The text is read with an 'synthetic' (artificial) voice. The technology for the solution is a product called leseWEB, delivered by the VoiceASP AS company. The sound you hear is produced on the company's servers. The voices themselves are made by the companies Acapela Group ('Kari' and 'Olav' for Bokmål) and Lingit ('Inger' and 'Isak' for Nynorsk).
You can choose between a female and a male voice. You do this from a button for settings () in the upper left of the screen image. When you click the settings button, the following box appears:
The text in the box is in Norwegian only, but you find the gender setting at the bottom of the box (F = female, M = male).
From the same box you can choose reading speed. This is the top setting, with Høy = high, Normal = normal and Lav = low. Normal and Lav (low) are the most useful settings. When the setting is Lav (low), the text is read a little but slower than normal.
In the middle of the box there is also a setting for line capacity. The values are God (high), Middels (medium) and Lav (low). Select the higher value God (high).
(If your internet connection is very poor, the text might not be read, or only the beginning might be read. Unfortunately it doesn't help to change the setting.)
There is a Help link () in the box, but this only leads to a blank page. The relevant help is in the text you are now reading.
If you want to make the settings box invisible, click the settings button () one more time.
The system remembers your settings. But if you share the computer with other users, and you all log in with the same user name, you might get the previous user's settings.
The system remembers your settings with the help of so-called 'cookies'. If cookies are disabled in your web browser, the system will not be able to remember your settings. Instead you will get the standard settings, which is a female voice with normal reading speed.
Make sure audio is enabled on your computer, and that the volume is set to a suitable level.
With Internet Explorer some audio might disappear. If this happens, try to click once more. (Internet Explorer may lose the beginning of the first sound after you have made a new search, or after you have browsed to another page of the search result.)
For those who know leseWEB from earlier: leseWEB is used in many Norwegian and Nordic web sites. At most sites the user can choose the text to be read by selecting the text with the mouse and clicking a 'play' button. This would not work well for the LEXIN search results, because they often contain a mixture of Norwegian text and text in other languages. In addition the text contains special characters and incomplete words that cannot be read as they show on the screen. Therefore we have chosen a different solution for LEXIN: Each Norwegian field has its own speaker button (icon) (). In addition there is something that secretly improves the text for reading out loud.
In an ideal world the text should be read by a human, but it would be very expensive to have natural sound for all Norwegian text in LEXIN. The artificial voice will not get every word right, we think and hope that speech synthesis will be a useful addition to LEXIN.
If you discover words that are not read correctly, please mail us, and we will inform the speech synthesis company. Remember to tell us if it is a Bokmål or a Nynorsk voice that makes the error, and if it is the male or the female voice.