PromptBuilder.StartVoice Method (CultureInfo)

Instructs the synthesizer to change the voice in the PromptBuilder object and specifies the culture of the voice to use.

Namespace:  Microsoft.Speech.Synthesis
Assembly:  Microsoft.Speech (in Microsoft.Speech.dll)


Public Sub StartVoice ( _
    culture As CultureInfo _
Dim instance As PromptBuilder
Dim culture As CultureInfo

public void StartVoice(
    CultureInfo culture


  • culture
    Type: System.Globalization.CultureInfo
    Provides information about a specific culture, such as the language, the name of the culture, the writing system, the calendar used, and how to format dates and sort strings.


The culture parameter for StartVoice(CultureInfo) can be different than the Culture property of the PromptBuilder object that contains it. While in effect, the value of the culture parameter will override the Culture property. The SpeechSynthesizer will attempt to select an installed voice that supports the language specified by the culture parameter to speak the content enclosed by StartVoice(CultureInfo) and EndVoice(). If a voice with the specified culture is found, it will be used. If a voice with the specified culture cannot be found, the default voice will be used. To stop using the voice specified by StartVoice(CultureInfo), call EndVoice().

A voice is an installed Runtime Language for speech synthesis (TTS, or text-to-speech). The Microsoft Speech Platform Runtime 11 and Microsoft Speech Platform SDK 11 do not include any Runtime Languages for speech synthesis. You must download and install a Runtime Language for each language in which you want to generate synthesized speech. A Runtime Language includes the language model, acoustic model, and other data necessary to provision a speech engine to perform speech synthesis in a particular language. See InstalledVoice for more information.

To correctly pronounce words in the language specified by the culture parameter, a Runtime Language for speech synthesis that supports that language code must be installed. To get information about which voices are installed for a specific culture, use the GetInstalledVoices(CultureInfo) method.

The Speech Platform SDK 11 accepts all valid language-country codes as values for culture. See Language Identifier Constants and Strings for a comprehensive list of language codes.


The following example creates a PromptBuilder object that presents menu options; beginning in English, then in French, and finishing in German. Correct pronunciation for each phrase will only be achieved if Runtime Languages for English, French, and German have been installed. The SpeechSynthesizer object automatically selects and uses the default voice for the language specified in the culture parameter of the StartVoice(CultureInfo) method.

using System;
using Microsoft.Speech.Synthesis;

namespace SampleSynthesis
  class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)

      // Initialize a new instance of the SpeechSynthesizer.
      using (SpeechSynthesizer synth = new SpeechSynthesizer())

        // Configure the audio output. 

        // Create a SoundPlayer instance to play the output audio file.
        System.Media.SoundPlayer m_SoundPlayer =
          new System.Media.SoundPlayer(@"C:\test\cultures.wav");

        PromptBuilder cultures = new PromptBuilder(
          new System.Globalization.CultureInfo("en-US"));

        // Present menu options in English, French, and German.
        cultures.AppendText("For English, press 1.");

        cultures.StartVoice(new System.Globalization.CultureInfo("fr-FR"));
        cultures.AppendText("Pour le français, appuyez sur 2");

        cultures.StartVoice(new System.Globalization.CultureInfo("de-DE"));
        cultures.AppendText("Für deutsche, drücken Sie 3");

        // Speak the prompt and play back the output file.
      Console.WriteLine("Press any key to exit...");

See Also


PromptBuilder Class

PromptBuilder Members

StartVoice Overload

Microsoft.Speech.Synthesis Namespace