New Languages for Asterisk Voice Prompts

By Rusty Newton

Asterisk is used to build a wide range of communications applications, including plenty that utilize voice prompts, such as in Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menus. You may already know that Asterisk comes with sound files in a variety of languages; but what you may not realize is that these sound files have been generously provided by a number of community members. All of the contributions are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license, which allows Asterisk users great flexibility in their usage.

Who are these community members? If you have used a system built on Asterisk in an English or Spanish speaking country, then you probably know the voice of Allison Smith. In addition to Allison Smith, a number of other talented voice professionals have contributed sounds in different languages as well. This includes, but is not limited to, June Wallack (French) and Cameron Twomey (Australian English). The Asterisk project has been lucky to have had their contributions included as available sound prompts.

As if the current artists contributing free sounds to the project wasn’t great enough, in the past two years we have had three more voices join the project! Many thanks to all those voice professionals giving up their hard work and talent for the Asterisk community. Let’s give the new guys some recognition here:

  • Carlo Flora – providing Italian voice recordings.
  • Jay Benham – providing British English voice recordings.
    Additional thanks to Jim Credland with Credland Audio for his work (with Jay) to give Asterisk a British voice. Jay and Jim went the extra mile and provided a set of the “Extra” sounds prompts (which are useful, as well as sometimes a bit silly) for your listening pleasure!
  • Ryoko Sonoda – providing Japanese voice recordings. Thanks also to Takao Takahashi for a significant Asterisk patch providing Japanese language support, and to Kevin McCoy for getting all of it together according to Asterisk project guidelines.

Maybe you are still wondering how you get at these wonderful new sounds? The Asterisk sound packages are selected when you build Asterisk or you can download them directly from the Asterisk downloads site.

Next Step

Make sure to tell your Asterisk friends about the new sound prompts and don’t forget to say high to Allison at AstriCon 2014!

P.S. In case you happen to be a voice professional wanting to submit your own sounds, then head to the wiki for details on the submission process.

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About the Author

Rusty Newton

Rusty has been with Digium for over eight years, working on various teams within Digium's Technical Support, Sales and Software Development departments. Prior to joining Digium, he spent more than five years in the Telecom and IT industries, installing, configuring and maintaining legacy PBXs as well as supporting SMB computer networks. He is currently Digium's Asterisk Community Support Manager - responsible for ensuring that Digium’s community services are providing what the community members need, that the systems are operating properly, and that issues and questions are getting the attention they deserve. He works along with David Duffett (our Community Director) at the greater aim of supporting the worldwide Asterisk community in all it's needs.

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