05m 00s

"Developers Test Speech-to-Text Technology Ahead of Deaflympics"

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on March 27, 2023 Available until March 26, 2024

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News." In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Developers Test Speech-to-Text Technology Ahead of Deaflympics" which was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on February 7, 2023. Keywords include「障害(しょうがい)shoogai」"impairment or disability" and「手話(しゅわ)shuwa」"sign language."



"Developers Test Speech-to-Text Technology Ahead of Deaflympics"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country through Japanese news stories. Today's headline is…

話(はな)したことばを字(じ)に変(か)える技術(ぎじゅつ) デフリンピックのために実験(じっけん)
"Developers Test Speech-to-Text Technology Ahead of Deaflympics"
This news story was published on NEWS WEB EASY's website on February 7th.
Now let's go over some vocab words that will help us understand what's going on.
impairment or disability
sign language
Now let's keep these words in mind as we listen.
A Japanese printing company has developed technology that automatically converts spoken words into written text and displays them on a screen.
They recently tested the tech out at an event and hope to have the system ready in time for the 2025 Tokyo Deaflympics.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the story that contain helpful expressions and keywords.
Let's start with the following sentence:
The Deaflympics, a global sports competition for the hearing impaired, will be held in Tokyo in 2025.
耳(みみ)に障害(しょうがい)がある人(ひと)describes someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. We also say 聴覚障害者(ちょうかくしょうがいしゃ).
Now, the World Health Organization distinguishes between an "impairment" and a "disability." An impairment is the loss or disturbance of a bodily or mental function due to a cause such as illness or injury. A disability is when an impairment limits your ability to perform an activity. In Japanese, the word 障害(しょうがい)has both meanings.
The term デフリンピック refers to the Deaflympics — a combination of the words "deaf" and "Olympics."
It's an international sports competition for deaf and hearing-impaired athletes that was first held in 1924.
OK, let's move on to our next sentence.
This is a quote from someone who got to test out the new speech-to-text technology.
I was able to look at their face as we talked, so I could tell what they were feeling.
The conjunction ながら is used to indicate that two actions or situations are taking place simultaneously. It's similar to how we use "while" or "as" in English.
One important thing to remember is that the more important action comes after ながら. So the sentence 宿題(しゅくだい)をしながらテレビをみる, means "I watched TV while I did homework." The emphasis is on the fact that you're watching television. Now, if you said テレビをみながら宿題(しゅくだい)をする, you're saying your focus was on getting your homework done.
And that's all we have for today.
Speech recognition technology keeps getting smarter and quicker. And I hear they're working on multilingual functionality, too. This would be a great communication tool.
Definitely. And with the power of AI, maybe the system can learn to recognize sign languages, too. 2025 is just a couple of years away. Let's hope the Tokyo Deaflympics can help make society more inclusive.
Thanks for joining us and, tune in next time for more!

Program Outline