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May 11, 2010

Google Translate Adds Text-to-Speech for More Languages

Google Translate has made the text-to-speech feature more useful by adding 27 new languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese and Welsh.

Google used the open-source speech synthesizer eSpeak, but I'm sure that this is just a placeholder until Google manages to obtain better results. "You may notice that the audio quality of these languages isn’t at the same level as the previously released languages. Clear and accurate speech technology is difficult to perfect, but we will continue to improve the performance and number of languages that are supported," says Google's Fergus Henderson.

Initially, the feature was only available for English, but 4 other languages have been added in the past two months: Haitian Creole, French, Italian and German.

To try Google's TTS service, go to Google Translate, type some text, translate it and click on the audio icon to listen to the translation.


  1. Its great...
    Till now i was using its text to text translation. I never new it can speak. Its amazing... I heard "I love you" in many languages first time.
    Its amazing...
    I know these in tamil and telugu but these languages are not included into list, I will wait and varify translation after they will be available.

  2. The Swedish pronounciation is actually quite good! For most languages though, it sounds like the "naïve/basic" diphone version synthesis we did in university, while the Swedish sounds approx. like near the bleeding edge MBROLA as of 10 years back, which also needed quite more CPU power to synthesize. In short; don't be surprised if the voices can improve radically in inverse proportion to improvements in cpu/power resources :-)

  3. Wonderful...
    I just listened to Indonesian text, it sounds funny :-)

  4. No Japanese :(

  5. I've lost my audio icon!!! Please advise...

  6. actually, i know the eSpeak because i used it too for my final exam. but still confuse with "how to create natural language like google translate now?" anyone can help?

  7. Here is a Perl script which uses Google TTS, takes a long text input and generates an mp3 output: