OSX: Hear pronunciation of a word

say WORD
I often use this command to learn pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

2
By: haivu
2010-03-26 15:23:32

These Might Interest You

  • 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). Show Sample Output


    3
    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
    hackerb9 · 2010-03-12 13:56:41 0
  • This works even if there are spaces in any word in the command line. Show Sample Output


    3
    quietly() { "$@" > /dev/null 2>&1; }
    wipu · 2011-10-04 06:45:42 1
  • Requires wdiff. Prints the word-by-word diff with the old version highlighted in red, and the new in green. Change the colors by altering 41m and 42m. 45m is more of a magenta and may be easier to read.


    0
    wdiff -n -w $'\033[30;41m' -x $'\033[0m' -y $'\033[30;42m' -z $'\033[0m' oldversion.txt newversion.txt
    abracadabra · 2011-11-10 18:35:41 0

  • 0
    word=$(shuf -n4 /usr/share/dict/words); for w in ${word[@]}; do w=${w^}; w=${w//\'/}; p+=$w; done; echo $p
    fishdaemon · 2013-08-22 08:21:41 1

What Others Think

A nice feature is to the -o option to write to a file.
putnamhill · 430 weeks and 1 day ago
I would recommend against the use of a computer speech synth to learn correct pronunciation.
philthomson · 430 weeks and 1 day ago
This works in Linux too, not just OSX
kbrill · 430 weeks ago
this command: espeak "Words" do the same work
glaudiston · 389 weeks and 5 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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