Suttas have Pali words in them. This is a challenge for text to speech (TTS), because the TTS voices do not know Pali. To help the voices out, I’ve added a Pali IPA lexicon to words/en.json. This is actually quite difficult to get right since we’re basically trying to arm-wrestle the Amazon artificial intelligence and get it to do something it really wasn’t designed for. Most of the available AWS English voices are terrible at Pali. The worst are the American voices. I only found two voices that are somewhat customizable. The first is SlowAmy, who you’ve heard before. The other voice is Raveena, who speaks Indian English. Raveena is actually quite good at belting out search results at a fast clip (she’s going along at +5%) and takes 18 seconds to SlowAmy’s 22 seconds. And that is significant benefit to the end user for navigation. Here are some samples:
Raveena is probably best for crisp voice interaction. And the measured pace of SlowAmy somehow invites a deeper consideration, so she might be best at reading passages and suttas.
I’m just learning Pali pronunciation myself, so if you hear any Pali mistakes, please let us know!