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Simple text to phonemes converter for multiple languages
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phonemizer release phonemizer-1.0.1 Mar 11, 2019
test test fix for espeak-ng>=1.49.3 Mar 20, 2019
.gitignore fixed #18 Jan 4, 2019
.travis.yml fixing travis Dec 18, 2018 release phonemizer-1.0.1 Mar 11, 2019
Dockerfile Dockerfile added Jul 26, 2018
LICENSE.txt phonemizer-0.1 Apr 20, 2016 fixed #18 Jan 4, 2019 fixing travis Dec 18, 2018

travis DOI

Phonemizer -- foʊnmaɪzɚ


  • First you need to install festival and espeak on your system. Visit this festival link and that espeak one for installation guidelines. On Debian/Ubuntu simply run:

      $ sudo apt-get install festival espeak

    Alternatively you may want to use espeak-ng (Next Generation) instead of espeak. It supports more languages and significant improvements over the original espeak, but requires a manual installation. Install it from github here.

  • Then download and install the phonemizer from github with:

      $ git clone
      $ cd phonemizer
      $ python build
      $ [sudo] python install

    The phonemize command should be in your $PATH.

  • If you experiment an error such as ImportError: No module named setuptools during installation, refeer to issue 11.

Docker image

Alternatively you can run the phonemizer within docker, using the provided Dockerfile.

To build the docker image, have a:

$ git clone
$ cd phonemizer
$ sudo docker build -t phonemizer .

Then run an interactive session with:

$ sudo docker run -it phonemizer /bin/bash

Command-line examples

For a complete list of available options, have a:

phonemize --help

Input/output exemples

  • from stdin to stdout:

      $ echo "hello world" | phonemize
      həloʊ wɜːld
  • from file to stdout

      $ echo "hello world" > hello.txt
      $ phonemize hello.txt
      həloʊ wɜːld
  • from file to file

      $ phonemize hello.txt -o hello.phon --strip
      $ cat hello.phon
      həloʊ wɜːld

Token separators

You can specify separators for phonemes, syllables (festival only) and words.

$ echo "hello world" | phonemize -b festival -w ' ' -p ''
hhaxlow werld

$ echo "hello world" | phonemize -b festival -p ' ' -w ''
hh ax l ow w er l d

$ echo "hello world" | phonemize -b festival -p '-' -s '|'
hh-ax-l-|ow-| w-er-l-d-|

$ echo "hello world" | phonemize -b festival -p '-' -s '|' --strip
hh-ax-l|ow w-er-l-d

$ echo "hello world" | phonemize -b festival -p ' ' -s ';esyll ' -w ';eword '
hh ax l ;esyll ow ;esyll ;eword w er l d ;esyll ;eword

You cannot specify the same separator for several tokens (for instance a space for both phones and words):

$ echo "hello world" | phonemize -b festival -p ' ' -w ' '
fatal error: illegal separator with word=" ", syllable="" and phone=" ",
must be all differents if not empty


  • Espeak us-english is the default

      $ echo "hello world" | phonemize
      həloʊ wɜːld
  • use Festival US English instead

      $ echo "hello world" | phonemize -l en-us -b festival
      hhaxlow werld
  • In French, using espeak

      $ echo "bonjour le monde" | phonemize -b espeak -l fr-fr
      bɔ̃ʒuʁ lə- mɔ̃d
      $ echo "bonjour le monde" | phonemize -b espeak -l fr-fr -p ' ' -w ';eword '
      b ɔ̃ ʒ u ʁ ;eword l ə- ;eword m ɔ̃ d ;eword
  • In Japanese, using segments

      $ echo 'konnichiwa' | phonemize -b segments -l japanese
      $ echo 'konnichiwa' | phonemize -b segments -l ./phonemizer/share/japanese.g2p
  • Languages supported by festival are:

      en-us	->	english-us
  • Languages supported by the segments backend are:

      chintang  -> ./phonemizer/share/chintang.g2p
      cree	  -> ./phonemizer/share/cree.g2p
      inuktitut -> ./phonemizer/share/inuktitut.g2p
      japanese  -> ./phonemizer/share/japanese.g2p
      sesotho	  -> ./phonemizer/share/sesotho.g2p
      yucatec	  -> ./phonemizer/share/yucatec.g2p

    Instead of a language you can also provide a file specifying a grapheme to phoneme mapping (see the files above for exemples).

  • Languages supported by espeak are (espeak-ng supports even more of them), type phonemize --help for an exhaustive list:

      af	->	afrikaans
      an	->	aragonese
      bg	->	bulgarian
      bs	->	bosnian
      ca	->	catalan
      cs	->	czech
      cy	->	welsh
      da	->	danish
      de	->	german
      el	->	greek
      en	->	default
      en-gb	->	english
      en-sc	->	en-scottish
      en-uk-north	->	english-north
      en-uk-rp	->	english_rp
      en-uk-wmids	->	english_wmids
      en-us	->	english-us
      en-wi	->	en-westindies
      eo	->	esperanto
      es	->	spanish
      es-la	->	spanish-latin-am
      et	->	estonian
      fa	->	persian
      fa-pin	->	persian-pinglish
      fi	->	finnish
      fr-be	->	french-Belgium
      fr-fr	->	french
      ga	->	irish-gaeilge
      grc	->	greek-ancient
      hi	->	hindi
      hr	->	croatian
      hu	->	hungarian
      hy	->	armenian
      hy-west	->	armenian-west
      id	->	indonesian
      is	->	icelandic
      it	->	italian
      jbo	->	lojban
      ka	->	georgian
      kn	->	kannada
      ku	->	kurdish
      la	->	latin
      lfn	->	lingua_franca_nova
      lt	->	lithuanian
      lv	->	latvian
      mk	->	macedonian
      ml	->	malayalam
      ms	->	malay
      ne	->	nepali
      nl	->	dutch
      no	->	norwegian
      pa	->	punjabi
      pl	->	polish
      pt-br	->	brazil
      pt-pt	->	portugal
      ro	->	romanian
      ru	->	russian
      sk	->	slovak
      sq	->	albanian
      sr	->	serbian
      sv	->	swedish
      sw	->	swahili-test
      ta	->	tamil
      tr	->	turkish
      vi	->	vietnam
      vi-hue	->	vietnam_hue
      vi-sgn	->	vietnam_sgn
      zh	->	Mandarin
      zh-yue	->	cantonese


Copyright 2015-2018 Mathieu Bernard

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see

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