Looks like HP is on the move to do some TTS of local languages using the Festival kit (thanks to Raman Chandrasekar for pointing this out!). There are so many interesting linguistic issues that go into the text processing for any TTS system… and challenges as well. One thing the are doing is “creating tools that will help in developing Natural Language Processing (NLP)”. I wonder how many languages they are working on? …. doesn’t say. What’s cooler is the “Local Language Speech Technology Initiative” which uses the Festival toolkit.