Using Italian Text to Speech

The Tellme Voice Application Network supports a female Italy Italian voice for Italian Text to Speech (TTS) processing. This article demonstrates how to access this functionality.

To access Italian TTS functionality, set the name attribute of the voice element to "lucia" as shown in the following example.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<vxml version="2.1"
  xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2001/vxml">
  <form>
    <block>
      <prompt>
        <voice name="lucia">
          Ciao Jean! ", Afferma Pierre." Come stai? "
          "Oh, ciao Pierre!" grida Jeanne. 
          "Hai avuto un bel weekend?" 
          "Si, grazie", risponde lei." 
          "Aspetta, devo dirti una cosa importante."
        </voice>
      </prompt>
      <exit/>
    </block>
  </form>
</vxml>

For information about the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) elements that the TTS engine supports, see the Speech Synthesis Markup Element Reference.

This section covers how phone numbers and mailing addresses should be formatted and how they are read by the TTS engine.

  • Brief time breaks occur between number segments.
  • Phone numbers are not pronounced in pairs, as regular numbers are; digits are read individually.
  • Phone number delimiters are not pronounced. A comma indicates a short pause.
  • You can use the SSML say-as element to ensure that the TTS engine pronounces a phone number correctly.
Text Pronunciation
(39) 09251955907 "Tre nove zero nove due cinque uno nove cinque cinque nove zero sette"
(39) 071-52222 "Tre nove zero sette uno cinque due due due due"
(39) 0736 343388 "Tre nove zero sette tre sei tre Quattro tre tre otto otto"

  • Numbers in an address are read individually.(for details, see the Numbers section)
  • Italian addresses are typically in the following format:
    RECIPIENT
    Street + House/Building Number
    Postal code + City + Province code
    ITALY
    
  • To ensure that the TTS engine pronounces the state abbreviation correctly, be sure to include a zip code. Also, do not include extra spaces after the city name.
  • You can use the SSML say-as element to ensure that the TTS engine pronounces an address correctly.
Pronunciation Rule Text
Between a street address and a numeric street, a break occurs Via Della Costa 1 Canazei
A break occurs between city/state and the zip code 38032 , Italia

Four digit numbers have some common pronunciation patterns, as listed below. You can also use the SSML say-as element to ensure that the TTS engine pronounces a number digit by digit.

  • To express multiplication, you must write out the mathematical functions. For example, use "4 times 5" instead of "4*5" or "4X5".
  • In Italian 'comma (,)' is used as a decimal separator and 'dot (.)' is used as a thousands separator( period)
Pattern Pronunciation Rule Example Text Example Pronunciation
Number separated by a period Read as a single number 14.008 "Quattordicimila e otto"
Million number separated by limiter Read as a single number 4.000.000 "Quattro milioni"

Currency values are pronounced, in general, as <number><currency value> AND <number> <currency value>. You can use the SSML say-as element to ensure that the TTS engine pronounces a currency value correctly.

  • In Italian 'comma (,)' is used as a decimal separator and 'dot (.)' is used as a thousands separator( period)

Note. Ignore trailing character  ahead of currency

Text Pronunciation
$0,12 "Dodici centesimi"
$15,89 "Quindici dollari e ottanta nove centesimi"
€23,99 "Ventitre euro e novantanove centesimi"
€2.699,00 "Duemilaseicentonovantanove euro"
€24,00 "Ventiquattro euro"
€24,01 "Ventiquattro euro e un centesimo"

You can refer here Currency Abbreviations to know about currency code abbreviations and the readout for each.

This section covers how the TTS engine pronounces date and time text. You can use the SSML say-as element to ensure that the TTS engine pronounces a date or time value correctly.

Note. Roman Numerals in dates are not supported.

In Italy, the all-numeric form for dates is in the order "day month year", using a slash as the separator.

Note. Use say-as type Default to get proper read back for examples provided in table.

Text Pronunciation
21/12/2014 "Ventuno dicembre duemilaquattordici"
17 ottobre 2009 "Diciassette ottobre duemilanove"
5 maggio "Cinque Maggio"

Time can be formatted in different ways. TTS engine for Italian language supports time in in following notation

Text Pronunciation
13:10 "Ore tredici e dieci"
12:30 PM "Ore mezzogiorno e trenta"

While you can use all valid XML character sequences in the range U+0000 to U+FFFF in your VoiceXML documents, character data to be processed by the TTS engine (e.g. text in prompt and audio elements) must be non-control characters in the following Unicode tables:

See Also
Speech Synthesis Markup Element Reference, Unicode Code Charts
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