This is a feature we’ve been wanting to release for a while, since a big part of Practicing Portuguese is… speaking!
After years of requests, we’ve finally found a way to offer this inside the Learning Studio, and the member feedback has been very positive.
Analyzing Your Own Pronunciation
As you begin to master a phrase within a Lesson, you’ll be offered the opportunity to record yourself saying that phrase.
When we’re speaking, we don’t really hear ourselves the same way others do, and that can prevent us from noticing our own weaknesses. When you want to perfect your accent, there’s massive value in being able to listen back to your own recorded voice.
It’s not easy – it’s a humbling experience to record your voice and listen back, but if you can get over that mild discomfort, you’ll be surprised at how many differences you’ll be able to notice, between your own pronunciation and the native recordings inside the Learning Studio.
You don’t quite get the same benefit when you try to listen to yourself at the same time as speaking.
Perhaps you’ll notice that your nasal sounds could use more work, or that you’re opening an unaccented “a” vowel of a word much more than the native speaker in the recording. (Reviewing our very popular Open & Closed Vowels lesson we launched a while back will help you with these important vowel sounds. Then you can use this Speaking Practice tool inside the Learning Studio lessons to practice and internalize what you’ve learned).
We can’t understate the importance of analyzing your own recordings, mentioned above.
But it can also be very rewarding to get some external feedback on how you’re doing. To do that, click the button, and your recording will be analyzed using voice recognition. (And yes, it will be listening for European Portuguese pronunciations, not Brazilian 🙂
The system will then show you a percentage score that represents how certain it is that it heard the correct phrase. It will also show you the text of what it heard, to help you find the part of the phrase that was less accurate. Of course, computer analysis is never perfect and we’ve been constantly tweaking this feature since we launched it. Even in its early stages, it’s already been providing a lot of value:
Thanks to all of you who have written in with feedback. We’re encouraged by the positive feedback, and put the constructive feedback to action whenever possible. Here are a couple of our favourite comments we received about this new Speaking feature:
Hi. I just wanted to give you my feedback on the great work you’re doing! Finally I have found an online course that really helps me to learn European Portuguese – I find the new speaking activity particularly helpful.
– Chris V
Thanks for adding these questions … I like that it gives good feedback on what it thinks it heard. Very helpful to know which words in a sentence need better pronunciation. [Competitor name retracted 😇] has a similar function, but you do not receive feedback (and I’m not sure it is as accurate and as good as your feature) … I love this website 🙂
– Alex B.
Try It Out!
Premium members can already make use of this feature inside the Lessons, right now.
Unfortunately, our free sample lessons don’t yet include this Speaking activity, as many of the new features require a user to be logged in. However, we plan to add this and other features to the free sample lessons soon.
(Of course, if you do decide to sign-up to the Learning Studio and find it isn’t a good fit, just send us a message and we’ll make it right!)