Free Chinese Text to Speech Firefox Plugin

by Dave Flynn | 7th July, 2010 | Software |

Reading and comprehension is an important part of the language learning process, but something that shouldn’t be overlooked is listening ability. The only way you can improve you listening is by exposing your ear to more speech, if you have a Chinese speaking friend then you’re in luck. However, even the most patient of friends can become annoyed if you’re constantly asking about the pronunciation of words. For those times when your friend isn’t about, or you’re studying alone, a text to speech (TTS) program that reads the words from a document of web page out look can be extremely useful.

ImTranslator Free Text to Speech for Firefox

ImTranslator is a free Firefox plugin that is full of features and translates many languages, but the feature that stands out the most is Chinese text to speech. After installing ImTranslator, to start text to speech all you need to do is:

1. Highlight some text, then right click and choose ImTranslator Tools > ImTranslator TTS:

2. In the new window that pops up, choose “Chinese” form the language drop down and then press the “Say It” button:

ImTranslator Say It

The quality of pronunciation really isn’t bad, and the plugin also allows you to change the speed of the speech. Even if you only use this now and again it’s still a valuable addition to add to your collection of Chinese learning tools.

Know of any other useful tools for learning Chinese? Let us know below:

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Dave Flynn

Dave is a designer of websites, learner of Chinese and lover of technology. Originally from the UK, he's been living in Taiwan and learning Mandarin Chinese for the last eight years. He founded and runs Chinese Hacks, a blog dedicated to effectively learning Chinese.

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Tags: #Chinese #Firefox #Free #Plugin #Text to Speech #Tool #TTS #Utility

6 Comments

  1. This is really neat! I hope it works on Firefox 4… It might be enough reason for me to switch back from Chrome and Safari, at least some of the time.

    Also, nice to see you are using a mac!


  2. Alison C

    Dave–thanks for this! I came across organically while trying to look at existing resources for converting simplified to traditional…I’ve worked in Shanghai for past 3.5 years and studied Chinese for many years academically–but all simplified. Now wondering how painful it will be to improve my grasp on traditional Chinese…crap!


  3. Mark B

    Hey David,
    Today, I’ve been working trying to get my mac voiceover system utility to read Chinese webpages in Safari. Apparently, it works well but requires some configuration. Perhaps this would be the great free “hack” :) solution for mac readers needing text to speech in mandarin.


    • Hi Mark, That sounds really interesting, if you have any info about how to do this please send me an email via the contact form: http://chinesehacks.com/contact
      Cheers!


  4. Liren Austin

    You may compare this one with another at http://www.hchightech.com to see an even better Chinese to speech engine there. It’s free and can accept both IE and Firefox.


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