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Rapid development of TTS corpora for four South African languages

  • Daniel van Niekerk
  • Charl van Heerden
  • Marelie Davel
  • Neil Kleynhans
  • Oddur Kjartansson
  • Martin Jansche
  • Linne Ha
Proc. Interspeech 2017, pp. 2178-2182


This paper describes the development of text-to-speech corpora for four South African languages. The approach followed investigated the possibility of using low-cost methods including informal recording environments and untrained volunteer speakers. This objective and the additional future goal of expanding the corpus to increase coverage of South Africa's 11 official languages necessitated experimenting with multi-speaker and code-switched data. The process and relevant observations are detailed throughout. The latest version of the corpora are available for download under an open-source licence and will likely see further development and refinement in future.

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