IIS develops text-to-speech software for Kannada, Tamil

"It converts text that is already coded in the computer into speech or audible wave forms. We have it in both Tamil and Kannada and it takes a fraction of a second to read what is written," A G Ramakrishnan, Professor of Department of Electrical Engineering at IISc and project head, told PTI.

Ramakrishnan was here to present a paper in the Tamil Internet Conference as part of the ongoing World Classical Tamil Conference.He said the project has been named Tirukural (the ancient Tamil collection of couplets), with a pun on "kural" which also means 'voice' in Tamil.

While there was a similar TTS software in Hindi, there was no such one available for other Indian languages, he said.

The research team has tied up with Bangalore-based St John's Hospital for a pilot project of this software, which could be used only with Tamil unicode.While Ramakrishnan wanted to do a complete Tamil software, he had to cope with the reality that the spoken language is also interspersed with English words, especially among Tamil speakers.

"The next version of Tirukural will bridge this gap which has not been cared for in the present version," he said, adding it will be ready by a week or so.He said globally, hundreds of thousands of dollars were being invested on TTS for English but little investment had been done for regional language.

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