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Talking Street Signs Help Tourists Pronounce Danish Street Names

Design students created karaoke-style electronic signs to teach visitors the pronunciation of Copenhagen roads.

Robyn Hightower
Robyn Hightower on November 20, 2012. @RobynHightower

Struggling with saying Danish street names, two non-Danes, Momo Miyazaki and Andrew Spitz, studying at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design created talking street signs that sound out the street names step-by-step. Their project, WTPh? (What The Phonics?), is an interactive installation that verbally tells and visually shows non-Danish speakers how to articulate street names by breaking down the names into syllables. They recorded Danish natives speaking each street name and split the recording into phonemes. To hear the street name pronounced, participants on the street touch a speaker attached to a street sign and listen to the words being said. Simultaneously, lights above the street sign light up with each syllable that coming from the recording.

Check out the video below to see the technology in action.

WTPh? – What The Phonics?

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