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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

eSpeak: text to speech

From time to time I describe a library that is hidden in the features of the APOCALYX engine. This is the time of eSpeak, a library devoted to the conversion of text into sound from a voice synthesizer. The version included in APOCALYX is modified to support 3D sound, so one can make his characters speech with different voices and different languages according to their positions is space. You can find a demo performing some simple text to speech conversion in the "Speak.lua" script included in DemoPack1. Here follows the original description of the author of the library.
"eSpeak is a compact open source software speech synthesizer for English and other languages.
eSpeak produces good quality English speech. It uses a different synthesis method from other open source TTS engines, and sounds quite different. It's perhaps not as natural or "smooth", but I find the articulation clearer and easier to listen to for long periods. The library includes different voices, whose characteristics can be altered.
The eSpeak speech synthesizer supports several languages, however in most cases these are initial drafts and need more work to improve them. Assistance from native speakers is welcome for these, or other new languages. eSpeak does text to speech synthesis for the following languages, some better than others. Afrikaans, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Lojban, Macedonian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Vietnamese, Welsh.

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