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Using SSML for advanced text-to-speech on Windows Phone 8

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This article demonstrates how the Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) can be used to provide advanced text-to-speech (TTS) functionality on Windows Phone 8 applications.

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Windows Phone 8
Created: (13 Dec 2012)
Last edited: cadlg (05 Dec 2012)



Microsoft introduced a number of interesting APIs and features in the field of speech in Windows Phone 8, which include voice commands, speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS).

Although this article explains how to add basic TTS functionality to an application, it mainly focuses on the use of the Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) that is supported by Windows Phone 8, to allow a more advanced use of the text-to-speech engine.


This article assumes a basic knowledge of the Visual Studio IDE, which includes knowledge on how to create, compile and run applications, how to add subdirectories and create and/or add new or existing items to them, and a basic knowledge of the C# language and object oriented programming in general

TTS on Windows Phone 8

Warning.pngWarning: To use TTS, the ID_CAP_SPEECH_RECOGNITION capability must be set in the app manifest. If this capability is not set, the app might not work correctly or might raise runtime errors

The first thing that needs to be done is to include a using statement for the speech synthesis namespace. This is necessary in any application with TTS functionality:

using Windows.Phone.Speech.Synthesis;

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