Phonetic translators - updates in second half of 2022

It's been a while that we didn't announce any major updates on

So we want to take a moment to give you a recap of what was done in the second half of 2022.

First, we waved goodbye to our old template and upgraded to the latest Bootstrap 5. It loads faster and is compatible with the latest browsers.

Bootstrap 5 has several components which make user experience very smooth and intuitive. One such component is modal window. Before we used a different plugin to show additional content when you clicked a word after converting your text to phonetic transcription. The behavior of this plugin was often unpredictable on mobile devices.

Modal windows were a game changer. They look nice on all types of devices. They can display more data and are scrollable. Their behavior is very consistent across different browsers. They can be closed by pressing an escape key on your keyboard. A pure joy.

We also used modal windows for the process of creating custom word lists. By the way, now the custom word lists are nicely organized by language in your profile.

Next, we switched from cookies to server-side database to save your settings in phonetic translators. That means you can log in on another device and continue using your favorite translator just you used it before. The settings are now language-dependent. For example, you can turn the option "split the words into syllables" on for French and off for English. Or you can choose to see the links to computer-generated audio for Spanish, but not for Chinese.

The settings in the section "Choose what you see when you click the word" are updated in real time. That means you don't need to resubmit your text for them to take effect.

We replaced the Japanese morphological analyzer Mecab by another one called Kuromoji which works much faster. At the same time we fixed several bugs in the Japanese kanji to romaji converter.

We updated some software on our server, thus increasing its performance and security.

The algorithm for displaying homographs and pronunciation variants had also received a major update. Now you can select the right pronunciation for such words for the setting "display transcription above each word" and then create a nice print-friendly version of your transcribed document.

People who bought a subscription can now print the receipt in any of nine languages, not only in English.

The algorithm which prevents creating a duplicate subscription became more robust.

We added links to audio recordings in the tool that finds Spanish word by their phonetic transcription. Now all tools for searching words by phonetic transcription also support some regular expressions. For example, you can search for "b[æɛ]d" to find both English words "bad" and "bed".

We tweaked a little bit our Chinese Pinyin Translator. Now if your text is in traditional Chinese characters, you can listen to much more audio recordings of Chinese words than before.

We added cheat sheets with phonetic symbols for German, Italian and Portuguese (both European and Brazilian). Now all the cheat sheets are displayed using the so-called offcanvas window which slides over the main window and can be quickly hidden if you press the escape key or click anywhere outside this cheat sheet.

In the next few weeks we have 2 major goals:

  1. release a new database with pronunciation of words in British English,
  2. create an algorithm for editing phonetic transcription.

We hope you will like these new updates as we enjoyed making them.

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Tags: IPA, IPA translator