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🗣️ Diction Feature Guide
🗣️ Diction Feature Guide

Learn more about changing pronunciation, abbreviation and phonetic spelling in Synthesia.

Updated over a week ago

This simple guide will take you through you how to change pronunciation and using phonetic spelling as well as word abbreviation in Synthesia, to allow you to create the best user experience in your videos. Let's get started! 🚀


How to Change Pronunciation

Sometimes, you may notice minor issues with the pronunciation of certain words, in Synthesia this is something that can be easily resolved!

To modify the pronunciation:

  1. Highlight the word and right-click to Diction option, or select the Diction option from the script box icons, as shown below.

  2. Type your pronunciation preference as shown in the example below and press enter.

💡 TOP TIP 💡

Commas can be used after/before/in a word to slow it down or create a pause


Phonetic Spelling

In most cases, you can adjust the pronunciation of a word by using phonetic spelling.

To do this, select the word you want to adjust, click the Diction option, and spell it using phonetic language.

💡 TOP TIP 💡


When spelling phonetically, please ensure you use the Latin alphabet. Do not use phonetic symbols.


How to Resolve Pronunciation Issues

Pronunciation Issue #1: Acronyms

Acronyms (or individual letters) may need to be spelled phonetically to get the right sound. Some acronyms are pronounced as a word (NASA), while others aren't (WHO).

To resolve this, you are able to use the Diction option, to correct the avatar's speech:

Example

Solution

Acronym as word:

ERP/NBA is pronounced as one word instead of spelling it out.

Acronym as word:

Use the Diction function and write 'e r p' or ‘en be ay’. Use spaces and small letters.

Acronym as individual letters:

STAMP/ASAP is pronounced like S-T-A-M-P/A-S-A-P but you actually want it to be pronounced as one word.

Acronym as individual letters:

Use the diction function and write 'stamp' or ‘eighsap’. Use small letters.

See our video example below👇


Pronunciation Issue #2: Words in different languages

In some case when you’re using words from different languages in your script, you may need to amend the pronunciation.

Example

Solution

Writing a script in English and using the French word ‘rendez-vous’.

Use the diction function and input ‘rahn-day-voo.’

See our video example below👇

Below is a table that you can use to create words from other languages with an English voice.

Letter

Phonetic Spelling

Alternatives

A

ai

ah, ay, eigh

B

bee

be, buh

C

see

kuh, suh, cee

D

dee

de

E

ee

eh, eei

F

ef

fuh

G

jee

guh

H

eitch

huh, (silent)

I

eye

aiy, ah-ee

J

jay

jai

K

kay

kai

L

el

ell

M

em

em

N

en

nuh

O

oh

ah, oh, uh, oo

P

pee

puh

Q

cue

kwuh

R

ah-r

arr, are

S

ess

zuh

T

tee

tuh, tea

U

yoo

yew

V

vee

vea, vuh

W

double-you

double-yew, duboyoo

X

ecks

exx

Y

wah-ee

wye, wyie

Z

zee

zea, zuh


Pronunciation Issue #3: Inflection of words

Sometimes, some words are mispronounced and cannot be fixed with the diction feature.

See our video example below👇

“Space the holes as evenly as you can”. In this case, the AI voice is swallowing the S in space. Using the diction feature doesn’t fix the issue. So how can we look at resolving this issue? 🤔

Solution

  • Sentence Restructuring: Occasionally, restructuring a sentence can help the AI understand the context and pronunciation better.

In this case, restructuring the sentence to “Go ahead and space the holes as evenly as you can.” solves the issue. ✅

  • Choose a Different Voice: Using a different voice can fix pronunciation issues. Each voice has its own diction database and may handle certain words or phrases better.

  • Changing punctuation: Playing with punctuation can help with inflections. You can either use them directly in your script or use the diction function. See the table below for tips and tricks:

Technique

Description

Example

Periods and Commas

Introduce brief pauses in long sentences.

"The weather is nice. Let's go outside."

Exclamation Points

Add emphasis to statements.

"That's amazing!"

Question Marks

Raise the pitch at the end, indicating a question.

"Are you coming?"

Watch some short video examples here 👇


Pronunciation Issue #4: Homographs

In some cases, our AI voices struggle with homographs (same spelling, different pronunciation).

Example

Solution

The miners used a special tool to lead the way, but were unsure if it would detect lead in the sample.

Use the diction function to adjust pronunciation. In this case, lead (the metal) is mispronounce.

See our video example below 👇


Pronunciation issue #5: Long words

Sometimes AI voices struggle with pronouncing very long words. Especially in other languages than English, this issue is quite common.

Example

Solution

Some voices might struggle with a long word like ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’

Use the diction function and split long words into single words. In this case, ‘anti-dis-establish-men-tar-ian-ism.’

See our example video in German below to illustrate the use of long words👇


Pronunciation issue #6: Numbers and symbols

When necessary, you can spell out numbers and symbols using full words.

Examples

  • 573 ➡️ five hundred seventy-three or five seven three

  • 12:30 p.m. ➡️ 12 thirty p m or twelve thirty in the afternoon

  • 29 Willow Street ➡️ twenty-nine Willow Street

  • support@companyname.com ➡️ support at company name dot com

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