HTK and BBC Develop New TTS Capability

IPSWICH, UNITED KINGDOM - HTK Limited, UK, has developed a speech synthesis (text-to-speech) capability to deliver the BBC preferred pronunciation of foreign words and names. According to HTK, previously it has not been possible for a computer generated voice to accurately render sounds spanning multiple languages in a single voice within the same utterance. Initial users of the system will include TV and radio broadcasters who need to know how to pronounce foreign names and events correctly, for instance to cover news stories, international sporting events and the World Service. A Web browser interface will deliver both spoken and written pronunciations to the user upon request, with information updated on a daily basis and covering BBC broadcast information compiled over the past 60 years. HTK has worked closely with the BBC's Pronunciation Research Unit for 12 months to prepare for the launch of the new 'BBC SpeakEasy' system which occurred in March, 2003.
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