Last updated: 05 October 2006
The way in which some words are spoken by screen readers can be highly dependent on context. This can be particularly problematical when it comes to homographs. A good example of this is the word "read", which is pronounced differently in English depending on the tense being used. The way it is pronounced by a screen reader can even depend on whether or not a capital letter is used.
This test aims to discover how different screen readers cope with the word in different contexts, to provide a useful reference for typical problems, and to suggest remedies for those problems.
Note: The links in these test cases do not lead anywhere.
In these results, the pronunciation of the word "read" is denoted using homophones for the word "read"; "reed" and "red". Emphasis is added for clarity only and does not denote anything about the emphasis used by screen readers.
The test cases above were spoken in the following ways by JAWS 7.10 (again, the links do not lead anywhere):
As you can see, using capitalisations or putting text inside a link can affect how the screen reader pronounces the word. "Read more" links footnote 1 provide a classic example here, and demonstates that you may need to be careful when writing your text (i.e. the test case with the link text all in lowercase is pronounced incorrectly).
Also, note that an ambiguous sentence (where the same words can convey separate meanings) results in the past tense of the verb being used.