Rate this page:

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 current verb offers different options for voices, each with its own supported set of languages and genders, so configure your TwiML depending on preferred gender and language combination.

Verb Attributes

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


The <Say> verb allows three separate voice engines. The first with the voices man and woman supports the English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian languages in both genders. The second, alice, speaks even more languages with support for several different locales in a female voice. The third with Amazon Polly bringing 50+ lifelike voices across many locales. Please visit Text-to-Speech docs page to learn more.

Attribute Name Allowed Values Default Value
voice man, woman, alice man (for limited languages);
alice (for additional languages/locales)
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:

        voice = alice

        When you set 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:



              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. For voice set to man or woman, select 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).

              Alice, however, speaks many more languages. For voice set to alice, you have access to 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:



                    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 stuff nested within the verb that's not a verb itself; it's what the verb acts upon. These are the nouns for <Say>:

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

                    Nesting Rules

                    You can't nest any verbs within <Say>. But you can nest <Say> within the following verbs:


                    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.


                          Example 2: Hello, Hello

                          This TwiML document says "Hello" twice 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 by the speech engine.
                                • <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.
                                Rate this page:

                                Need some help?

                                We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.


                                      Thank you for your feedback!

                                      We are always striving to improve our documentation quality, and your feedback is valuable to us. How could this documentation serve you better?

                                      Sending your feedback...
                                      🎉 Thank you for your feedback!
                                      Something went wrong. Please try again.

                                      Thanks for your feedback!

                                      Refer us and get $10 in 3 simple steps!

                                      Step 1

                                      Get link

                                      Get a free personal referral link here

                                      Step 2

                                      Give $10

                                      Your user signs up and upgrade using link

                                      Step 3

                                      Get $10

                                      1,250 free SMSes
                                      OR 1,000 free voice mins
                                      OR 12,000 chats
                                      OR more