Original Publication Date: 2001-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Disclosed is a system that uses speech technology to allow users to look up names or other words that they don't know how to spell. It can also be used to help users learn to spell new words. Traditional paper dictionaries require users to know the correct spelling of a word in order to look the word up. Current electronic dictionary and word processing solutions focus on spelling error detection and correction algorithms using a visual interface for input and output. These systems require users to type either a correctly spelled word or a misspelled approximation that the system is able to correct. Therefore, this scheme still requires some level of spelling skills on the part of the user. Meeting this requirement is a problem for many adults and children, including both native or non-native speakers of the language. The problem of looking up proper names can be especially challenging, given the range of possible spelling variations. The solution is to allow users to pronounce (rather than spell) the word. The system then uses speech recognition technology to determine the desired word. The system may return the spelling of the word back to the user through a visual interface, prerecorded audio files, or text-to-speech technology. This solution can be implemented on diverse platforms ranging from hand-held or other portable electronic devices to standard desktop computer applications.