[asterisk-users] Native Chinese speaker needed

Steve Underwood steveu at coppice.org
Wed Sep 6 07:00:06 MST 2006


John Williams wrote:

>No, I'm not looking for a voice talent.
>I have been deploying an IVR in my company's China office, and our people
>there complained about the way asterisk spoke the date in Chinese.
>After discussing it with them, I have submitted a patch, which can be
>found on the Digium Issue Tracker at
>I would greatly appreciate it if another native Chinese speaker could
>review the proposed change, and comment on whether it is culturally and/or
>grammatically correct.  Please add a note to the Issue at the above URL
>with your comments.
>Here is my description from the Issue:
> My contacts in China/Taiwan tell me that the way the day-of-month is done
>by asterisk in chinese is wrong. The proper way is to say an cardinal
>number followed by the chinese word for "day".
>The current implementation speaks an ordinal number for the day-of-month,
>and does so in a way which is grammatically incorrect.
>The current implementation speaks the day-of-month as an ordinal number in
>an odd way. For example, 25th is done with the recordings "digits/h-20h",
>"digits/h-5"; 17th is "digits/h-10h", "digits/h-7" instead of using
>Chinese uses a prefix for ordinal numbers, so a grammatically correct
>expression would be "h-20", "5". Using "h-5" as the second recording
>places the prefix in the middle of the number, which is wrong. What
>"h-20h" should contain is not explained any where, and the only readily
>available collection of sound files in chinese for asterisk (at
>iaxtalk.com) does not contain any of the "h-%d" files.
>The attached patch changes the day-of-month code to do (for example)
>"digits/20", "digits/5", "digits/day" for the 25th, or "digits/10",
>"digits/7", "digits/day" for the 17th.
Chinese uses a prefix for ordinal numebrs. However ordinal number are 
not used in dates. In Chinese today (its the 6th September here) is 
expressed as
        zero six year nine month six day
You can skip the "zero six year" part, and just say the month and day. 
You can also use the word for number (not the ordinal prefix) in place 
of the word for day, if you like. A complication is that the second of 
the month uses a word that we might translate as "a couple" (sounds odd 
to say a couple as a day, but words don't quite trannslate cleanly). So 
the second of September was
       zero six year nine month couple day
but the twelfth will be
       zero six year nine month ten two day
I hope that's not too confusing :-\ Do you want to know about times too? 
To express those in a general colloquial way, ten past two would be
    two time two
Because the minutes part is expressed like the face of the clock, 10 
minutes is expressed as 2. You can say
    two time ten minute
but it sounds a bit stuffy. Notice I didn't use the word for "couple" in 
that. If I wanted to say 2 minutes after two, I would say
    two time couple minute
Here I did use the couple word, and I expressed a time with greater 
precision than the clock face numbers permit.

Those expressions might sound odd as English, because none of the words 
have a plural ending. That is how Chinese is expressed - no plurals.


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