In just days since its launch, a freeMaltese language text-to-speech app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch has classified as the top free app in Apple’s App Store.

Developed by Crimsonwing, the iSpeakMaltese app is the first of its kind for the Maltese language and has already been downloaded more than 1,000 times since its soft launch.

iSpeakMaltese lets users key in short paragraphs of Maltese text to render into speech in three different voices.

It has a bilingual interface – English and Maltese – and keeps a record of input text for easy re-use.

For the past two years, Crimsonwing has been heavily involved in the research and development of speech synthesis applications and the iSpeakMaltese is a spin-off of that investment.

“Feedback has been very good and we have also had some private enquiries,” Crimsonwing’s head of technology Carmel Gafà said.

“We are very proud with the Maltese Speech Synthesiser, which is already making a significant difference to many Maltese-speaking people around the world who need access to electronic media. The release of this app is only a first in a series of others in the pipeline.”

The Maltese Speech Engine is downloadable for free from the FITA website at www.fitamalta.eu/projects/maltesespeech-engine-synthesis-erdf-114/download-maltese-speech-engine/.

There is also a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/iSpeakMaltese.