[sword-devel] The MBROLA Project - Towards a Freely Available Multilingual Speech Synthesizer

Jonathan Morgan jonmmorgan at gmail.com
Sun Oct 18 18:29:53 MST 2009

On Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 2:53 AM, David Haslam <d.haslam at ukonline.co.uk> wrote:
> Has anyone come across this before?
> http:// http://tcts.fpms.ac.be/synthesis/mbrola/
> "The goal of the MBROLA project is to obtain a set a high quality speech
> synthesizers for as many languages as possible, free for use in
> non-commercial applications. The ultimate goal is to boost up academic
> research on speech synthesis, and particularly on prosody generation, known
> as one of the biggest challenges in Text-to-Speech Synthesis for the years
> to come. Brazilian Portuguese, Breton, British English, Dutch, French,
> German, Romanian, Spanish, and Swedish already available as full software
> multilingual speech synthesizers (i.e., the DSP part of a TTS system). Many
> other languages are in preparation."
> http://tcts.fpms.ac.be/synthesis/mbrola/mbrlicen.html Licensing  is not GPL,
> so might be a stumbling block.

Yes.  A few points:
1. It is possible to use MBROLA voices with Festival.  I haven't
looked into how.  Xiphos uses Festival for TTS.

2. From memory, Xiphos interfaces with Festival as a separate
application anyway, and just gives it the text to read.  This should
be GPL compatible whatever, and if MBROLA had a similar interface it
could be used in the same way (as could any TTS engine).

3. Text to speech support adds quite a lot to the download and install
size of an application, so I think it is probably better to make it
rely on a separate application which is installed separately and then
invoked from within the application rather than making every user
install it whether or not they will actually use it (and that's not
even considering whether we are licensed to distribute the software
and/or voices and the fact that different languages will need
different voices and data).


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