How to make Python speak

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How could I make Python say some text?

I could use Festival with subprocess but I won't be able to control it (or maybe in interactive mode, but it won't be clean).

Is there a Python TTS library? Like an API for Festival, eSpeak, ... ?

Please note that this only work with python 2.x

You should try using the PyTTSx package since PyTTS is outdated. PyTTSx works with the lastest python version. -> The package

Hope it helps

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A bit cheesy, but if you use a mac you can pass a terminal command to the console from python.

Try typing the following in the terminal:

$ say 'hello world' 

And there will be a voice from the mac that will speak that. From python such a thing is relatively easy:

import os
os.system("echo 'hello world'")
os.system("say 'hello world'") 

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How to use the text to speech features of a Windows PC
from win32com.client import Dispatch

speak = Dispatch("SAPI.SpVoice")

Using google text-to-speech Api to create an mp3 and hear it

After you installed the gtts module in cmd: pip install gtts

from gtts import gTTS
import os    

tts = gTTS(text="This is the pc speaking", lang='en')"pcvoice.mp3")
# to start the file from python
os.system("start pcvoice.mp3")

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The python-espeak package is available in Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat, and other Linux distributions. It has recent updates, and works fine.

from espeak import espeak
espeak.synth("Hello world.")

Jonathan Leaders notes that it also works on Windows, and you can install the mbrola voices as well. See the espeak website at

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A simple Google led me to pyTTS, and a few documents about it. It looks unmaintained and specific to Microsoft's speech engine, however.

On at least Mac OS X, you can use subprocess to call out to the say command, which is quite fun for messing with your coworkers but might not be terribly useful for your needs.

It sounds like Festival has a few public APIs, too:

Festival offers a BSD socket-based interface. This allows Festival to run as a server and allow client programs to access it. Basically the server offers a new command interpreter for each client that attaches to it. The server is forked for each client but this is much faster than having to wait for a Festival process to start from scratch. Also the server can run on a bigger machine, offering much faster synthesis. linky

There's also a full-featured C++ API, which you might be able to make a Python module out of (it's fun!). Festival also offers a pared-down C API -- keep scrolling in that document -- which you might be able to throw ctypes at for a one-off.

Perhaps you've identified a hole in the market?

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  • does "Festival" have a public API?
  • For text to speech I found this package called "gTTS" in Python. You can try this out. It does work with Python 3.5. The github repo for this package is gTTS-github.
  • Does not work for python 3. This answer was up to date as of 2009
  • Despite being available through pip, still does not work as of 2015
  • I confirm it does not work with python3 and easy fixes (printf as a function, fixing exception handling syntax and fixing imports) don't make it work, it simply fails silently. Interfacing with espeak (what it does on Linux) is as simple as spawning a subprocess, so that's what I ended up doing.
  • Just added a comment eat the top of the question to note this only works with Python 2.x
  • I don't want the say command to block my Python code, so I add an ampersand like this: os.system("say 'hello world' &")
  • On ubuntu, the terminal command to use is spd-say
  • You can install required module in your system by running pip install pypiwin32 as administartor.
  • Google solution seems to be one of the best : allows to change of language, it is also really fast.
  • Strangely, the first code example works on some Windows 10 PCs but not others. Why is that?
  • @ColorCodin I am not sure, but you should check in the control panel, the syntetized voice (I don't remember the exact name of this options) and see if it has been set... there is a button you can press to see if it works. If it works in the settings, should work with the code, because I think it uses the windows synthesized voice, I think.
  • It's been set, but when the command is run through CMD it says "Access is denied."
  • Is there a way to get this to work with other languages (Japanese or Chinese?)