names in pure Polish I might not recognise
any of them (apologies to any Poles in the audience). But how would it
speak such that I would recognise it, if I was looking for a string with
loads of Ws and Zs that means nothing to me? Use English rules to
pronounce a Polish word? 

On the other hand, if I was in Paris, I would expect it to use French
rules, because I understand French and using English rules would sound
weird although it might well give a lot of laughs...

On 2019-07-16 17:36, John Whelan wrote:

> This approach I like.  Name:expanded perhaps?
> To go back to earlier ideas.
> Expanding the name sounds sensible but unfortunately the street signs are posted with the abbreviation and some local mappers have a what is on the sign goes in the map mentality.  Also we have had discussions about street names in Canada before and the decision was what the municipality declares the street name is correct.  That was to do with either "rue Sparks" or should it be "Rue Sparks" in Quebec it would be one way but in Ontario the other.
> Thoughts
> Thanks John  
> Colin Smale wrote on 2019-07-16 11:30 AM:
> On 2019-07-16 16:54, John Whelan wrote: One or two are problematic usually as the street name is an abbreviation.    For example 1e Avenue in French meaning First Avenue.
> Any suggestions on how these should be handled?  This particular application is aimed at partially sighted people but I feel we should be able to come up with a generic solution. 
> Some kind of phonetic (IPA?) representation would be the ultimate generic solution. Here in NL (and I guess in many other countries) there are street names which are partially or entirely in other languages, and the expectation is that they are pronounced as such. For example, Boeing Avenue would sound completely weird if it were pronounced according to Dutch rules. Truly multi-lingual countries like Belgium and Switzerland should be able to make use of name:XX. 
> If we had name:XX:ipa=* we would have a place to put it, but the client app would need to have a way of turning that into sounds. It will only be needed if the pronunciation deviates from the standard for the language in question, but speech synthesisers are never perfect and often make mistakes.... 
> https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/264239/is-there-any-online-tool-to-read-pronounce-ipa-and-apa-written-words 
> Of course we will also need a way of entering IPA symbols.... 
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