TTS voices project

Henrik Nilsen Omma henrik at ubuntu.com
Mon Dec 4 13:43:17 GMT 2006


Hello All!

I'd like to propose a new Ubuntu Accessibility project aimed at creating 
Text To Speech voices (or helping to improve existing ones).

Project wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Accessibility/Projects/Voices

The project is especially focused on creating and improving eSpeak 
voices, which we need for the multilingual Live CDs and which are 
relatively easy to create. The eSpeak maintainer says that he is happy 
to create new basic language sets, but needs help from native speakers 
to improve them and actually make them usable. Most of this work does 
not involve programming or audio mixing, but merely altering language 
definition files.

So if you speak one of the languages listed in the wiki, please test the 
quality of the voice and give some feedback on what might be improved. 
As we go we can help each other figure out the workings of the eSpeak 
language definition files.

This project is important for several reasons:

- First of all we should strive to provide local language support in 
spoken form to as many people as possible. Universal Access is both 
about infrastructure and tools as well as language.

- The live CD currently ships with some of worlds most spoken languages 
by default in the form of localised desktop and application interfaces. 
It would be great if we had the corresponding voices available as well.

- This represents a fairly simple non-coding way of contributing to 
Ubuntu Accessibility So if you can spare some time but don't do 
programming this is a great way to contribute!

- Local promotion -- It would be much easier to promote Ubuntu and Free 
Software to local visual impairment communities if we had native speech 
support. In places where commercial offerings are poor it's a killer 
feature!

If we can make a basic start on this within the ubuntu accessibility 
team I'd like to invite other groups to help out such as the Ubuntu 
Studio team or the good folks over at LibriVox.org


Henrik



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