We could have made a voice-recognition program for this module. However, as of today, there is no voice recognition software good enough to tell you if you have the correct pronunciation. Not that we know of anyway, but if you find one let us know! Don’t get us wrong, voice recognition is an excellent technology and is getting better every day. In fact, closed captioning jobs will likely be replaced by computers in the near future. However, the technology is so good in fact that it adapts to all kinds of different accents and will simply analyze whether it can understand you, it is not very accurate at perfecting your diction and dialect.
Ouino lets you record your voice and compare the recording with the voice of a native speaker. By recording yourself, you’ll be able to hear what you are doing wrong and will be able to record it again and again until you get it exactly like the native speaker or until you are satisfied with your pronunciation. Everyone has different goals when it comes to pronunciation. Many people embrace their accents and simply want to be understood, and that’s perfectly fine. However, we believe that you should strive for the best. Now, we are not saying that you shouldn’t have any accent, because that is simply impossible. Everyone has an accent. If someone says they don’t have an accent, it simply means that they speak in a similar way than the people in their surroundings. Take that same person and move them to a new area, Alakazam, roles reversed. What we are trying to say is that learning the proper pronunciation is part of the whole learning experience and that it shouldn’t be overlooked.
My own dreams fortunately came true in this great state. I became Mr. Universe; I became a successful businessman. And even though some people say I still speak with a slight accent, I have reached the top of the acting profession.Arnold Schwarzenegger Austrian-American actor, producer, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, and former professional bodybuilder and politician.
When you are just starting out, you need to focus on being understood, but it is important to learn properly from the start, otherwise you may take in bad pronunciation habits and be stuck with a very strong accent for life. Don’t panic if you are having a hard time when you are starting out, it is completely normal. The more you practice, the better your pronunciation will naturally become. But at a certain point, it may be something you will need to focus on independently if you really want to perfect it.
The first step in learning a language is to have a basic knowledge of how things are pronounced. If you read Spanish the exact same way you read English, there will be major problems with your comprehension and diction. Therefore, we recommend to everyone starting with a new language (with Ouino or using any other method) to quickly learn how each letter and sound is pronounced. Knowing the basics of pronunciation will also make unfamiliar sounds more recognizable and will, in turn, make learning words much easier.
This does not have to take a long time, you can quickly go through the Ouino Pronunciation module because everything you learn here will be reinforced in all other modules of the course. If you take a look at the Ouino Pronunciation module, you will see that the letters sounding different from English are identified in yellow and the letters that sound similar to English are identified in white. You can therefore go through this module very quickly by first looking at the yellow letters to see how they are pronounced.
Listen and record yourself with a few examples for each letter. The key when you are getting started is not to have the perfect pronunciation for each letter, but to have a firm understanding of how each sound is pronounced so that when you hear words and sentences throughout the program, you will not be confused by the way they are pronounced.
If you skip this step, you will most likely learn it naturally eventually, but it might set you back in the long run. That is why we recommend that you have at least some basic understanding of the pronunciation before you take lessons from other modules.
To boost your learning, you can quickly learn how letters are pronounced. After you go through the pronunciation module once quickly, use it as a reference. You should practice your pronunciation in all modules of the course by repeating after the native speakers while taking the lessons. You should also practice in everyday life as much as you possibly can. As previously mentioned, the pronunciation module allows you to record your voice and compare it with native speakers. As you practice out loud, you might think you have the right pronunciation. It is only when you listen to it that you may realize your pronunciation is not quite as good as you initially thought. Go back to this module every once in a while and practice, especially with the sounds you are having trouble with.
This is the part of the course that is the most open. Like we mentioned, everyone has a different goal with pronunciation. Want to sound exactly like a native speaker? Great! Use this module a lot and practice in real life and you will get there (or close at least). Want to simply be understood and keep your own way of speaking? That is also great, you will not need to use this module as much. The good thing is, you are the judge.
In most cases, people tend to be harder on themselves than other people. They use this module and then get in the real world and surprise others with their pronunciation. If you are looking to get a perfect accent, we recommend you take a look at the book “Fluent Forever”. The author Gabriel Wyner, goes in depth about the movement of the mouth and how to master new sounds. He also has a YouTube channel and website where he explains pronunciation techniques.
Once you are satisfied with your pronunciation knowledge, move on to the other modules. That’s where the real language-learning fun begins! 🙂