Some common mistakes
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Jul 23, 2010

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/life/10-common-errors-spell-check-won-t-catch-2039083/#poll-86A687227A3211DF922CE2CA55AE989C

As mentioned in the article, the English language is full of homonyms, where the same pronunciation leads to different spelling. One of my 'favourites' is there and their.

I wonder how speech recognition deals with this problem?

Regards
Heinrich


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 21:01
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
One of my favourites... Jul 23, 2010

... is than and then!

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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
Danish to English
not the same Jul 23, 2010

Than and then are not pronounced the same, although in everyday speech it may sound that way. I always try to make a clear distinction between the two. There and their, however, do sound exactly the same.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
English to German
+ ...
Speech recognition Jul 23, 2010

Interesting point. I have never used it and I am curious how speech recognition deals with:

hour (pronunciation: au(-ə)r) and
our (pronunciation: au(-ə)r)

for example.


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Judith Kiraly  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
English to Hungarian
Context Jul 23, 2010

The speech recognition software can take into account the context (3 words) based on a statistical model.

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George Hopkins
Local time: 22:01
Swedish to English
Prayer Jul 23, 2010

Prayer and prayer are confusing to some.
A local choir performing the well-known "Hear my prayer" pronounced 'prayer' in the context of a person praying, which was incorrect.
I carefully pointed this out to the choir leader but to no avail - the same mistake was made in a performance a year later.
Some people can english good.


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Brian Young  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
Danish to English
Judith is right Jul 23, 2010

I have been using speech recognition whenever possible, and although I never thought about this as a potential problem, the program always seems to get it right (almost).
Next time I will try a little test.
If we use one hour on our project, then it will be less than their project over there.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:01
English to German
+ ...
Thanks, Judith! Jul 23, 2010

Judith Kiraly wrote:

The speech recognition software can take into account the context (3 words) based on a statistical model.


Thanks for the info!


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opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:01
English to German
+ ...
This reminds of the phonetics course ... Jul 23, 2010

... during my English studies. One of the sentences we had to practise aloud went like this:

"If I had a hat." "If I had a hat." "If I had a hat."

(The background is that in German, final consonants often turn into their hard, aspired versions if in final position, such that "Abend" is pronounced like "Abent", "Tag" as "Tak" , "ab" as "ap", etc. What we call "Auslautverhärtung". -- So this was one of those exercises intended to "de-learn" the habit.)

We also had exercises to dinstiguish between "than" and "then" (mentioned earlier in the thread).
-- (Oops, this is another one: "thread vs. threat".)

I keep telling people that contrary to the almost universal belief in this country, English is a rather difficult language for German natives to learn, partly owing to its many phonetic subtleties and irregularities. But of course, no-one ever wants to believe me


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:01
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Similar problem in OCR Jul 25, 2010

That's not exclusive to voice recognition. Apparently it happens every time machines are expected to "understand" human language.

Though there are several letter combinations that - depending on the font used - cause two letters to be merged, or one letter to be split, the most frustrating OCR flaw is to merge lowercase RNinto M, or to split a lowercase M into RN. A spellchecker will accept both, e.g. "dam" (DAM) and "darn" (DARN).

Other common such things are:
D into I)
O (letter "o") into 0 (zero)
I into |
l (lowercase L) and 1 (one)

Of course, good OCR software has its own internal "spellchecker" to fix most - but not all - of these.

Things get worse when diacritics are involved. "ó" (letter O with an acute accent) is often a dead ringer for the number 6.

So if accuracy is a top priority after a human-to-machine comversion, careful human reading of the text in some monospace font may be unavoidable.

[Edited at 2010-07-25 12:16 GMT]


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