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Pronounce an English word using Merriam-Webster.com

Terminal - Pronounce an English word using Merriam-Webster.com
cmd=$(wget -qO- "http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/$(echo "$@"|tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]')" | sed -rn "s#return au\('([^']+?)', '([^'])[^']*'\);.*#\nwget -qO- http://cougar.eb.com/soundc11/\2/\1 | aplay -q#; s/[^\n]*\n//p"); [ "$cmd" ] && eval "$cmd" || exit 1
2010-03-12 13:56:41
User: hackerb9
Functions: eval exit sed wget
Pronounce an English word using Merriam-Webster.com

Looks up a word on merriam-webster.com, does a screen scrape for the FIRST audio pronunciation and plays it.

USAGE: Put this one-liner into a shell script (e.g., ~/bin/pronounce) and run it from the command line giving it the word to say:

pronounce lek

If the word isn't found in merriam-webster, no audio is played and the script returns an error value. However, M-W is a fairly complete dictionary (better than howjsay.com which won't let you hear how to pronounce naughty words).

ASSUMPTIONS: GNU's sed (which supports -r for extended regular expressions) and Linux's aplay. Aplay can be replaced by any program that can play .WAV files from stdin.

KNOWN BUGS: only the FIRST pronunciation is played, which is problematic if you wanted a particular form (plural, adjectival, etc) of the word. For example, if you run this:

pronounce onomatopoetic

you'll hear a voice saying "onomatopoeia".

Playing the correct form of the word is possible, but doing so might make the screen scraper even more fragile than it already is. (The slightest change to the format of m-w.com could break it).


There are 6 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
pronounce(){ wget -qO- $(wget -qO- "http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/$@" | grep 'soundUrl' | head -n 1 | sed 's|.*soundUrl=\([^&]*\)&.*|\1|' | sed 's/%3A/:/g;s/%2F/\//g') | mpg123 -; }
pronounce(){ wget -qO- $(wget -qO- "http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/$@" | grep 'return au' | sed -r "s|.*return au\('([^']*)', '([^'])[^']*'\).*|http://cougar.eb.com/soundc11/\2/\1|") | aplay -q; }
2010-03-12 17:44:16
User: matthewbauer
Functions: aplay grep sed wget

The original was a little bit too complicated for me. This one does not use any variables.

pronounce(){ xidel "http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/$*" -f "replace(css('.au')[1]/@onclick,\".*'([^']+)', *'([^']+)'.*\", '/audio.php?file=\$1&word=\$2')" -f 'css("embed")[1]/@src' --download - | aplay -q;}
2013-04-18 13:03:16
User: BeniBela
Functions: aplay

Updated to the new version of the MW webpage (seems MW does not use cougar anymore, so the other commands do not work nowadays), and using Xidel to parse the page with a html parser instead regex.

Example usage:

pronounce onomatopoetic

I'm not sure how well Xidel works with binary streams (although it seems to work great in tests), so using wget to download the actual wav file might be safer, i.e.:

pronounce(){ wget -qO- $(xidel "http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/$*" -f "replace(css('.au')[1]/@onclick,\".*'([^']+)', *'([^']+)'.*\", '/audio.php?file=\$1&word=\$2')" -e 'css("embed")[1]/@src') | aplay -q;}

Xidel is not a standard cli tool and has to be downloaded from xidel.sourceforge.net

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