[tlhIngan Hol] tlhIngan Hol jatlhmeH, ghoghwIj lo' De'wI'wIj

Daniel Dadap daniel at dadap.net
Sun May 27 20:29:21 PDT 2018


tlhIngan Hol vIjatlhtaHvIS, wab tamey puS vIchenmoH. ghIq, wab tamey ghoghwIj poj nIqHom. pojvammo', DaH tlhIngan Hol jatlhlaH nIqHomvam, 'ej ghoghwIj rurqu'.

pa' nIqHomvam tu'lu': github.com/CSTR-Edinburgh/Ossian

I’m experimenting with TTS software that works via training a neural network on speech samples with transcripts. The sample linked above was generated using a model built off of about forty minutes of my voice speaking Klingon. I think I might re-record some of the corpus, since the weird pacing and clipping is due to some inconsistencies in the recordings used to build the model, but the results so far are fairly promising.

I originally had less than ten minutes of data fed into the model, and the resulting speech sounded like a 1980’s speech synthesizer. It still sounds markedly synthetic, but I’m much happier with the results now, and I believe they can be improved further. The original corpus I fed into it was just me reading all of the Klingon sentences from “Conversation Klingon”, because I wanted to see if it would produce a reasonable model with such a small amount of input. I was hoping that it might be possible to feed the NN some Klingon audiobooks and get “Worf’s” voice to come out the other end. While the results with such a small corpus were indeed intelligible Klingon, the quality of the speech was not good, and somewhat resembled the quality of the classic “Speak & Spell” toy, hence the choice of the example sentence in the recording (I’m not intentionally not providing a transcription, as I’m hoping the quality of the recording is sufficient for you to figure out what it says). When that limited corpus proved insufficient, I supplemented it with some proverbs and song lyrics, and then supplemented it further with random Klingon text generated from KAG’s online generator tool.

I’m hoping to be able to take the results of this training and package it up in a way that offers convenient Klingon TTS services for whatever purposes one might want Klingon TTS functionality. If I’m successful in doing so, I’m wondering if some skilled Klingon speakers might be willing to lend their voices to such an effort. Experience with e.g. doing voiceover work would be.a plus, as I suspect that my POC would sound much better if I had been more disciplined about being consistent with the cadence and volume of my speech.

And yes, I know De’vID already has a Klingon TTS software; I’m just curious about exploring other approaches.

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