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Phrases for Japanese prototype

Viksterion

Kouhai
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Hi!

I am looking to make a prototype in Japanese for an automated switchboard attendant in Japanese.

We have a text to speech service that I intend to use for the prototype so I would be very grateful for any assistance in translating a few short expressions.

Here are a few phrases (and the context is telephony if that can help with choice of words):

1) The person you are trying to reach
2) is currently not available
3) is temporarily out of the office
4) is busy in a call
5) You will now be connected to the switchboard
6) Thank you for calling and welcome back
7) That option is not valid
8) Unknown subscriber

2-4 should work together with either a pre-recorded name or phrase 1.

If I can get help with that, I will post the result from inputting it into the TTS-engine, and I would love any input from the community on whether it sounds good enough to understand.

It is a prototype, so it does not have to be perfect, but I am interested in finding out if it is on par with or worse that what could be expected from an automated voice from a Japanese perspective once recorded.
 

Toritoribe

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#1 is usually not mentioned, and the particle は is needed to connect the pre-recorded names and #2~4.
Thus,

as for "1 + 2~4"
just 2~4

as for "name + 2~4"
name + は + 2~4

2
只今電話に出ることができません

3
只今席を外しております

4
只今別の電話に対応中でございます

5
交換手にお繋ぎいたします

6
お電話ありがとうございます

7
The translation differs depending on what "option" is.

8
The translation differs depending on the context where the word is used.
 

Viksterion

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Wow - thank you so much for taking the time with that helpful reply!

I have attached the audio-files from the TTS engine. I would be very grateful to know if it is at all useable.

I also have a follow up question. As I take it phrase 2-4 is OK without the "the person you are trying to reach" part, is the version with は OK for both genders and all ages?

As for 7, it is intended for when you press a number that is not a valid option (Switchboard and Voicemail has assign numbers to press, and if you press a key on the phone's keypad that is unassigned this message would play).

8 relates to when someone calls a number that has not been assigned to a user, or where the user has been removed (normally within a company's number plan containing number which they have the right to assign).
 

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Toritoribe

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#3, 4 and 5 are good. The intonation is odd in #2 and 6, but understandable enough.

I also have a follow up question. As I take it phrase 2-4 is OK without the "the person you are trying to reach" part, is the version with は OK for both genders and all ages?
Yes. は is a particle, as I wrote, and not an honorific title such like さん or 君.

7
無効な番号です。

8
不明な登録者
 

Viksterion

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Ah, so very cool that it was understandable, in that case it should be good enough for this purpose. I have attached the last phrases as well. Thank you so much once again!
 

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Toritoribe

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Sorry for niticking, but は is a particle, not article.
Japanese particles - Wikipedia

7
むこうな could be misheard as むこう. 無効の is OK when it's written on a paper in kanji, but the problem in speech is the existence of a homonym 向こうの, meaning "the opponent" or "the person/perty you are talking about". In fact, I initially thought it's talking about another company's phone number.

with a name versions
The order of Japanese names are surname -> given name. Your ones are opposite. By the way, only the surname is usually used to refer to a person especially in business scenes.
 

Viksterion

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Ah, very interesting Wiki-article on particles.

Reading it, I assume building an automated return-time auto-attendant, which we do in other languages, would be an interesting challenge.

It would be interesting to see if it would be possible to construct the principle, maybe I will ask about that later.

The names are not normally used, and if they are, the company would put them in themselves in the way they prefer (interesting to know that in Japan, that would probably only be surnames), very grateful for the info though, since it is nice to have a few for demo, so I will fix that. I attached one with just surname, hope it sounds OK.

I have attached a few new alternative pronunciations (1-6) of the portion of #7 that you indicated as I understood it, does any one of them sound better/clearer? If none of them work, do you think there might be an alternative expression that might be clearer? Or did I change the wrong part of the phrase (you can put alternative intonation before every sign).

As for #2 and #6, do you think you could point me to the portions of the expression that sound strange in intonation, and I could try to do the same and make a few alternatives to see if I can make it sounds better/more natural?

Here are a few more expressions that would be great to have in the prototype (the last once if I don’t take a stab at making the automated return-time system for absence):

#9: To leave a voicemail, press 1, or say voicemail

#10: To leave a voicemail, press 1

#11: Voicemail

#12: To be connected to the switchboard, press 2, or say switchboard

#13: To be connected to the switchboard, press 2

#14: Switchboard

#15: For Japanese, press 9, or say Japanese.

#16: For Japanese, press 9.
 

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Toritoribe

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The names are not normally used, and if they are, the company would put them in themselves in the way they prefer (interesting to know that in Japan, that would probably only be surnames), very grateful for the info though, since it is nice to have a few for demo, so I will fix that. I attached one with just surname, hope it sounds OK.
Sounds like a pause is put between the name and は. は is said right after the name immidiately as if it's a single word.

I have attached a few new alternative pronunciations (1-6) of the portion of #7 that you indicated as I understood it, does any one of them sound better/clearer?
#3 is the best, I think.

As for #2 and #6, do you think you could point me to the portions of the expression that sound strange in intonation, and I could try to do the same and make a few alternatives to see if I can make it sounds better/more natural?
The intonation used in Google Translate is relatively good in this case.

https://translate.google.co.jp/?hl=ja&tab=wT#view=home&op=translate&sl=ja&tl=en&text=電話に出ることができません
https://translate.google.co.jp/?hl=ja&tab=wT#view=home&op=translate&sl=ja&tl=en&text=ありがとうございます


9
音声メッセージを残す場合は、1を押すか「音声メッセージ」と言ってください

10
音声メッセージを残す場合は、1を押してください

11
音声メッセージ

12
交換手に繋ぐ場合は、2を押すか「交換手」と言ってください

13
交換手に繋ぐ場合は、2を押してください

14
交換手

15
日本語を使う場合は、9を押すか「日本語」と言ってください

16
日本語を使う場合は、9を押してください
 

Viksterion

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Thank you so much Toritoribe - and happy New Year! I was away for a few days, but will adopt everything today and try to post some updated recordings.
 

Viksterion

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This was very hard – but a lot of fun.

Not knowing the language and trying to hear what sounds similar to something in another voice (from google) with so many parameters and options available to make subtle changes was really interesting.

Even more interesting will be to find out if I actually managed to make it any better or if is as bad or worse. Here are my new attempts at phrase #2 and #6.
 

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Viksterion

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Sounds like a pause is put between the name and は. は is said right after the name immidiately as if it's a single word.
Yea, there will be a short pause no matter how you do it since the names are recorded separately (normally by the users). The system works in a way where it puts phrases together to form sentences, it will not be perfect in any language of course, but in most cases, it is possible to find ways of saying it where it works pretty well.

Most of the stitched together phrases occur when you create the absence reasons and return-times which we have in the production systems. That is what is really complex and hard, but I have left that out here, maybe I will try it later (could be interesting to see if it is even possible to do in Japanese.

The rest of the phrases are attached here as well.

I noticed that the end of "switchboard" (12-14) was very different between google and my system. In google it ended with a "te"-sound, while mine had more of "tsu" at the end. not sure which is right.

If I just put in 手 alone, I got "te" in my system as well, so I am guessing the ones I have uploaded here are not good. From "karate" we all know that "te" means hand, which I would assume is the gender-neutral addition for "person" as in switchboard operator/person here?

If it should be "te" as I assume, I just could not get my system to say it that way with this combination of characters/signs unfortunately. Is there another word I can use, or do you have a suggestion for alternative spelling? Could I use 交換嬢, or is that not politically correct these days (it would not be here in Sweden since I believe it indicates a female switchboard operator only)? Or perhaps 演算子 would work?
 

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Toritoribe

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The new #2 is better than the initial one. The point is the intonation of the last word できません. As in the Google Translate version I linked above, this word is said in a more falling intonation. The same goes to ございます in #6.

As for 手 in #12-14, your ones are correct. The correct reading of the suffix 手 is "shu", but Google Translate simply misread it as "te". Actually, there is not "tsu" at the end of it, though.

The pronunciation of "2" is good in #12, but it's too "short" in #13.

The correct reading of 日本語 is にほんご, not にっぽんご in #15 and 16.

The rest are all relatively good. There would be no problem to use them in real business scenes.
 
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