I am studying French and to practice my pronunciation and to learn the words, I want to have my mac speak the words out loud. My mac should say the word in English, and after that, he should say the French translation of it. So, it should speak in 2 voices alternately. The problem is that I don't know how to get my mac speak 2 languages alternately. I know how to get my mac do text-to-speech and how to change the voices, but I don't know how to change the voice from English to French during the speech.

So in short, I want that my mac speaks the following words: first the English word (in an English voice like 'Daniel', and after that, the French translation of that word in a French voice, like 'Thomas') :

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I use the [[slnc 1400]] in order to let my mac know he need to take a break for 1400 milliseconds before starting to say the next word. Otherwise, the voice doesn't take a break.

Does someone know how I can get this done?

Can this be done with AppleScript or Automator? Or maybe there is a program a could use to solve this?

2 Answers 2


check out the app "Narrator" (Mariner Software) - I've just bought the app for a different purpose (correct pronunciation) - but regarding to the description of the app it should solve you're problem too


If you don't have french voices yet:

  1. Go into "Dictation and Speech" preferences

  2. Click on the "Text to Speech" tab

  3. Click on the "System Voice" menu
  4. Select "Customize"
  5. Type "French" into the search field and check the voices you want to use. You can get a preview by clicking on them and pressing "play".
  6. Push "OK" and the languages will download... Slowly.

...days later

Okay, now that that download's done, use this AppleScript code to make the computer speak in different languages:

say "yes" using "Bruce"
delay 1.4
say "oui" using "Audrey"

The first one uses an English voice, the second uses one of the French ones. Use whichever voice you prefer.

  • whoops, added the delay you requested. My bad! Jun 7, 2015 at 18:48

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