circuit bent by fastmatt – blog

Random thoughts on circuit bent/bending, schematics, diagrams, techniques, speak & spell, speak & read, speak & math, ebay selling

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Can a Speak & Spell recite words you key in?

TI family

Often I am asked whether any of the TI Speak & * family are capable of saying words that are keyed into the device.
I happen to have a canned response to this question, which I’ll share below.

The Speak & Math says just the words that are part of its instruction speech, such as ‘is greater than or less than’, or ’3 times 2 is what’.  Of course the numbers one through nine will be said frequently, when you are running the games (NOT when you press the numbers), or when it’s randomly glitching as a result of using my glitch switch.

The Speak & Spell will not let you type in any words and have them said back – but you can get it to say each of its internal words IN ITS VOCABULARY by repeatedly pressing ‘GO’ until you get the word you want.  Someone wanting to sample each of the words and use them in songs would do this.  In glitch mode, it will say random words, but again only what’s in its vocabulary or on an add-on cartridge.

The Speak & Read WILL let you key in a word THAT IS IN ITS VOCABULARY.  One of the games called ‘Say it’ lets you do this.  You start the game and it says ‘Which Word?’.  Then you key in the word, such as ‘dog’.  After a pause, it will say ‘This word is DOG’.  So again it has to be a word that it knows how to say, either in its built in memory or on an add-on card.  So you won’t be able to make it say ‘DJ’, ‘Awesome’, or anything like that, including four-letter cuss words. :)  There are less than 120 words built in, so as you can see, this feature is NOT very useful at all.  It is a common misconception that these devices will pronounce any word you key in, but this is completely untrue.  To do that you really need a computer.  Macintosh computers can do this right out of the box.  But software is available for all modern operating systems to do speech tasks such as this.

The built-in vocabulary is not changeable – it’s in permanent memory.
So these devices, as modified in the way shown in my listings, are really more geared towards making crazy sounds, loops, electronic tones, robotic music, etc.

Hope that helps!  If you want to check out sound samples of all models, go to or you can go into my ebay store.

posted by fastmatt at 6:18 am  

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