The story of the automaton had struck deep roots of fear into their souls and, in fact, a pernicious mistrust of human figures in general had begun to creep in.
---E. T. A. Hoffmann. The Sandman (1816)
German Chatterbox 1.0 is being developed by:
Nick Ostrau, PhD
German Studies Program
Academic Year 2017-18
Content manager: Angineh Djavadghazaryans, PhD
Alpha testing: Selina Foltinek
Content editing: Maxwell Lata and Sophie Palmer
Video segments for this program were filmed at the
Jones Media Center. We thank the staff for their support.
For questions and comments, please use the contact form to the right.
For information on studying German at Dartmouth please visit:
Glockenspiel, Bern (Schweiz)
First Machine Produced Speech
Wolfgang von Kempelen's (1734-1804) speech machine was the first that allowed to produce not only some speech sounds, but also whole words and short sentences. The machine consisted of a bellows that simulated the lungs and was to be operated with the right forearm .The whole speech production mechanism was enclosed in a box with holes for the hands and additional holes in its cover. According to von Kempelen, it was possible to acquire an admirable facility in playing the machine within three weeks, especially if one chooses the Latin, French, or Italian language, since German is much more difficult because of its many closed syllables and consonant clusters.
Wolfgang von Kempelen (1791) Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst Beschreibung einer sprechenden Maschine