Monthly Archives: July 2011

Arabic Speech Regonition

Available Commercial Arabic ASRs:
1. Sakar ASR:
A promising software that emerged from an experienced background that involved various technical solutions which are concerned on serving Arabic-based applications. In fact, they have claimed that their ASR doesn’t require training.

Sakar’s Client:
• USA national departments such as Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice
• European Commission
• Government of Canada

* An interesting point is that Sakar has a partnership with Carnige Melon University who is the developer of Sphinx open-source ASR

2. Emerging Technologies ASR:
Deals with dialects & accents because of Nawaz company engine (75% of market share)
The company provide ASR, text-to-speech, and voice verification.
Supports voice-commands (Such in "Sama’ni" service in STC [KSA]
User independent recognition model (no user intervention)
Middle East : Saudi Telecom Company (STC) [KSA] , Dubia Airport & Etisalat Telecom Company [UAE], Kuwait finance house [KTW]
. Dubia Airport as a case study showed that the ASR caused the reduction of live agents at call centers

Both ASRs support diverse accents and dialects

3. IBM viavoice Arabic:
Firstly, through researching the internet I didn’t found any official link for the Arabic version. Even though, I’ve found many copies of the Arabic version of IBM viavoice engine for download in the Arabic content. Moreover, one of the sites has cited that these versions were a previous support from IBM viavoice which doesn’t exist anymore.
On the other hand, IBM is working with King Abdulaziz City for Technology & Science (KACTS):
to develop an Arabic ASR for technical use & voice verification
They offer a Saudi accented Arabic speech database for researchers & commercial use. (

4. AppTek ASR:
Especially integrated within a system for news broadcasting
Offers more products than only speech recognition to include services such as data mining and much more

5. VOCAPIA Speech Recognizer API:

6. Voice-to-text API (Cloud, supports Arabic )
7. Votek:
an Arabic based speech recognizer, specialized in dealing with various dialects

Arabic ASR


The only open-source Arabic ASR that is found up to now is “Arabisc” which was developed by Dr. Hussein Hiyassat et. al

Here is the download link: (Gives an error at run-time)
But I’m still trying to contact the developer for a full access to the system to download if available.

Here is a full description of their work :

About the paper that related to the Arabic suitable fonts for dyslexic people


About the paper that related to the Arabic suitable fonts for dyslexic people, you can find this paper in the Media Library of this blog. I already upload it under the name “ICCHP2006_Alwabil” (as a PDF download). The title of this paper is ”


Web Design for Dyslexics: Accessibility of Arabic Content

Areej Al-Wabil, Panayiotis Zaphiris, Stephanie Wilson


Published in:


International Conference on Computers Helping People  with Special Needs (ICCHP), Austria,2006


  Thank you



ATbar website mock-up

ATbar mockup site

I have created a mock-up of the ATbar website, which will contain the main features of the toolbar, download, instructions and help files. It is quite basic at the moment and just displays some simple information. The links are just ‘anchors’ but do not go anywhere.

The “kit” (module development)  and “API” (application interface) links are intended to be for two subsites and are therefore highlighted in orange. They will be changed to be more elegant in the future. The page has enough space for plenty of content and both images and text work with the colour scheme.

Atbar mockup site arabic

ATbar mockup site in Arabic

Currently there is no Arabic version, but there are language links in the footer. The Arabic link uses Google translate for a quick demonstration of how it might look. Plans for an Arabic site need to be discussed.



Please comment on the layout, colour scheme and design, this is only the first draft.

Minutes from the meeting held on 11th July, 2011

A second meeting of the team was held on 11th July in Room 3005


Fadwa, E.A. Mike, Seb, John and Magnus attended the meeting with apologies from Mashael and Eedres (my fault as the email did not go out)


Question  – Should AT Bar logo remain the same? – It was decided until there is a discussion with the  Mada Center that the logo would remain the same.

ATbar Arabic layout

Layout in reverse with Arabic wording for the javascript tool tips. Fix the web heart will be removed

The individual icons were discussed and it was decided to leave them as they are for the moment whilst we await an evaluation from Qatar.  Seb is going to set up a web page with ATbar story board with Arabic text

Fadwa has made 2 versions of tooltips – with and without diacritic marks – A decision needs to be made as to which system is to be used for the entire project.  The lack of or inclusion of diacritic marks has an impact in different ways on different disabilities – which is preferred – with or without?

arabic menu with diacritics

There is a case for only having the diacritic marks on the important letters  – this has been shown to help users with the hidden short vowels.
arabic menu without diacritics

No diacritic marks


– Discussion around each task for Phase One.

FR-IW-01 – Begin work behind the scenes

FR-IW-02 – Fix the Web heart – Remove but consider for Arabic speaking volunteers in the future

FR-IW-03 – Text magnifier – no change

FR-IW-04 – Font changer – Fadwa has read papers on the subject of the best fonts for those who have reading difficulties – these will be added to the blog and we will reduce the number available to users based on the research findings.

FR-IW- 05 – Style Changer can be completed

FR-IW-06 – Spell Checker – Google appears to be closing their freely available services – this needs to be investigated

FR-IW -07 – Dictionary – see above – Wiktionary possibility with additional work

FR-IW -08 – Information for use – will be translated at a later date

FR-IW -09 – Restore Webpage – can be completed

FR-IW -10 – Close ATbar – can be completed

FR-IW -11 – ALT Tags – translation available above.

FR-IW -12 – ATbar information regarding bug tracking, fixes to be on GitHub.

FR-IW -13 – x64 bit installer – Due to be rebuilt with ATKit.

Follow up discussion with David Banes on 25th July

Next meeting to be confirmed due to holidays.

About the font types and ATbar translation

Hello every one..

About the suitable font type for Arabic Dyslexic, I found some papers reported that we should try to avoid the angular types (e.g. Koufi and Andalus) and we can use Arabic Transparent and Simplified Arabic Fixed.

About the translation for ATbar labels, I upload to files: “ATbar translation” and “ATbar translation with diacritics”.

Thank you.



Conversion tools – starting a new thread

I have just been looking at conversion tools and will set up a category for other links of items that I come across.  In this case it is an open source conversion tool called txt2audio – “WebTool to convert text to audio format content.This tool will allow users to post some text and take the output as mp3 file.”  There is also a french option using Google translate Leknoppix on Github

I am still hoping we can link up with the Robobraille Arabic conversion tools that have been planned since last year.

ATbar Requirements (Draft 1.0)

Issue: Draft 1.0

Initial Work Requirements

ID Title Description
FR-IW-01 Modularisation Each function on the ATbar should be able to selected individually to populate the tool bar with user required functions.
FR-IW -02 Fix the web Report accessibility issues to “Fix the Web” organisation. The form needs to take under a minute to complete.
FR-IW-03 Text magnifier Increase or decrease text size.
FR-IW-04 Font changer Select a different font and increase the line spacing.
FR-IW-05 Style changer Change the colour of the ATbar toolbar as well as the webpage colours including the background, text and links. Pre-chosen styles should be available for the most common visual impairments.
FR-IW-06 Spell checker Checks spelling for plain text forms. Alternative suggestions should be displayed.
FR-IW-07 Dictionary When a word is highlighted and the dictionary selected, a definition from Wikitionary should appear.
FR-IW-08 Information for use Detailed user guide explaining each functions use and step by step images and instructions.
FR-IW-09 Restore webpage Reverts webpage back as normally seen.
FR-IW-10 Close ATbar Closes the ATbar stilling allowing the option to re-open it.
FR-IW-11 ALT tags Alternative text tags on all buttons
FR-IW-12 ATbar information Version number and website link should be provided.
FR-IW-13 x64 bit installer ATbar should be able to be installed on 32 and 64 bit operating systems.

Non-Functional Requirements

ID Title Description
NF-RQ-01 Clear icons The icons should clearly represent the task they perform.
NF-RQ-02 ATbar and icon size The ATbar toolbar and icons must be an appropriate size to be seen on common screen sizes (1024×768 upwards).