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  1. #1
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    UK Voices for Microsoft Speech and Cortana

    Even though I live in the UK (and speak US English to my devices), is there a way to set the voice that my device talks with for Microsoft Speech and Cortana to UK? I'm feeling a little nostalgic for Downton Abbey and would love a couple UK voices from my device. :-)

    Thanks!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    Try the settings in Cortana. Start Cortana, click on Settings (the gear), scroll down to "Cortana Language". Select the language you want from the dropdown.

    For speech check the voices available at Settings | Time and language | Speech. Select the voice you want.

    Note: if your region is not UK the voices offered may not be UK
    Joe

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    I checked Cortana Settings, and it looks like I'd have to change the region to UK. I "probably" shouldn't do that since it could messup some functionality being in the US, correct?

    For the voice settings, only US voices are showing for now. Is there a way to add UK English as a secondary language option to enable to voices?

    Thanks!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    I think the Cortana settings recommends changing the region. I'm not sure you have to. There can be consequences to changing the region.

    I don't know of a way to add other voices but I haven't really looked either.
    Joe

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    We will know when Cortana has become popular because there will start to be celebrity voices available. I'm holding out for the Marilyn Monroe voice myself.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    It looks like the Settings | Time and language | Speech GUI takes its available settings from the 'mobile' voices stored in sub-folders of:

    Code:
    C:\Windows\Speech_OneCore\Engines\TTS
    Your actual choice appears to be stored in the registry at:
    Code:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Speech_OneCore\Settings\TextToSpeech\Voice
    (Sorry... I have to use CODE tags 'cos otherwise the forum software introduces spaces in the registry path.)

    If you have a look at Settings | Ease of Access | Narrator | Voice you may find one or more alternative voices listed but the 'desktop' voices don't appear to be readily available.

    For example, I'm using English (United Kingdom) as my Speech language, which shows the following:

    voices(mobile).pngnarrator.png

    The data for the 3 readily available 'mobile' voices is stored in C:\Windows\Speech_OneCore\Engines\TTS\en-GB.

    I'm happy to be proved wrong but as there is no corresponding data for any 'mobile' voices stored in C:\Windows\Speech_OneCore\Engines\TTS\en-US, I don't think it's possible to force the use of an American voice even if you changed the registry setting to that of a US 'mobile' voice.

    Hope this helps...

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    Thanks everyone! So for Cortana, it's probably best to leave her set to US (since that's the region I live in) and just keep her on US English.

    Looking at Rick's suggestions for the Narrator voices and Speech settings, basically all I'd need to do is change my "Speech Language" to UK to get the UK voices active?

    Of course then I'd have to see if my machine can still recognize when I talk to it or if I'd have to change my voice to sound more British. ;-)

    Thanks!
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker View Post
    ...Of course then I'd have to see if my machine can still recognize when I talk to it or if I'd have to change my voice to sound more British..!
    Depends. By "British" do you mean Cockney, Welsh, Yorkshire, Scottish, Irish accents? (yes, I'm being a little sarcastic ).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Parker
    Looking at Rick's suggestions for the Narrator voices and Speech settings, basically all I'd need to do is change my "Speech Language" to UK to get the UK voices active?
    Bearing in mind the following instructions are for amending my own region's settings, i.e. English (United Kingdom), you have to do this:

    1. Select Add a language (Settings > Time & language > Region & language > Languages > Add a language)
    2. Input English then select English. (Come on, MS. 'Patois' as a search result for 'English'?)

      add-voice01.png
    3. Select the additional language. (Mine's English (United Kingdom) so I chose English (United States)).
    4. When the Region & language dialog changes to show Language pack available under your new language, click on the new language then on the Options button.

      add-voice02.png
    5. In the Options dialog, click on the Download button under Speech.

      add-voice03.png
    6. Once downloaded (which was incredibly slow), go to Cortana's Settings > Cortana language and select the new language you added.
    7. Click on the Yes button when the Just making sure... warning appears.

      add-voice04.png

      This should be all you need for Cortana.
    8. Return to Speech (Settings > Time & language > Speech)
    9. Ensure the Speech language dropdown list is set to your preferred language.
    10. Under Text-to-speech, change the default voice for apps to one of the additional 'mobile' voices you want.

      add-voice05.png
      Click to enlarge

    Hope this helps...

  10. #10
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    RE Rick: Thanks for the instructions! I will give these a spin when I have a free moment and report back and let you know how it goes.

    RE Coochin: Hee hee! I have quite a bit of friends in the UK being an IT consultant for WeatherBug, so I know what you mean. :-)
    Nathan Parker
    President/CEO
    Mallard Computer, Inc.

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