A brief comparison of the two voices used in the railway station PA announcements in Sergiyev Posad now and then. First, a human female voice recorded in 2010 – we may not consider it perfect but it still personal. Then starts a modern-day tannoy, a computer-generated voice that gradulally replaces the human announcers. This change – one of the biggest in decades – went almost unnoticed by the public.

Recorded May 17th 2010 / September 14th 2011
Published July 30th, 2012.

/ 30.07.2012

2 📨

  1. This is really interesting. RATP, the mass transit authority here in Paris are doing the exact reverse. They are changing all the announcements on the Métro, RER, Trams and Buses from automated voices to real ones. They have held auditions and selected several members of their staff to make the announcements. It’s supposed to make travelling a more enjoyable experience and I think it does.

  2. Thanks Des – a very interesting note on how the messages could be delivered. Hiring actors is a good idea (once used in the Moscow Underground), asking members of the staff to narrate the text is even better. Both options seem to be a bit more expensive than installing text-to-speech systems and the cost of such a transition looks like the major factor behind the decision to switch over to TTS. All I need to say is that the ‘robo-voices’ in Sergiyev Posad are used mainly for train arrivals and departures, short-term advertisements or special campaign messages.

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