Simple Text-To-Speech (TTS) interface library with multi-language and multi-engine support.



I was really intrigued by the concept of jasper, a voice-controlled interface.
I needed it to be multi-lingual like me, so this library is my attempt to make having the
TTS engines multi-lingual. A lot of this code is inspired by the Jasper project.

System Requirements

  • Python 2.7 or later
  • An installed TTS engine (see below for help installing one)
  • macOS (tested on 10.11 and 10.12), Linux (Ubuntu, Debian), Windows

Basic Usage

Install from pypi:

pip install talkey

At its simplest use case:

import talkey
tts = talkey.Talkey()
tts.say('Old McDonald had a farm')

If you get a talkey.base.TTSError: No supported languages error, it means that you don't have a supported TTS engine installed. Please see below.

By default it will try to locate and use the local instances of the following TTS engines:

  • Flite
  • SVOX Pico
  • Festival
  • eSpeak
  • mbrola via eSpeak

Installing one or more of those engines should allow the libary to function and generate speech.

It also supports the following networked TTS Engines:

  • MaryTTS (needs hosting)
  • Google TTS (cloud hosted)

For best results you should configure it:

import talkey
tts = talkey.Talkey(
    # These languages are given better scoring by the language detector
    # to minimise the chance of it detecting a short string completely incorrectly.
    # Order is not important here
    preferred_languages=['en', 'af', 'el', 'fr'],

    # The factor by which preferred_languages gets their score increased, defaults to 80.0

    # The order of preference of using a TTS engine for a given language.
    # Note, that networked engines (Google, Mary) is disabled by default, and so is dummy
    # default: ['google', 'mary', 'espeak', 'festival', 'pico', 'flite', 'dummy']
    # This sets eSpeak as the preferred engine, the other engines may still be used
    #  if eSpeak doesn't support a requested language.

    # Here you segment the configuration by engine
    # Key is the engine SLUG, in this case ``espeak``
        # Specify the engine options:
        'options': {
            'enabled': True,

        # Specify some default voice options
        'defaults': {
                'words_per_minute': 150,
                'variant': 'f4',

        # Here you specify language-specific voice options
        # e.g. for english we prefer the mbrola en1 voice
        'languages': {
            'en': {
                'voice': 'english-mb-en1',
                'words_per_minute': 130
tts.say('Old McDonald had a farm')

Installing TTS engines


For festival:

sudo apt-get install festival

For flite:

sudo apt-get install flite

For SVOX Pico:

sudo apt-get install libttspico-utils

For eSpeak:

sudo apt-get install espeak

For mbrola and en1 voice:

sudo apt-get install mbrola-en1


Install eSpeak:

Go to and download and install setup_espeak-<version>.exe

For mbrola and its voices:

Go to and download and install MbrolaTools<version>.exe and follow directions to install voices from

For google TTS:

install python package gTTS

Download ffmpeg from

Extract with 7Zip, and add the \bin folder to the PATH.

extract to C:\ffmpeg and add C:\ffmpeg\bin to the PATH

(In cmd.exe you should be able to just run ffmpeg and see it showing information, then it is working right)