Texas Instruments Speak & Spell (British Voice Type 2)

Date of introduction:  1980 Display technology:  Fluorescent
New price:   Display size:  9 alphanumeric
Size:  10.0" x 7.0" x  1.3" 
 254 x 177 x 34 mm3
Weight:  16.7 ounces, 474 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  4*C cells Date of manufacture:  wk 02 year 1985
AC-Adapter:  AC9199 Origin of manufacture:  Italy
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  CD0271, CD2801, CD62175
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner
    Download manuals:   (US: 1.8M Bytes)
  (US: 0.3M Bytes)

There are a lot of differences between American English and British English, therefore Texas Instruments had to change the Speech-ROM's of the original Speak & Spell to sell it on the United Kingdom market.

The pictured Speak & Spell sports the membrane keyboard with the huge TI logo, we know four different US designs:

Version Manufactured Word List Keyboard TI Logo
Type 1 1978-1980 Full Button large
Type 2 1980-1981 Full Membrane large
Type 3 1981-1986 Reduced Membrane large
Type 4 1986-1990 Reduces Membrane small

Even the Speak & Spells with the United Kingdom Speech-ROMs received all three designs, don't miss the early UK Type 1 and the later UK Type 3.

Compare this red Speak & Spell with the blue Buddy, introduced in the same year in Germany, the French speaking La Dictée Magique or the colorful Grillo Parlante sold in Italy.

Dismantling this Speak & Spell manufactured in January 1985 by Texas Instruments in their Rieti, Italy facility for the British market reveals a design centered around three Integrated Circuits:

TMC0270/CD0271: 4-bit microcontroller with 2k*9 Bits ROM and 9*64 Bits RAM
TMC0280/CD2801: TMS5100 VSP (Voice Synthesis Processor)
TMC0350/CD62175: TMS6100 VSM (Voice Synthesis Memory) with 128k Bits

As of today we know a total of 10 different plug-in modules for the Speak & Spell, a comprehensive overview including the wordlists could be found here

American English and British English

There are vast differences in culture between Americans and their British Commonwealth counterparts throughout the world.

American English is spoken in the USA, Canada and many Pacific Rim countries where America has exerted an influence.

British English is spoken throughout the British Commonwealth of 54 countries, some of the most notable being the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, with Canada being the exception. Although part of the Commonwealth, Canadians tend to speak a mixture of American and British English due to that country's proximity to the USA (although they spell the British way).


American British
aluminum aluminium
analog analogue
archeology archaeology
catalog catalogue
center centre
color colour
curb kerb
defense defence
dialog dialogue
donut doughnut
American British
draft draught
fall autumn
favorite favourite
gray grey
honor honour
jewelry jewellery
license licence
maneuver manoeuvre
math maths
meter metre
American British
mold mould
omelet omelette
practice practise
program programme
routing routeing
specialty speciality
story storey
tire tyre
vise vice
z "zee" z "zed"

From "A guide on the differences between American and English culture" © Bruce Longman, 2000. 


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If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, July 13, 2005. No reprints without written permission.