Thanks to narrator Kyle Tait for his permission to reprint the explanations he originally wrote on Facebook.
If the text is overflowing with mathematical expressions that would make the audiobook difficult to follow, you may suggest to the rights holder that they move the math examples to a companion PDF and re-word the recording manuscript to refer to the PDF. The Sections to Record page includes links to help the RH create and submit such a PDF.
Read your math translation very slowly so the listener can follow along. Remember in audio, you need to clarify somehow what’s in parentheses, etc. The order of operations doesn’t hold up well in audio.
Also, in equations that have both the capital and lower case versions of a variable, make sure that you specify that.
A = ax^2 + bx + c
A and a are different variables, so you’ll need to say “capital a” and “lowercase a”.
The best way to show you how to say mathematical equations and symbols is through several case studies.
is read as:
“T equals the fraction one over r, times the natural log of the fraction with numerator C and denominator C minus W R”.
The triangle is read “Delta”.
The squiggly X is the greek letter Chi (pronounced kī).
So the first highlighted section is read as:
“Delta kī squared equals one hundred sixty five point five eight, delta df equals 2, with a p value less than .001”
(They’re talking about a statistical study here, so the “p value” is a common thing discussed, it shows statistical significance, which you can read about here, if you’re so inclined.)
The next two, of course, are read “kī squared” and “df”
The acronym RMSEA is read letter-by-letter, R-M-S-E-A.
The bottom two highlights are read “r equals point one two, with a p value less than .05”, and “r equals point five nine, with a p value less than .01”.
The mathematical parts are read as:
“2 point 99792458 times 10 to the 8th power meters per second”
“1 point 602176634 times 10 to the negative 19th power COO-lombs”
h with a line through its stem is pronounced “h bar”.
Planck is pronounced plahnk.
The value for h in the third bullet is actually a typo. It should be an x, not a c, for multiplication. “1.0546x10…”
J.S is pronounced jewel seconds
“Alpha equals the fraction with numerator e-squared and denominator h-bar times c.”
A -1 in the superscript is pronounced just “a to the negative first power”.
The difference between them is statistically significant (B = 2.35, p < .05, EXP(B)=10.50).
This is a statistical test. I (Kyle) would say the entire parenthetical:
“B equals 2.35 for a p value less than point zero five, and the exponential function of B equals 10.50.”
Other resources on this topic:
- Mathematical English (a brief summary) is a comprehensive, 30-page PDF published by mathematics professor Jan Nekovář. In addition to converting symbols into words, this document offers practice examples.