Record Your Own Voice For Language Learning
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Why? There are many advantages to recording your own voice while you are language learning ...
- Compare your speech with a native speaker speaking the same words.
- If you want to exactly compare your speech with a native speaker (like an old fashioned language lab) there is a free desktop program called Audacity which will let you do that. You can also edit recordings with this program (e.g. chop them up into pieces).
- Replay parts of your recording to pick up particular faults you are making
- Get used to the sound of your own voice speaking a native language (it is strange at first!)
- "Prove" to yourself that you are speaking the new language regularly (the psychology is important)
- Compare earlier recordings with later recordings to see how and if you are improving.
Nowadays thre are many devices to record with, including almost all mobile phones. However, it is also possible to record and store your speech online, even for free. This has particular advantages, especially letting friends, teachers, and native speakers comment and give advice on your progress.
SOME ADVICE ON LISTENING TO YOUR OWN VOICE !
- Record your own voice while you copy the speech of a native listener (such as my voice, for English). Compare your recording with the native speaker.
- Listen to how the native speaker speech groups words (in English that speech grouping is often different from the grammar). Linking words into groups like this is called "speech liaison". Without liaison, your English speech will not sound natural. (Note that English often drops or changes some sounds when words are liaised: e.g. "want to" => /wanna/ ). Each language is different with this.
- Listen to how the native speaker speaks some words more strongly (this is called "stress". It may include loudness, speed or pitch). In English, these strong words are about new or important information. Without the correct stress on words, English listeners may get the wrong meaning. With other languages, you will need to listen and think carefully about how these languages use stress (many teachers, even native language teachers, will not have clear knowledge about this).
TWO PROGRAMS FOR RECORDING YOUR SPEECH ONLINE
- The Audiopal website at http://audiopal.com lets you put your voice on the Internet free.
- You can send Audiopal an MP3 recording, or you can phone-record to them directly.
- After you record with Audiopal, they send you an email.
- The email links you to a page with a little bit of webpage code (html).
- The webpage code will make a player, like you see above for my voice.
- You can put the webpage code on your own website or blog.
- If you only have text, not an MP3 recording, Audiopal will use tts (text-to-speech) to change your text into rather good "machine speech" in many languages.
- Audiopal does not give you permanent space on their website, but Chirbit (below) does.
- The Chirbit website at http://chirbit.com works like audiopal and is free.
- Chirbit also gives you space online to store your recordings. You need to open a simple free account.
- With Chirbit, it is easy to send your Chirbit recordings to Facebook etc.
- Chirbit lets you upload MP3 recordings in any language.
- One disadvantage of Chirbit is that it will only do tts (text-to-speech) in English.
(c) Thor May 2012 material on this page is essentially for Thor's private study return to the main Language Study Index || return to homepage contact: thormay AT yahoo.com