March 31, 2015
Single purpose API
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AISpeech is the API behind a Chinese language and pronunciation learning website, AIChinese. You may know that Chinese is a tonal language. Where tones and inflection are used in English to convey emotion or differentiate between a declarative statement and a question, in tonal languages like Chinese, different tones on the same syllable can be altogether different words. The AISpeech API gives you access to a language processing engine which is capable of detecting spoken words and evaluating if the appropriate tone is used.
Let's talk languages: in this case, not computer programming languages, but human languages. According to the 2009 edition of the SIL International publication Ethnologue: Languages of the World, the estimated 328 million English speakers in the world are dwarfed by the 1.2 billion people who speak Chinese as a first language. And though English has become the lingua franca of many tech industries, users still prefer to interact with products and services in their native tongue. No doubt this was one of the factors which led FlightStats, Portland-based provider of global flight tracking and airport information, to start offering its FlightStats API data in languages other than English.
Automated language translation is a great way to bridge the language barrier, but while the solutions available today will allow you to get the general gist of text written in another language, the results are far from perfect and not suitable for many scenarios. Now myGengo has an API that can help.