Web pages with Mandarin text to speech

the Chinese character '?' and with the pinyin 'niàn' above itMy recent addition to this site of Mandarin text with audio brought to mind the issue of text-to-speech for Mandarin.

Here are some Web pages that allow you to input texts (albeit very brief ones in most cases) in Chinese characters and hear them pronounced in Mandarin and, in a few instances, Cantonese as well.

  • Oddcast (Sitepal). Although one of the options is for “Taiwanese,” texts are not read in that language (Hoklo) but rather in Mandarin.
  • Cling
  • Sinovoice. Be sure to enter the “code” number or the text won’t be spoken aloud.
  • Ekho
  • Iflytek. This is is particularly interesting because it can add Hanyu Pinyin above the Hanzi that are being read. Unfortunately, this does not work in Opera; but Firefox and IE are OK.

Does anyone have any favorites?

4 thoughts on “Web pages with Mandarin text to speech

  1. Oddcast seems to be the best to me, but I don’t exactly understand what kind of business model they have with their site. I’d say their TTS engines are the most precious things they have.

  2. IRTI TTS:

    http://atc.ccl.itri.org.tw/iTTSDemo.aspx

    This system is developed by Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (???). The demo site provides 3 different engines. The mTTS voice sounds like real person speaking.

    However I can’t find an English user interface.

    Just paste the characters you wanna listen, type the verification codes in the reCAPTCHA box, and click “Play”.

    You don’t need to have IE (VBScript) although they’ve noticed that you need a VBScript-supported browser.

  3. My favourite site is http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/
    They have recently enhanced it so that it will speak entire words or sentences, not just single characters. This is on top of all its other features, including the brilliant pinyin input method that shows English definitions next to the choice of characters for those of us not familiar with them all!

    Unfortunately, of the sites above, some don’t work for me because they require Windows-specific plugins, and one of them didn’t allow me to paste characters in (which is the main way I’d want to enter them!)

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