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TwiML™ Voice: <Say>

The <Say> verb converts text to speech that is read back to the caller. <Say> is useful for development or saying dynamic text that is difficult to pre-record. The verb offers different options for voices, each with its own supported set of languages and genders, so you can configure your TwiML depending on your preferred gender and language combination.

Verb Attributes

The <Say> verb supports different attributes, depending on the voice value you set.


The <Say> verb allows you to specify the voice to use for the text. The voices man and woman support English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian languages. The voice alice speaks even more languages with support for several different locales in a female voice. You can also use one of over 50 Amazon Polly voices. Please visit the Text-to-Speech docs page to learn more.

Attribute Name Allowed Values Default Value
voice man, woman, alice, or any of the Amazon Polly voices man (for Basic Provider); Salli (for Amazon Polly Provider).
See the text-to-speech console to configure.
loop integer >= 0 1
language see below see below
voice = man or woman

When you set voice to man or woman you may use the following values for the language attribute:

Attribute Name Allowed Values Default Value
language en, en-gb, es, fr, de en

Use one or more of these attributes in a <Say> verb like so:


        Using attributes in a Say verb

        voice = alice

        When you set the voice to alice, you may use the following values for the language attribute:

        Attribute Name Default Value
        language en-US
        Allowed Values Language, locale
        da-DK Danish, Denmark
        de-DE German, Germany
        en-AU English, Australia
        en-CA English, Canada
        en-GB English, UK
        en-IN English, India
        en-US English, United States
        ca-ES Catalan, Spain
        es-ES Spanish, Spain
        es-MX Spanish, Mexico
        fi-FI Finnish, Finland
        fr-CA French, Canada
        fr-FR French, France
        it-IT Italian, Italy
        ja-JP Japanese, Japan
        ko-KR Korean, Korea
        nb-NO Norwegian, Norway
        nl-NL Dutch, Netherlands
        pl-PL Polish-Poland
        pt-BR Portuguese, Brazil
        pt-PT Portuguese, Portugal
        ru-RU Russian, Russia
        sv-SE Swedish, Sweden
        zh-CN Chinese (Mandarin)
        zh-HK Chinese (Cantonese)
        zh-TW Chinese (Taiwanese Mandarin)

        Use one or more of these attributes in a <Say> verb like so:


              Using a specific language as an attribute in a Say verb


              The language attribute allows you to specify a language and locale, with the affiliated accent and pronunciations. Twilio supports separate languages depending on the voice you choose. man or woman voices work with the following locales: English with an American accent (en), English with a British accent (en-gb), Spanish (es), French (fr), Italian (it), and German (de). The default is English with an American accent (en).

              The alice voice speaks 26 total dialects (18 languages and 14 locales). See the table above for a description of all the languages and locales supported by Alice.

              Note: if you specify a language and locale that only Alice speaks, but you don't specify a voice, you will get Alice by default. For example, the following TwiML will default to Alice:


                    Say verb defaulting on Alice's voice


                    The loop attribute specifies how many times you'd like the text repeated. The default is once. Specifying 0 will cause the <Say> verb to loop until either the call is hung up or 1,000 iterations are performed.


                    The noun of a TwiML verb is the content nested within the verb; it's what the verb acts upon. The only noun for the <Say> verb is the plaintext that will be played.

                    Noun Description
                    plain text The text Twilio reads to the caller. Basic TTS Voices are limited to 4,096 UTF-8 single byte characters. Polly Voices are limited to 3,000 UTF-8 single byte characters, not including SSML tags.

                    Nesting Rules

                    You can't nest any verbs within <Say>. However, you can nest <Say> within the <Gather> verb.


                    Example 1: Hello World

                    When a call is directed to the following TwiML document, the caller hears "hello world" spoken once in a male voice.


                          Hello World

                          Example 2: Hello, Hello

                          This TwiML document says "Hello" twice in Brazilian Portuguese:


                                Hello, Hello in Brazilian Portuguese

                                Hints and Advanced Uses

                                • There is a 4,096 Unicode character limit on the text that <Say> can process.
                                • When translating text to speech, the <Say> verb will make assumptions about how to pronounce numbers, dates, times, amounts of money and other abbreviations. Test these situations well.
                                • When saying numbers, "12345" will be spoken as "twelve thousand three hundred forty-five", whereas "1 2 3 4 5" will be spoken as "one two three four five."
                                • Punctuation such as commas and periods will be interpreted as natural pauses.
                                • <Say> is useful for saying dynamic text that would be difficult to pre-record. In cases where the contents of <Say> are static, you might consider recording a live person saying the phrase and using the <Play> verb instead.
                                • If you want to insert a long pause, try using the <Pause> verb. <Pause> should be placed outside <Say> tags, not nested inside them.
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