WISPR Project: Welsh Irish Speech Processing Resources

The WISPR Project (Welsh and Irish Speech Processing Resources) Project was a major project, funded by the EU “Interreg” programme. Additional funding was provided by the Welsh Language Board.

The project’s aim was to develop text-to-speech synthesis for the Welsh and Irish languages, together with collecting speech databases for those languages. It was developed jointly by the Language Technologies Unit at Canolfan Bedwyr, University of Wales, Bangor, and Trinity College Dublin, with support from Dublin City University and University College Dublin.

The WISPR project used the popular open-source “Festival” framework for TTS. Some enhancements to Festival were developed by the Welsh WISPR team, such as allowing Festival to cope with input text in UTF-8 format (so that all possible characters in Welsh could be handled).

The project outputs for Welsh include a Welsh speech synthesiser and additional resources for developers, including Python scripts for use when building a new voice or other tasks,  recording scripts for Welsh, recorded speech data for Welsh, technical documentation and scientific papers.

The WISPR resources are available from the main WISPR website.