Read Aloud Fixed Layout eBooks for Languages other than English
The client, an eBook conversion service provider in Europe required seven titles focused on children’s literature in Dutch language to be converted to Fixed Layout ePub Format with ‘Read Aloud’ Feature.
Primarily, a read-aloud fixed layout eBook has two parts: (a) fixed layout format, and (b) audio syncing with text. Creating read-aloud fixed layout ePub books necessitates meticulous attention and special understanding of ePub in general and Fixed Layout books in particular, has an accompanying audio track that plays while the text is parallelly highlighted. However, the real challenge arose from the fact that the titles that we needed to convert into read-aloud format were in Dutch language.
Being an English understanding team, it was a real task for us to listen and understand Dutch language. Attuning ourselves to an entirely new pronunciation, we paid careful attention while listening to the audio tracks – at times even twice or thrice – to ensure that the marking of co-ordinates of every word in the audio file was correct.
PDF spread from "Aadje Piraatje"
Read Aloud Fixed Layout ePub spread shown on an iPad, produced by SunTec
Creating a Narration
One of the most important features of the read aloud format is the ability to highlight words as they are read. In order to synchronize each word with the audio, we need to tag each and every word in the audio with the corresponding word in the HTML file.
Marking Words in the Audio File
Marking words in the audio file is another critical step in converting a Book into a read-aloud fixed layout format. We cautiously exported the labels indicating the starting and ending time of each word. Just to ensure that the converted book played smoothly, we tested it thoroughly.