Here’s a nice bit of software for everyone to play around with. It’s a multilingual text-to-speech device. You input a piece of text, select the appropriate language from the 27 that are available, choose a ‘voice’ (male or female; there are nearly 30 different named talkers available for English, from assorted geographical locations), add an ‘effect’ if you wish, press the “Say It” button, and hey presto, listen to the result.
I did some quick testing.
The device seems to be sensitive to British-American differences. I tested it on the word tomato, and the BrE voice I had chosen duly came up with -ˈmɑː-, the AmE one with -ˈmeɪ-. Same with centralization: BrE -laɪˈz-, AmE -lɪˈz-.
I tried it with short phrases in German and French, with good results.
And all with an animated talking head!
Text-to-speech synthesis seems to be making excellent progress.
Click here, and have fun. (Sorry, blogspot doesn’t allow me to create clickable graphics.)