I quite like the fact that this Text-to-speach software is called Balabolka; a Russian word that means “chatterer”. 

The Balabolka I'm bringing to your attention is a very good free text-to-speech software for the PC, running in all versions of Windows–from  Windows 2000 through Windows 7. 

There are two versions of the program..

  1. installed on a host computer, and
  2. a portable version that will run from a USB flash drive.

To be honest, I've only tried the portable which works very well indeed.

If you download Balabolka it will be familiar as the user interface is similar to other PC text-to-speech programs; it can, however, be customized with the use of skins. 

Text can be...

  • input directly or
  • copied and then pasted in. 

Balabolka comes bundled with a quite impressive set of built-in tools, including...

  • magnification (2X to 16X)
  • spell checking
  • Keyboard shortcuts for accessing Balabolka’s functions. 

The Balabolka software will create audio files from text to MP3, WAV, OGG and WMA. This will help Learning Providers to meet the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty.

Balabolka is available in 15 languages:  English; Bulgarian; Chinese, Czech; Dutch; French; German; Hungarian; Italian; Polish; Brazilian Portuguese; Romanian; Russian; Spanish; Ukrainian. I'm not sure, however, if this would help learners of Modern Foreign Languages; perhaps language practitioners will let me know.

Why not try it out? Visit http://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm to find out more and/or to download the software.