pdfs not being correctly read on ibooks
I tried comparing the way iBooks pronounces accented, non-English words by importing PDF and ePub versions of a French eBook, and listening to VoiceOver's reading of the text with my language rotor set to a French voice. Most of the words were read understandably, but in the case of the PDF version, accented words spelled with a "c" with a cedilla or with an"e" with an acute accent were not pronounced correctly. I rarely read PDF versions in iBooks, though, if it is possible to get an ePub version, especially since there can be hyphenated word breaks in the PDF versions. This is also going to be less noticeable for an English-only speaker, and will also not be noticed by someone who is reading in a language that does not use latin characters or accent marks.
Personally, I would use Voice Dream Reader to read those PDFs. and buy one of the two Portuguese or four Spanish voices via in-app purchase for $1.99 each. I realize that does not get around the problem you have pointed out with VoiceOver's reading in iBooks.
By the way, I found that the iCab browser app has a convenient way to generate ePubs from HTML web pages. Although there are a number of ways to generate ePub from Mac applications and from your computer, it's nice having the capability in an iPhone app. There's a comment posted that describes how to use this feature under the iCab app description.
Hello, I suggest that you send an email report of the problem to the general address for Apple accessibility issues: email@example.com
You should identify your language and country, because some problems with VoiceOver pronunciation can either be specific to a particular language or have more severe impact. For example, in countries where more books are available in ePub versions through the iBooks store, or in languages like English that use few accented characters, such problems are less likely to be reported. And only recently did the latest version of iOS 6 solve a VoiceOver problem that was specific to Greek users. You may get a form letter acknowledgement, but these requests do get attention.
I made another test, and tried emailing myself a short PDF attachment with words with accented letters, then opened up the attachment to read it in Preview. (This is the application on the Mac that reads PDFs, and in iOS, even if you don't open it in iBooks, but only double tap on the attachment to open and read it, the accented words are still not pronounced correctly).
In answer to your question, when I opened this document in the VoiceDream Reader app, the accented words in the PDF were read correctly with the French voice. Yes, the VoiceDream Reader app will read continuously in a variety of formats in addition to PDF (e.g., DAISY, Word, RTF, TXT, ePub, HTML). You can search for text within files in all file types supported by the app and be taken to them. It also keeps your place. You are shown your position in the book as a percentage of the book that has been read, along with time elapsed and the time remaining (for the speech rate you have set under voice settings). There is also a slider at the bottom of the screen that allows you to move through the book. I can have different voices selected for books that are in different languages, and they wil lbe remembered. You can set bookmarks within each book. There is also free DropBox integration.
You can try out the free, lite version of Voice Dream Reader:
By default you'll only be able to use the Heather (U.S. English) voice, I think, but you can test it with some accented words. The Lite version only lets you store a limited number of downloaded files, and does not include the samples of the Neospeech voices (for Juile and Paul), which are $2.99 each instead of $1.99. I do feel that this app is a bit expensive at the normal $9.99 list price, but it has very good features. At present, it's reported there's some difficulty for paired Braille devices to have a sequence that goes to the next page that works every time, but this a new feature.
Sorry not to have any better suggestions of other options for you.