Things I Learned #10: The Mac Terminal is talking back

3 minute read til learning   macos   terminal Comments

I've been sick since the day before Thanksgiving, so I've been spending a lot of time on the couch with my laptop. While my wife watches Hallmark Christmas movies, I'm surfing, working on my blog and writing some code.

Since I've been on my laptop and my laptop is a Mac, here's more stuff I've learned, specifically things in the Mac terminal.

Note: I'm still running Monterey, so things may work a little differently if you're on an earlier (or newer) version of MacOS.


I learned about the Mac 'say' command.

Usage: say [-v voice] [-o out] [-f in | message]
Say will output the text you provide whether it's a single string, or the contents of a file. It has multiple voices to choose from AND can also output to an aiff file which can then be converted to an MP3 or WAV file.

At it's simplest, you simple tell the command what you want it to say.

say "Hello, world!"
If you want it to read the contents of a file, say the Gettysburg Address that was in the current folder, you'd use the -f flag.
say -f "gettysburg-address.txt"

The default voice, Alex, is a bit lame, but no worries, there are plenty of others to choose from. To get the list:

say -v '?'
On my machine, this returns a list of 48 voices (see below).

To use one of the voices is as easy as this:

say -v "Fiona" "This is a test"

Name Language Description
Alex en_US # Most people recognize me by my voice.
Aliceit_IT# Salve, mi chiamo Alice e sono una voce italiana.
Alvav_SE# Hej, jag heter Alva. Jag är en svensk röst.
Amelier_CA# Bonjour, je m’appelle Amelie. Je suis une voix canadienne.
Annade_DE# Hallo, ich heiße Anna und ich bin eine deutsche Stimme.
Carmithe_IL# שלום. קוראים לי כרמית, ואני קול בשפה העברית.
Damayantiid_ID# Halo, nama saya Damayanti. Saya berbahasa Indonesia.
Danielen_GB# Hello, my name is Daniel. I am a British-English voice.
Diegoes_AR# Hola, me llamo Diego y soy una voz española.
Ellennl_BE# Hallo, mijn naam is Ellen. Ik ben een Belgische stem.
Fionaen-scotland# Hello, my name is Fiona. I am a Scottish-English voice.
Freden_US# I sure like being inside this fancy computer
Ioanaro_RO# Bună, mă cheamă Ioana . Sunt o voce românească.
Joanapt_PT# Olá, chamo-me Joana e dou voz ao português falado em Portugal.
Jorgees_ES# Hola, me llamo Jorge y soy una voz española.
Juanes_MX# Hola, me llamo Juan y soy una voz mexicana.
Kanyath_TH# สวัสดีค่ะ ดิฉันชื่อKanya
Karenen_AU# Hello, my name is Karen. I am an Australian-English voice.
Kyokoja_JP# こんにちは、私の名前はKyokoです。日本語の音声をお届けします。
Laurask_SK# Ahoj. Volám sa Laura . Som hlas v slovenskom jazyku.
Lekhahi_IN# नमस्कार, मेरा नाम लेखा है. मैं हिन्दी में बोलने वाली आवाज़ हूँ.
Lucait_IT# Salve, mi chiamo Luca e sono una voce italiana.
Lucianapt_BR# Olá, o meu nome é Luciana e a minha voz corresponde ao português que é falado no Brasil
Magedar_SA# مرحبًا اسمي Maged. أنا عربي من السعودية.
Mariskahu_HU# Üdvözlöm! Mariska vagyok. Én vagyok a magyar hang.
Mei-Jiazh_TW# 您好,我叫美佳。我說國語。
Melinael_GR# Γεια σας, ονομάζομαι Melina. Είμαι μια ελληνική φωνή.
Milenaru_RU# Здравствуйте, меня зовут Milena. Я – русский голос системы.
Moiraen_IE# Hello, my name is Moira. I am an Irish-English voice.
Monicaes_ES# Hola, me llamo Monica y soy una voz española.
Noranb_NO# Hei, jeg heter Nora. Jeg er en norsk stemme.
Paulinaes_MX# Hola, me llamo Paulina y soy una voz mexicana.
Rishien_IN# Hello, my name is Rishi. I am an Indian-English voice.
Samanthaen_US# Hello, my name is Samantha. I am an American-English voice.
Sarada_DK# Hej, jeg hedder Sara. Jeg er en dansk stemme.
Satufi_FI# Hei, minun nimeni on Satu. Olen suomalainen ääni.
Sin-jizh_HK# 您好,我叫 Sin-ji。我講廣東話。
Tessaen_ZA# Hello, my name is Tessa. I am a South African-English voice.
Thomasfr_FR# Bonjour, je m’appelle Thomas. Je suis une voix française.
Ting-Tingzh_CN# 您好,我叫Ting-Ting。我讲中文普通话。
Veenaen_IN# Hello, my name is Veena. I am an Indian-English voice.
Victoriaen_US# Isn't it nice to have a computer that will talk to you?
Xandernl_NL# Hallo, mijn naam is Xander. Ik ben een Nederlandse stem.
Yeldatr_TR# Merhaba, benim adım Yelda. Ben Türkçe bir sesim.
Yunako_KR# 안녕하세요. 제 이름은 Yuna입니다. 저는 한국어 음성입니다.
Yuriru_RU# Здравствуйте, меня зовут Yuri. Я – русский голос системы.
Zosiapl_PL# Witaj. Mam na imię Zosia, jestem głosem kobiecym dla języka polskiego.
Zuzanacs_CZ# Dobrý den, jmenuji se Zuzana. Jsem český hlas.