eSpeak Free Text to Speech for Foreign Languages

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eSpeak is a free text to speech software and as its name suggests it converts any text and allows you to listen to the text saving your quality time and efforts. Its an open source speech synthesizer software for Linux and windows.

You can now sit back comfortably and relax and listen to any text you want to hear. You can listen to your blogs or any web mail page or almost anything and you won’t need to strain your eyes reading it on your own. The speech however, may not be as natural as a human voice but is quite clear and comprehensible and can be used at a high speed as well.


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It uses a ‘formant synthesis’ method where many languages are available in a small size. This software is available in the following 4 versions:

  • Command line program-speaks text from a file or stdin
  • Library version-To be used by other programs
  • SAP15 version-Used with screen readers and other programs that support this interface
  • It is ported to solaris and Mac OSX

This software comes in a compact size and supports many languages like Afrikaans, Albanian, Armenian, Cantonese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Kurdish, Latvian, Lojban, Macedonian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese, Welsh.

Here are some of the features of eSpeak:

  • You can choose from different voices
  • Speech output as WAV file can be produced
  • It supports HTML and SSML
  • It converts text to phonemes with length and pitch information and can translate text into phoneme code
  • It is written in C
  • You can produce the phoneme data through various tools available
  • It uses a GUI program

This is definitely the right software for everyone who feels lazy while reading text online as you can now hear any text in any voice you want to.

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Works With: Windows, Linux
Free/Paid: Free
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