Text to speech Afrikaans

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Speech Synthesis on September 27, 2022
TTS readers with text to speech Afrikaans support can enhance your understanding of the South African language in audio form. Here's how.

    South African Afrikaans text to speech (TTS)

    To a non-speaker, South African Afrikaans isn’t the most straightforward language to understand or learn. However, the right technology can quickly change things.

    Even native speakers may have trouble advancing their language knowledge or have difficulty with certain pronunciations and dialects. Sometimes turning text into audio is the best way to overcome such obstacles.

    Why TTS?

    TTS, or text to speech technology, converts written text from web pages, documents, PDFs, HTML files, and even pictures into audio in the form of AI speech.

    Text to speech is a popular assistive technology in the educational space. TTS offers numerous benefits in leisure activities and can help users with dyslexia, ADHD, and other reading difficulties improve their language comprehension skills.

    So, why use TTS with South African Afrikaans?

    As a native Afrikaans speaker, you can use it for the same reason everyone else does—to make your life easier by becoming a multitasking and productivity master by eliminating your need to read.

    As a non-Afrikaans speaker, you can use TTS software to translate and spell words in Afrikaans to further your understanding of the language and improve your communication skills.

    The history of Afrikaans

    Although Afrikaans is mainly a South African language, its use crosses outside the South African borders. The language sees plenty of use throughout the Africa by many different people.

    Afrikaans’ roots as a creole language go back to the 19th century. The language evolved during the colonialism period in South Africa and has many language influences, including:

    • Dutch

    • Malay

    • Portuguese

    • Indonesian

    • San

    • Khoekhoe

    Text to speech South African Afrikaans accents (TTS South African Afrikaans)

    Unlike the English language, South African Afrikaans doesn’t have nearly as many accents and dialects. Many speakers identify three primary dialects.

    • Cape Afrikaans—This dialect has stronger Portuguese influences.

    • Orange River Afrikaans—This dialect features more Khoi language influences.

    • East Cape Afrikaans—This dialect has predominant Dutch and English influences.

    Due to the diverse background of the South African Afrikaans language, the dialects are often mutually intelligible. Locals rarely have trouble understanding each other, even when using slightly different dialects and accents.

    At the same time, this makes using text to speech technology trickier to turn written text into speech. Powerful machine learning algorithms are necessary for proper Afrikaans text to speech conversions in real-time.

    However, that doesn’t mean high-quality, natural-sounding voices aren’t available for South African TTS speech engine users.

    How to generate text to speech in South African Afrikaans accent

    There are a few ways to get authentic narrations for text to speech audio in South African Afrikaans.

    Google Translate

    The Google Voice Generator feature from Google Translate is available for free. It uses Natural Neural Network Technology to power its translator feature and the text to speech engine.

    How does it work?

    It’s as easy as opening the Google Translate service in your browser and typing something in the text box. You can write up to 5,000 characters per individual translation.

    The best part about using this Google service is the automatic translation. You can write your text in English, and Google Translate will convert it into Afrikaans. From there, you can press the speaker button to hear the audio version of the text.

    Naturally, some translations are hit and miss. You’ll notice that some conversions have a reviewed icon marking them as accurate, while others don’t.

    While Google Translate is a quick way to get a text to speech South African Afrikaans translation you can use for personal and commercial purposes, the biggest downside is the very unnatural, robotic voice that doesn’t differentiate between the three main dialects. You also have to either type or copy and paste the text you want to hear into the translate box every time.


    Suppose you want a more professional service. Play.ht does a better job generating Afrikaans accents than Google Translate.

    Play.ht is a TTS service with three South African Afrikaans voices, one male and two female. The standard voices use computer-generated algorithms.

    The text to speech voices use machine learning speech synthesis to produce relatively natural-sounding voices in real-time. The speech recognition capabilities of the premium service are superior to what Google or Microsoft can do now.

    Of course, play.ht supports other languages like Turkish, Swedish, Filipino, Spanish, Italian, etc.

    Other TTS: Speechify

    If you want to explore your options with text to speech technology, Speechify is an excellent choice. At the moment, the platform doesn’t support Afrikaans. However, Speechify is always adding new languages as soon as the speech synthesis process is sufficiently optimized for the task.

    What sets Speechify apart from other TTS apps are its very natural-sounding voices, its versatility across many devices and operating systems, and simply how easy it is to use. Language learners, people with reading difficulties, or anyone who simply enjoys listening to audio content instead of reading it can all benefit from Speechify.

    Currently, you can try Speechify for other similarly complex languages with different characteristics than the English language. Here are some of your choices:

    • Hindi

    • Arabic

    • Japanese

    • Hebrew

    • Russian

    • Portuguese

    • Dutch

    • Korean

    • And many more

    These languages have TTS support but also allow translations, making learning easier for users.

    The Speechify API is available on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows (via the Chrome extension), and others. You can listen to narrations in real-time or download the conversions in an MP3 or WAV audio file format.

    Conclusion: TTS is a useful resource

    Using a TTS reader, with or without a translation feature, can significantly impact how you manage daily activities and workflow issues.

    Reading is still a great way to absorb information, but not everyone reads as quickly as others. Conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, visual impairments, and other conditions can make it difficult to read fluently and process complex sentences.

    Text to speech software can create an environment where users may follow the text at a comfortable speed while hearing the correct pronunciation. Alternatively, you can boost your productivity by listening to written text faster than the average reading speed.

    With Speechify, you can turn the playback speed up to nine times faster than usual. A TTS reader offers multiple advantages in many languages, whether for convenience or necessity.

    Still not convinced? Try Speechify for free, experience premium voice narration, and see how quickly it can improve your online and offline interactions and language understanding.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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