Adding Foreign Words Video



  • One interesting application of phonetic spelling is the ability to add foreign words not supported by the language of a given acoustic model. This video will teach you how you can add limited support for foreign words into your speech recognition applications by spelling them out phonetically. It does this by walking students through the creation of a digits grammar that will capture both English and German words.
  • RUNTIME 12:34


Video Transcription

Adding Foreign Words


For the phoneme, use curly braces and double quotes:

"{K AE T}"

Separate the word with a colon:

"{K AE T:cat}"


$cat = "{K AE T:cat}";

Raw text is "cat"

Adding Foreign Words

We declare which language we will be using at the start of the grammar. A foreign word is a word that is not native to that language. For example, if you have an English grammar, Spanish or German or Japanese words will be foreign. If we have words that are not in our Dictionary or Phonetic Speller, we can spell them out phonetically. However, there are some things you should know before you get started.

Limited support: Phonetic spelling is not designed to let you write complex applications with lots of words. We do not recommend it as a replacement for acoustic models.

  • Phonemes differ across languages
  • Not robust
  • Best with small grammars


  1. Pick an acoustic model
  2. Sound out the words
  3. Find phoneme equivalents
  4. Transcribe phonemes
  5. Add to grammars

(Please see video at 7:30 for an example of adding German words to an English grammar)

If you have additional questions, please check out our Speech Engine Help section. You can also Contact Support.

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