Ordinal Tag: Perfecting Sequence Pronunciation

, 05-02-2024

Ordinal in SSML refers to the interpret-as attribute of the say-as tag, guiding the pronunciation of a number as an ordinal numeral.

An ordinal numeral indicates the position of an item in a sequence. In English, examples include "first", "second", "third", and so on. They differ from cardinal numerals, which simply indicate quantity. Ordinal numerals usually answer questions like "which in order?"

Usage examples in SSML

If you want to pronounce the number "3" as "third":

<say-as interpret-as="ordinal">3</say-as>


If you simply write 3 without using ordinal, the neural network will interpret it as a cardinal number and pronounce it as "three".

If the neural network doesn't grasp the context

For instance, if you need to say the following: "Take the 3 box from the left".


It says "take three box on the left." That doesn't work for us. We need it to read "third", not "three". The ordinal parameter will help us:

Take the <say-as interpret-as="ordinal">3</say-as> box from the left



Pronounces correctly.

If only we know how to do it correctly.

Let's say you need to voice the phrase:

There's no 3 coin.

You want the neural network to pronounce it as "there's no third coin." Let's see how the narrator Elijah handles this:


It didn't work out. We set the "ordinal" parameter:

There's no <say-as interpret-as="ordinal">3</say-as> coin


Now it's perfect.

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