Japanese screen readers for blind persons are equipped with Japanese phonetic alphabet, which is a set of words that begin with each of Japanese alphabet letters and used to make it easier to distinguish a spoken alphabet letter from others. However, some words in the current sets seem unfamiliar to elementary school students. Thus, we conducted a word familiarity survey on words which are included in the current phonetic alphabet and candidate words which were newly selected from the Educational Basic Vocabulary. The result shows that a bit over 70% of the words used in the current phonetic alphabet were evaluated highly familiar and the rest unfamiliar to school children. Nearly 90% of the candidate words were evaluated highly familiar. Based on these results, it is suggested that some current phonetic alphabet words which were evaluated less familiar to school children should be replaced with the candidate words that begin with the same alphabet and evaluated highly familiar.
NATO Phonetic Alphabet and Japanese Phonetic Codes by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications are being used by several screen reader products.
Last updated: August 27, 2009
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