the ability to hear translations into English spoken via text-to-speech (TTS).
Looking at the Firebug Net panel for where this TTS data was coming from,
I saw that the speech audio is in MP3 format and is queried via a
simple HTTP GET (REST) request:
Google Translate notes
that the speech is
, and it turns out
that the TTS web service is restricting the
only available for short translations to English
text to 100 characters.
Another restriction is that the service returns
404 Not Found if the request
Referer header (presumably one that is not for
In spite of the limitations of the web service which certainly reflect
the intention that the web service is only to be used by Google Translate,
thanks to the new HTML5's Audio element and
the service may be utilized by client-side web applications like following (Google Chrome 4 recommended):
Perhaps there is some momentum building here? Having TTS available in the browser would
boost accessibility for the seeing-impaired and improve usability for people on-the-go.
TTS is just another technology
that has traditionally been relegated to desktop applications, but as the Open Web
advances as the preferred platform for application development, it is an essential
service to make available (as with Geolocation API,
And besides, I want to build TTS
applications and my motto is:
If it can't be done on the Open Web, it's not worth doing at all!