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I'd like to use "say" in the terminal to create audio files with a custom phonetic dictionary, or at the very least, say things how I think they should sound. From my understanding, this can't be accomplished through the "Voice Over Utility" configuration screen.

So to have say "speak" things correctly, I'm willing to:

  • use a custom phonetic dictionary or
  • change my input text to some phonetic variant

For example, I'd like to be able to have the word "colossians" said as I expect it, which is phonetically something like "kuh LOSH uhnz" without the pauses that the spaces cause in the word.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The Speech Synthesis Programming Guide describes the embedded speech commands that you can use to adjust how the speech synthesis engines process your input text.

The [[inpt PHON]] command enables the use of phonemes and phoneme modifiers.

For example, the following text includes a phonemic version of your chosen word (select the text, Control-click, and select Speech > Start Speaking to hear it directly in Safari):

If you don't like how I say "colossians",
then perhaps you will be satisfied with
"[[inpt PHON]]kUH2lAASUHnz[[inpt TEXT]]".

This syntax is accepted by the say command in the shell and AppleScript (though you will have to modify the (above) use of single- and double-quotes to suit the string literal syntax of your chosen context).

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2  
You can convert English text to the phonetic representation with Repeat After Me.app. It used to be installed in /Developer/Applications/ before Xcode 4.3, but is now part of the auxiliary tools package at developer.apple.com/downloads. –  Lri Jun 16 '12 at 8:12
    
It'd be nice if we could use the International Phonetic Alphabet (which is in Unicode) to do this instead of the ASCII-based version Repeat After Me uses. –  CajunLuke Jun 16 '12 at 14:22

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