Now there’s no excuse for you not to learn a language

In Mac OS 10.7 Lion, Apple extends its text-to-speech capabilities by including dozens of new high-quality multilingual voices:

Pretty amazing, considering that third-party synthesized voices can be very costly.

Too bad any Apple user has to follow Steve Jobs’ personal decisions on what your user experience should be; (re. flash, audio formats, usb connectivity, silly expensive proprietary accessories etc)

“Hello, my name is Tora3. I am a Japanese English voice.”

I happened to use this particular Polish voice a while ago. It may be able to pronounce difficult (for foreigners) consonant clusters, but its intonation is very poor and you cannot stand listening to it reading longer passages. I recommend listening to native speakers at Rhinospike or here, if this functionality is added. I am curious, though, when synthesised voices will become indistinguishable from a natural human voice.

I am using a Mac-mini and a MacBook, but I did not know the function “speech.” Thank you, Astamoore.


Open terminal window on Mac and enter

say Hello World

Ensure that your loudspeakers are on.

“Say” is a UNIX(?) command, isn’t it?

Yes, but I don’t know whether it exists in other Unix versions.
You will find more details if you execute the following shell command:

man say

You may also use Google TTS (Text To Speech)

Use this URL:

Replace in the above URL “XX” and “YYYYY” as follows:

XX is the language
e.g. en - English, fr - French, zh - Chinese, de - German, ja - Japanese, ar - Arabic, ko - Korean, es - Spanish, sv - Swedish, …

YYYYY is a short text (max. 100 (?) char.).

Examples: – Hello World (en) – Je ne supporte pas le froid (fr) – 我爱你 (zh: I love you) – おはようございます! (ja: Good morning)

By the way, this is the technology that LingQ uses (from Google) when you want to have your flashcards spoken…

Thank you for your information about synthesized voices, Hape.
Now I can listen to “Alex” read Paul Krugman’s essays. Alex is the voice of Mac OS.

osascript -e ‘say “oh This is a silly song silly song silly song this is the silliest song ive ever ever heard So why keep you listening listening listening while you are supposed to work to work to work to work its because i hate my job hate my job hate my job its because i hate my job more than anything else No its because youve no life youve no life youve no life and you better go get one after forwarding this crap” using “cellos”’

I replaced Alex with Victoria.