If it is desired to have the character say something that is different to what is displayed in the chat window, use SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) in the Clevertar portal. 


Step 1 - Select SSML

In the Clevertar portal, add a new dialog or select an existing dialog. Then tick the 'Use SSML' box on the right hand side of the 'Virtual Human Says' field. A new text-entry field will appear under the 'Virtual Human Says' field with the title 'Character Speaks (SSML)'.

With the 'Use SSML' function turned on, any text in the 'Virtual Human Says' field will be displayed in the chat window, while the text in the 'Character Speaks (SSML)' field will be used for the character's speech (synthetic or natural).

Therefore, when using the Dialog Extraction Tool (to ultimately send dialogs to the voice artist for recording), it is the text from the 'Character Speaks (SSML)' field that is extracted, not the text in the 'Virtual Human Says' field, as it is the SSML text that is spoken by the character.


Step 2 - Write SSML in the 'Character Speaks (SSML)' field

When you turn on the 'Use SSML' function, by default the text in the 'Virtual Human Says' field will be replicated in the 'Character Speaks (SSML)' field. Modify this SSML text as desired.

If any animations were copied over from the 'Virtual Human Says' field (e.g. [act::greet]), this will have no affect on the SSML, and is essentially ignored.


Step 3 - Check for SSML Reserved Characters

There are five predefined characters that can't normally be used within an SSML statement. These entities are reserved by the language specification. These characters are as follows[1]:



          Escape code

quotation mark (double quotation mark)






apostrophe or single quotation mark



less than sign



greater than sign




Because SSML uses these characters as part of its code, to use these symbols in SSML, you must escape the character when you use it. You use the escape code instead of the actual character so it displays properly while still creating a valid SSML document.



[1] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/polly/latest/dg/escapees.html