New Feature – Practice Pronunciation

Hello everyone,

and welcome back to a new episode of my new favorite series called

A new Feature

You’re like “What? Another new feature?! I don’t belive it.”
But it’s true. I am hustling hard behind the scenes and after the (unfinished) dark-mode, the (unfinished) new layout and the (unfinished) new dictionary, I’m really happy that this week I have (un)finished a new nice little add-on that you can use to practice pronunciation….

The Audio Recorder

 

More and more apps are offering the option for you to record yourself. Some also give you feedback, for others you can at least compare yourself to an original and see where you sound different.

And since I have all those audio examples and dictionary entries I thought it’d be a nice little addition, that you can use if you want to work on pronunciation.
And I found a way to actually do it without spending big cash for software or a developer (for the nerds and geeks among you… I’m using the H5P framework).

I know that many of you are probably not going to use it, it’s really meant as an optional tool and you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re like “Meh, not for me.”
So if that’s the case, you can skip the rest and I’ll see you in a few days with an awesome new article the topic of…. not gonna tell ;).

But for those of you who do want to use or try the new tool… instead of just dumping it online like I usually do, I have decided to prepare a little guide, because there’s a couple of things that are a bit confusing.

How it works

I’m referring to the desktop version of the site here, but on mobile it’s more or less the same.

So… the button is easy to notice in the bottom left corner. Clicking it will open the recording window, and you can also close it using this button.

The recording window then looks like this:

With the “?” at the bottom, you can open and close a little info popup, but that’ll tell you only what I’ll tell you later anyway.
Now, if you click record for the first time, depending on your computer settings, your browser might ask you if my site can access the mic, so just click yes there.

If you DON’T get a window like this and the mic is not working, then you probably have the mic blocked by default. You’ll need to change that in the browser settings. You can allow the mic for only my site there, manually.
Cool.
Now once you click record, you’ll see this screen:

And here’s the one thing that’s really confusing … my natural impulse to STOP recording is the press the button in the middle again. Recording does stop but it’s only PAUSED. It is not completed and you CANNOT listen to it until you “officially” finish.
That’s done with the button on the right with the little “arrow”. I know it, and I STILL find it confusing and keep pressing the wrong button. Unfortunately, that part of the software I can’t really reach, so I can’t change it.
Oh and another thing… the recording WILL CONTINUE unless you stop it. So it WON’T stop just because you close the audio window. That means that if you forget to hit stop, your browser will eventually crash because it runs out of memory.
Some browsers indicate active recording at the top of the tab somewhere but yeah… make sure to press STOP.

All right, now when you’ve stopped the recording you the get the listening window, which looks like this:

It’s pretty self explanatory except for the one question that all of you are wondering:

Can you save your recording?

The answer to that is… technically yes, but.
You can NOT save it online in your profile, that would blow up my server after a while.
But you can download it by clicking those three dots. The thing is… the software I am using does NOT have the licenses to convert the file to mp3, so what you’re saving there is a .wav-file which gets pretty big pretty fast.  25 seconds is already 1 MB of data.
I mean, a sentence or a word is pretty short, so it might still be feasible, but yeah… it’s NOT mp3.

Just to make sure though… the recording is done on your device, so “downloading” is basically just “saving”. You do not use your mobile bandwidth for it, and you can use the feature offline.

***

So yeah, that’s my new audio recorder. I kind of did it on a whim and I’m actually really happy to have it now and I hope you have a lot of study fun using it.
Let me know in the comments how you like it and if you think you’ll be using it. And of course all the bugs, so if something isn’t working with the recording or the layout.
Ich freu mich auf euer Feedback, have a great week and see you soon with the next article and it’s gonna be about… drumroll…
ja.

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lisa
lisa
1 year ago

I am so sorry to be dense, but where is it on your site? I can’t find it in the “Dictionary”, or on the menu… yes, very well hidden, kind of like an Easter Basket… looking, looking… where…?? Am I blind, oder…

lisa
lisa
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Cool, Got it. LOVE IT! I can listen to your voice, then my own side by side and see how I am mangling the word, asymptotically approching a German sound (but as with most asymptotes, never quite getting there… ah, the dream of a good accent!). Thank you thank you for adding this feature! Totally cool.

Majo
Majo
1 year ago

I’m gonna try this. :0 I need to get better my pronunciation.
Thank you, guys for pay scholarships! Now I can learn more German.:)
Really I appreciate it. <3

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Awesome! Knowing me it’s gonna take me a few tries, but I can’t wait to use it!

Zuckerbaby
Zuckerbaby
1 year ago

Zwei Kleinigkeiten: Auf Englisch sagen wir: I kind of did it ON a whim. Der Ausdruck “add-on” braucht ein Hyphen.
Ich haben den Film für einigen Minuten angeguckt. Es fängt mit Orgelmusik an, und dann kommen J.S. Bach und einer seine Söhne, Wilhelm Friedmann. Sie sprechen über die Musik, und ich kann versichern, dass die Musik viel interessanter ist als diese Gespräch.

atack006
atack006
1 year ago

Looks like the CSS for dark mode isn’t there for the recorder yet, FYI

Burak Tilev
Burak Tilev
1 year ago

Thank you for your efforts

Alice
Alice
1 year ago

Hallo Manuel!
Die neue Funktion sieht interessant aus, aber ich habe nur eine Frage…
Wo sind die Worte, die wir aussprachen sollen? Der Bildschirm ist leer – sollen wir die Wörter selbst erschaffen?
Nur so…

Georgepad
Georgepad
1 year ago

Thanks a lot !!!!

DianaM
DianaM
1 year ago

Works great, thanks!

LCantoni
LCantoni
1 year ago

Das ist super! Danke!

fairyhedgehog
fairyhedgehog
1 year ago

That’s a nice new feature!

I’m not entirely clear why the stop button has an arrow, not a square on it. I think that might be less confusing.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll use it but it might come in very handy.

aself
aself
1 year ago

Toll! Aber um meine Ausprache zu hoeren brauche ich HTTPS. Ist das moeglich?

Karen
Karen
1 year ago
Reply to  aself

Es ist https, die Fehlermeldung stimmt nicht, du musst deine Browsersettings checken (ich bin’s, Emanuel. Nicht eingeloggt :)

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
1 year ago

The next article is really truly honest to goodness going to be about ja? Das ist wie Weihnachten und Ostern zusammen!

stosselgg
stosselgg
1 year ago

Pretty cool app. I’ve done some work with this on Moodle and it would be great to submit pronunciation samples to the instructor for grading. If you could integrate it with a voice recognition app, you could offer quizzes where we speak the answer rather than typing it.

Meghan
Meghan
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Very cool toy – thanks! :)

Btw there’s an online German course which has a speech-training app using alexa, which actually works quite well (though she’s very occasionally really picky and refuses to understand even a native speaker). Maybe could be something interesting to play with :)

kbas
kbas
1 year ago
Reply to  Meghan

Reminds me of a recent DW podcast I listened to about the problems with the voice recognition software for people here in Switzerland.

Roger H
Roger H
1 year ago

Congratulations on the new recording feature.

I would also like to know if anyone can view this link (outside German where it is “dumb”) :- Johann Sebastian Bach Film 4 Teil Ordnung der Sterne – YouTube

If the link works for you I am seeing help to make a written transcript of the spoken German in 5 minute bundles … if you are available to join the project.

If you are able to view and hear the film please email me at goldcoastlanguages@gmail.com and I will allocate you one or more 5 minute bundles as you wish. I hope to create a student resource for hearing the German with a transcript in the original German and in English, and potentially in French, Italian and Spanish. Assuming I am not biting off more than I can chew !!