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Getting others to help you with pronunciation (Vocaroo)

This is a post I made in another discussion, where folks were saying they wish there were a way for them to get constructive criticism on their pronunciation. I suggested using Vocaroo, and I was asked to put together instructions...


Someone asked me to make a tutorial about how this could be done.

  1. Find a passage to read. I will read the first couple of sentences from "El Patito Feo" (The Ugly Duckling) here: http://www.andersenstories.com/es/andersen_cuentos/el_patito_feo

  2. Go to http://vocaroo.com/ and click on the "Record" button

  3. You will be prompted whether or not to allow Flash to access your microphone. Click to allow.

  4. Then click the "record button" again.

  5. Read your passage.

  6. When you're done, click the gray square button to stop the recording.

  7. You will have the option to listen to your recording. If you don't like it, you can retry. If you do like it, you can click the blue words "Click here to save":

  8. You will be given a URL that you can post here in Duolingo and ask folks to give you suggestions on how you can improve, and to let you know what you are doing well. Or you can simply delete the recording.

  9. Others (native or fluent speakers) can leave you written comments with observations on things you can focus on and areas that need improvement. They can make recorded messages and even record the same passage for comparison, so you can learn, and leave the links to their recordings in their comments to you.

Recordings on Vocaroo do not last forever but they do usually hang around for a few months. You can click "Help" on their main page and find answers to most of your questions there.

Here is my recording: http://vocaroo.com/i/s0ThTF5Wf0MQ I should have recorded it more than once. Even I can't understand it :-/ But it gives you an idea of how Vocaroo works.

June 20, 2016



you're a woman! :o

that is clearer than the course speaker


I know. Shocking, isn't it? ;-)


haha. a little bit.


Really? I thought that was obvious.


You're accent is impressive, imho!


You kinda have that Spain accent going on, it's good =)

Tip: When there are two spanish words that start and begin with the same vowel, you run those words together

Overall very good though!!

I could never record my own voice and listen to it, I cringe to the sound of my own voice sadly.


Spain? You think so? I think my accent is a disastrous mix of peninsular Spanish and Mexican.

I think my main problem is maintaining a clear vowel sound at the end of words. For example, I said "la hierbe" instead of "la hierba".

I thought I was pretty good (in general, not necessarily in this recording) about running my words together; usually I'm nervous and talk so fast it's impossible to distinguish my words. I was deliberately trying to slow down and speak clearly. I'll give it a re-listen, thanks!

Regarding cringing at our own voices: it will probably be a while before anyone hears me doing any recordings in French though!! Yikes. I still don't even know when to pronounce the end of words, and I have no concept of how the vowels work...

I will say, though, that making a recording and listening to your own voice, while painful, is a super effective tool for improving both your listening and speaking skills.


Nice comment! I bet this is going to be upvoted to one of the highest upvoted comments. This comment was posted 3 minutes ago and you have 4 people upvoting it! (Including me)


Awesome, with this i'm gonna learn more about ''listening'' and ''pronunciation'' but i can learn with american in skype too, but thanks:)

[deactivated user]

    You sounded so different than what I thought! =O


    Thank you for this, it is awesome!


    I'm going to try to use this when I get the chance! I actually love it when I can share my recordings and get feed back on it, but my house doesn't have many rooms where I can record without being interrupted. I also need to practice my accent because I tend to sound somewhat robotic when I'm talking for long periods of time in Spanish (poor habit, yes, but I'm trying hard to sound more like a natural Spanish speaker).


    I really hope this catches on. It requires a lot of bravery, putting your voice out there into the world for criticism, but it's a super good way to improve. I've been in environments where people posted their recordings and native speakers would say "To me it sounds like you say 'la hierbe' but it needs to be 'la hierbA' with a big open A sound" and that is SO helpful. Things jump out to native speakers that we ourselves just don't hear.

    Even if the person offering advice doesn't speak English very well, they can manage a recording like:
    No "la hierbe". "La hierbA" con A. No e. "La hierba". "La hierba".

    Feedback like that is invaluable. LiveMocha used to have it and it was amazingly helpful.

    One thing the feedback-givers have to be careful of is not jabbering away in their native language. Feedback-givers have to be VERY slow and VERY clear and VERY simple in their spoken feedback.


    Here is my recording: http://vocaroo.com/i/s0ThTF5Wf0MQ I should have recorded it more than once. Even I can't understand it :-/ But it gives you an idea of how Vocaroo works.

    You're too hard on yourself. Only a couple issues I noticed (cortado, egipcio, and el/la lengua). Sounded fine otherwise :)


    Thank you! I'm quite happy with my Spanish speaking abilities overall. There is always room for improvement. You noticed things I did not - much appreciated!


    That was cool. It was nice hearing your voice. It will be fun hearing others, not mine, but others ;)


    I'd just like to add that you can also post your recordings to the JudgeMyAccent subreddit, which is a (sub)forum dedicated to people recording themselves in a foreign language and having natives and otherwise proficient people give them constructive advice.

    Particularly useful for languages that aren't available on Duolingo. You'll have to create an account on reddit to do so, but the process is straightforward enough and doesn't require anything, not even an e-mail address.


    Thanks for the resource; I'd never heard of it.


    I can't wait to try this!


    Thanks for posting this!


    I dont like to record myself but i would do english if somebody needed it


    ¡Muchas gracias por la información Lrtward!


    No hay de qué :)

    Mira tu racha!! Felicitaciones!! Un año :D


    ¡Muchas Gracias!, ya pasó un año desde que conocí Duolingo (¡Cómo pasa el tiempo!).


    Thanks for sharing this website!!!


    Espero que no te importe que te corrija una cosita: "pajares", con el acento en la segunda sílaba, no en la primera (suena como "pájares"). Es la única palabra que no entendí la primera vez. Por lo demás, se entiende perfectamente. Te regalo un lingot por tu valentía. :)


    Ah, claro - debe ser paJAres. Estaba pensando en un pájaro cuándo lo leí. Gracias!


    I remember using this site to record something and send it to my English teacher. This is actually pretty clever but I hope a feature for recording and showing other users could be a feature on Duolingo.

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