VoiceOver pronunciation issue

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team
macOS and Mac Apps

She placed the drink where Walt always sat. He sipped it gingerly.

In the above text passage on MacOS, VoiceOver sometimes misreads the word sat as Saturday. It seems to misread it is I use the read all command VO+A or the commands to read by sentence (VO+Command+PageUp and PageDown). It does it with every voice I've tested except Alex. Strangely, it reads the text correctly if I simply arrow into the line with up or down arrows.

Any idea how to stop this behavior? I've tried a couple entries in the pronunciation dictionary, but so far no luck. The fact that the first sentence ends with a word that is conceivably an abbreviation and is immediately followed by another sentence seems to be a key part of the problem.



Submitted by Lysette Chaproniere on Sunday, February 2, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team
I’ve noticed something similar on iOS. VO on my iPad reads that text correctly, but it reads the word ‘no’ at the end of a sentence as number. So “The answer is no.” Is read as “The answer is number.” I, too, have tried fixing it with the pronunciation dictionary with no luck, although I haven’t tried it recently. To be honest, I wish speech synthesisers would read abbreviations as they are, because I find it easier to process them that way than a wrongly interpreted version, like how VO used to talk about a file having a size of 5 millibars. What’s even more confusing is when it makes a mess of reading dates. At least they’ve fixed the issue where “Jan 2020” was read as “the 20th of January twenty”.

Submitted by Blade Runner on Sunday, February 2, 2020

Different synths handle pronunciations differently.
Alex reads the word in question as Saturday if the s is capitalized. Other synths will read Saturday if there is a period at the end.
Enter pronunciation rules accordingly.

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