TTS Recordings: MuST wants you to speak up!

Annette Willemse -- Tue, 11/03/2015 - 16:32

TTS Recordings: MuST wants you to speak up!

Are you a female between the ages of 19 to 30 years, fluent in English and a first language speaker of isiXhosa, Setswana, Sesotho or Afrikaans? If so the Multilingual Speech Technology (MuST) Research Niche Area of the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), needs your assistance for an exciting text to speech (TTS) project.


MuST is collecting a text to speech corpus for isiXhosa, Sesotho, Setswana and Afrikaans and want to record 200 sentences from each of 28 female speakers within the given age parameter.

The 200 recorded voice samples will be anonymized (in other words, no personal information will be linked to your voice, except your gender and age). During the next phase the 200 recorded voice samples will be released as open source content. This means that anybody will be able to download it, and use it for whatever purposes they wish. The license under which the voice samples will be released, can be viewed here:

The ultimate goal is to build a synthetic voice from a combination of the 28 speakers’ voice samples, hence the synthetic voice will not sound exactly like any particular person.

To enter

  • Send a WhatsApp message to 062 284 6612 that contains your information and 2 voice recordings. We request the following information:
  • your age;
  • your first language (isiXhosa, Setswana, Sesotho, Afrikaans);
  • your preferred location for performing the 200 recordings, should you be selected as one of the 28 volunteers
  • Use the WhatsApp voice recorder to record you speaking this English sentence:
    “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”


  • Use the WhatsApp voice recorder to record your speaking your first language sentence:
  • Setswana:

 “Batho botlhe ba tsetswe ba gololosegile le go lekalekana ka seriti le ditshwanelo.”

  • Sesotho:

Batho bohle ba tswetswe ba lokolohile mme ba lekana ka botho le ditokelo.”

  • isiXhosa:

Bonke abantu bazalwa bekhululekile belingana ngesidima nangokweemfanelo”

  • Afrikaans:

“Alle menslike wesens word vry, met gelyke waardigheid en regte, gebore”.

Selection process

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and interviewed over the phone by a language expert. Only 28 volunteers will be selected based on the interview and required to record 200 sentences each in a recording studio.

The recordings will take place in November 2015 in the following areas: Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Vanderbijlpark and Hermanus.


The 28 successful volunteers will receive R1 000 each and all travelling costs will be paid. If someone referred a successful volunteer they will receive R200.

For more information on MuST and the TTS project, please visit