The following feature request would be useful for the language sites in general if implemented.

A discussion took place in a chatroom dedicated for the Arabic Language Proposal it started:

let say a non-Arabic speaker asking how to pronounce a word in Arabic

the discussion went on from there. Among the mentioned is that basically no language can be used to show how to pronounce an Arabic word, at least not properly, and because of this transliteration would not be very viable. It was suggested that perhaps we can ask SE for a feature for when Arabic Language goes into beta that would enable users to upload sound files into their answer. And if we had to, we can resort to using an outside host and request a feature that would enable us to embed the files within a post from that host.

I hope I was clear enough in describing what we are trying to request, my question is would such a feature be possible for when we go to beta? if not, then would it be possible to have a feature enabling users to embed sound files from outside hosts?

  • 1
    This probably belongs on the Arabic Language per-site meta, once it goes into beta.
    – Doorknob
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 2:05
  • 2
    Just a quick comment since I don't know the real problem: Not even using IPA? Edit: just read the chat snippet, IPA without sound might be too complicated for general reader, I think... Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 5:15
  • 1
    A proper scientific transliteration, as already established in academic works, might do as well, in my opinion. However, they are self-explanatory for the general user and novice. Experts would do fine, but there is nothing better than a proper sound file. Even though I know English well, I sometimes ask native speakers to pronounce something for me. What I want to emphasise here is that the OP could make a stronger claim saying that this would be a feature from which all language sites on stackexchange could benefit (even though the Arabic site may particularly benefit from it). Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 7:53
  • 4
    @ClintEastwood This applies to all SE languages sites, there is no better way than hearing the proper pronunciation from a native speaker. One drawback I can think of is, users might abuse this feature by uploading "nonsense" audio files. Hence, a proper auditing system should be implemented to avoid such issues, e.g. audio files should be reviewed before being published.
    – Omar
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 8:00
  • 2
    Scientific transliteration is NOT self-explanatory is what I wanted to say! Sorry. I forgot the "not". @Omar : yes I think a review system by the moderators could easily solve this issue. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 8:06
  • 2
    Embedding existing SoundCloud clips is possible on Music.SE (and possibly other sites); it should be trivial to add that to other sites on an as-needed basis.
    – goldPseudo
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


This feature would be useful for language sites in general (including English), not specifically for Arabic.

It is however somewhat specialized, and I could understand that Stack Exchange would be reluctant to deal with the technical and moderation issues.

Images are hosted by Imgur, a specialized platform. Videos from Youtube (again, a specialized platform) can be embedded (this is only activated on a few sites such as Movies & TV and Science Fiction & Fantasy). Is there an existing sound hosting platform that Stack Exchange might partner with?

On French Language, we sometimes link to Project Shtooka, which requires no special support. This is a database of recordings of the pronunciation of words and phrases by native speakers of various dialects. For the language sites, that is pretty much what we want. (Music sites wouldn't have a use for it.) Shtooka started off about French but it now covers other languages including Arabic. I don't know how good the coverage of each language is.

  • 1
    There's also SoundCloud, which SE already use for the podcast.
    – TRiG
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 21:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .