Pronunciation Wars!

Adding to Google’s text-to-speech abilities, this MetaFilter post on pronunciation services brings PronunciationBook, PronunciationManual and Howjsay (“How ‘ja say”) to my attention:

Pronunciationbook has many helpful Youtube videos for learners of American English. If you want to learn to pronounce things like bolognesegyropwned or Ke$ha, pronunciationbook has you covered.

But in recent months, a competitor has popped up. Now, PronunciationManual can tell you how to pronounce such things as penisHulk Hogan, or milk argument.

The joke, of course, is that PronunciationManual looks just like pronunciationbook, but it pronounces everything incorrectly with a silly affected accent. Youtube’s “related videos” algorithm often mixes the two of them together, causing potential problems for anyone who wants to casually browse Youtube for tips on how to speak English.

The Howjsay link is from the comment section also noting that it’s “frighteningly complete for a one-man, all-analog project” – currently it has 148489 entries, cf. PronuciationBook’s ~350 and PronunciationManual’s 37. Personally, along with Google Beatbox, I’m looking forward to a rebirth of the long dead Dictionaraoke movement. Of course, if you are just after the numbers from 1 to 100,000, John has provided that 78 hours of video.

(via Jean Poole from