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Espeak is a comapct (463KB) speech-synthesis program. It requires alsa or oss-alsa to run.

Once install, enter something like the following into a terminal window:

espeak -s 200 -v en+m5 "this is a test"	<Enter>

Note: -s controls words/min; -v controls voice; en = English; +m5 is fifth male voice; there are five male, five female, whisper, and croak.

espeak --voices <Enter>

(lists all available voices and accents)

espeak -s 200 -v en+m5 -f file.txt <Enter>

(reads file.txt)

espeak can also write output to a .wav file