A great TTS (Text to Speech) tool may help you to learn Chinese with ease and fun.
ChineseBay.com is brewing this kind of language learning tool for Chinese learners. Try out their Mandarin version.
Maybe you don’t even have to know how to type the Chinese characters. For example, want to say “Please tell me how to do it” in Chinese (click the link here.)? They show you how to read the characters aloud one after another. You are right, it is not quite natural or sound just like a robot. Sometimes the tones are not quite correct because of the rules for tone Sandhi, but it is still a good way to practice Mandarin pronunciation.
Need to learn the natural way to speak that sentence too? Try the Mandarin Word/Sentence of the Day: The Natural Mandarin Speaking Version for Please tell me how to do it. Sure it sounds better than Google Translate’s version.
I know that Google translate now give the sound of Chinese characters as well, but ChineseBay’s version sound much better for Chinese learners.
We hope that we’ll have a version for Cantonese characters too.