We often get asked if we have voice recognition in OUINO because it is the standard method used for pronunciation in most language learning programs. The truth is that we have spent countless hours experimenting with all kinds of different voice-recognition systems and found the experience a bit frustrating. We discovered that as of today, there is no voice recognition software precise enough to tell you if you have the correct pronunciation. Don’t get us wrong, voice recognition is an amazing technology and it’s getting better every day, but accents are very subtle sometimes.
We simulated a person with a very thick English accent in an online speech-to-text engine (hear in video), but the system detects it as correct. Feel free to experiment with this for yourself. 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, learning the proper pronunciation of a language is part of the whole learning experience and 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. It’s completely normal to have a hard time pronouncing thing correctly at first because the muscles in your mouth aren’t used to making those sounds. The more you practice, the better your pronunciation will naturally become. The real problem is when you are pronouncing things incorrectly, but you’re are unaware of it. You can’t work on something unless you know it needs to be worked on.
The first step in learning a language is to have a basic knowledge of how things are pronounced. If you read Spanish, French, Italian or German the exact same way you read English, you’ll have some major problems. We recommend to everyone starting with a new language to quickly learn how each letter and sound is pronounced. Knowing the basics of pronunciation will also make unfamiliar sounds more recognizable and it’ll make learning words much easier.
This doesn’t 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 that sound 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.
When you understand basic pronunciation, you can go practice with thousands of full sentences with the “Extra Language Practice” module. This can be a real challenge at first because the muscles in your mouth are not used to these foreign sentences. When you’re just getting started, it can be quite funny to hear your recordings, and see how far off you are. Learn to have fun with it. But with enough practice, your pronunciation will quickly improve and start to resemble the recordings of the native speakers. You can gradually increase the difficulty as you get better with your pronunciation by choosing your preferred options and your sentence length.
This exercise can help people of all levels, even if you have been speaking the language for years! 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 to practice your pronunciation as much as you need to.
This is the part of the course that is the most open. Like we mentioned, everyone has different goals with pronunciation. You want to sound like a native speaker? Great! Use this module a lot and practice in real life and you can get very close. 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.
Once you are satisfied with your pronunciation knowledge, move on to the other modules. That’s where the real language-learning fun begins!