Today I am very happy to announce that Speech Server 2007 will support nine additional sythesizers when it ships. This will enable the creation of DTMF applications in a number of new locales throughout the world. The new languages with voices are
Mandarin Chinese (PRC)
Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan)
For those who forget what languages we currently support, the following are the already announced languages.
English (United States)
Spanish (United States)
English (United Kingdom)
For those whose languages are still not covered, we are ramping up our support for additional languages in the near future. The first language in that line will likely be Portuguese (Portugal), which already has been released for a beta preview. With the exception of the five already announced languages above, we only support speech synthesis and not speech recognition (so the applications can only accept DTMF). However, we hope to make changes there in the near future as well.
The following are answers to questions some of you may have.
Do you have to pay for these language packs?
No. Microsoft has licensed the technology from Nuance for use with products like Speech Server 2007 and Exchange Unified Messaging. Microsoft makes these language packs available for licensed users of these products at no additional charge.
What version of RealSpeak are they?
Can I use these new TTS engines with Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging?
Exchange Unified Messaging has their own language packs and you cannot use Speech Server language packs with Exchange. Incidentally, Exchange has two additional language packs not yet available for Speech Server - Dutch and Swedish. I currently do not know if Exchange language packs can be used with Speech Server (the official line is "no" but supposedly there is a way to hack it)
Can I use these new TTS engines directly with SAPI?
Can I license additional engines from Nuance and use them with Speech Server?
No. The edition of RealSpeak used with Speech Server and Exchange use an authentication handshake.
Will other Nuance voices or custom voices work with the Microsoft version of RealSpeak?
I’m not sure
In the next two posts I will discuss what some of our folks in Brazil have been up to and some information about developing applications in these new languages with our tools.