Productive Internet Surfing – Really!
As a teacher, my mantra to students doing research was, “Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source to list in a bibliography.”
I often added, however, that Wikipedia is a tool to lead you to reliable sources. In fact, that’s how I found several of my most useful resources when researching Odin’s Promise. It was also a valuable resource when I went looking for a site for audio pronunciations of Norwegian names and words. I found many links that would work, but none were as simple, safe, and easy to access as the one mentioned in a Wikipedia article.
As advance readers begin to provide feedback, several have asked about the correct pronunciation of names. I included a glossary with phonetic pronunciation for both Norwegian and German words at the back of the book, but I didn’t include names in that section. Now we’re working to add them before the final printing. That question also launched my search for a simple website that allowed an easy plug-in of names and words with fairly accurate audio voicing. Most of the resources I found included massive advertising, easy shifts to games of questionable content, requests for purchases, and other “traps” not suitable for young readers.
That’s when Wikipedia came to the rescue. There I found a link to a demo page for the AcapelaGroup. This is a company selling text-to-speech products, but their demo program on the left column offers everything needed with few distractions. What’s more, it is remarkably simple to operate. Scroll and click the language (Norwegian, of course), select a voice (Olav, of course) and type in the name or word to be voiced.
Then click the “listen” tab to hear it pronounced with a Scandinavian accent. You can recheck the tab as often as needed to really hear it clearly. I guarantee Synthetic Olav has a more authentic accent than the human on the Berlitz tapes I learned from years ago.
Click here to try it for yourself: http://www.acapela-group.com/.
Then just type in and listen to some of the names and words you’ll find when you read Odin’s Promise:
Names: Mari, Lise, Per, Bjorn, Ytre Arna, Greta, Leif, Anika
Words: Jul, bunad, Syttende Mai, marzipan, lefsa, hund, nei, takk, krone, Jossing, Bestemor.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. The good news is I found other useful links which will be making an appearance here in coming days.
For now, though, give this a try. Enjoy!