Reading that’s listening
Students – and now employees as well – can download the TorTalk text-to-speech program to their own computers. The program reads all the text visible on a computer screen in a computerised voice.
It takes a long time to read something for a person who has difficulties reading, and much of the concentration goes to decoding the text. By listening to the text, focus and energy can be devoted to the content instead.
There are other, similar tools, but according to Katarina Eriksson – the library’s contact person for students with reading difficulties – they’re not all equally user-friendly. TorTalk is very simple, and works on all types of texts and documents such as e-books and locked PDF files. Even text from a scanned picture can be read out.
TorTalk can also be useful for those who would rather listen to a text, or think that reading from a computer screen is taxing. It’s also conceivable that the program could be used for proofreading your own texts. When it’s being read out, you can hear if it flows well.
The program is available in 20 different languages. For some, it could be easier to listen instead of reading a difficult text in a language other than their native language.
There are 60 different voices to choose from. According to Ms Eriksson, they are a bit computerish, but she advises users to think of the voice as a dialect. The voices read correctly, and the speed of the reading can be regulated.
How can you get access to TorTalk?
Students can download TorTalk via the Student Portal.
Employees can find information on TorTalk at: http://liu.se/insidan/it/program/tortalk?l=sv
In order to get TorTalk installed on your computer, contact the person in charge of software at your department or division, or e-mail email@example.com
You can find the relevant person in charge of software here: http://liu.se/insidan/it/program/programvaruansvariga?l=s
LiU’s package includes Swedish and English; they come with the basic installation. Other language voices can be downloaded separately.
Last updated: 2016-03-24