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Is there a program for text to speech that runs in Ubuntu Linux? Preferably not under wine.


Sorry for the delay. My schedule this semester is a whirl wind. anyway. I've got the programs mentioned below. But i should clarify what I'm searching for. I'm Dyslexic. Reading is difficult for me. But when I have the text read a-loud to me it does wonders. The school provides all my text books in a digital form, so I need something I can just drop a large chunk of text (which may or many not be structured very cleanly. some times the text comes with all sorts of random gibberish that has caused several text to speech programs on windows crash on me before.) and have it read it to me.

Thanks, again, sorry for the delay.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Ubuntu includes Festival (festival package and perhaps other fest...) and Espeak (espeak package). For GUI integration, look at Orca (gnome-orca package).

Voices for languages other than English can be hard to come by. Espeak comes with English only, and Festival comes with voices in Czech, English, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Marathi and Telugu. Both Espeak and Festival can be made to work with voices from the Mbrola project, which are free as in beer but not as in speech.

In the spirit of teaching a man to fish, I'll mention a little-known feature of the Debian/Ubuntu package system. Unfortunately, it's not available in Ubuntu's default package manager (synaptics), but it is available in the text mode package manager aptitude. Install the debtags package, then in aptitude select “Views | New Debtags browser”. This shows available packages by tags; the sound::speech tag (i.e. expand the sound catagory then its speech category) lists speech synthesis software.

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There are a few, I personally use espeak.

// off topic but if you use ossv4 it's hard to use espeak directly, so here's the bash function i use :

say() {
        echo -n $* | espeak --stdin --stdout -v+f6 | play -q -
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Thanks. I've tried epos, espeak and festival but I haven't found a way to make it sound like a girl. Is it possible? – Speech Dec 16 '10 at 10:42
Festival come with one female voice - but adding more voices is straightforward - see – symcbean Dec 16 '10 at 12:19
also espeak comes with several female voices, try espeak -v+f1 (+f1 -> +f6). – OneOfOne Dec 16 '10 at 15:15

You can use Festival.

Orca is another alternative

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