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Use of Speech-to-Text Feature to Gain Extra Oral Practice in Apps

_lusofono_
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I've found a cool way to get extra speaking practice from DL, Memrise and Clozemaster exercises. It seems to be reversing a slow decline in my oral command of Portuguese. (I'm sure someone else has tried this little tweak, but I wanted to describe it for everyone who hasn't.)

The present state of my laptop keyboard has driven me to my Kindle Fire and iPhone SE for my daily Portuguese drills. I can't type with one or two thumbs fast as I can with ten fingers, so I've been giving the built-in dictation features a try. Turns out the iPhone and Fire speech-to-text (STT) feature can dictate answers pretty faithfully in the three apps I'm switching between. I've outlined my experience with all of them below.

MEMRISE

On Memrise for iOS and Kindle, I can speak the answers I once typed, and I only have to correct the most obscure words. (Of course I can't use STT for the multiple choice or tap tests.)

CLOZEMASTER

On the desktop version of Clozemaster, I can also speak my answers, but only when I use my Kindle. (I access it through the Silk browser.)

For whatever reason, the iOS version of Clozemaster just catches the first letter of whatever I say. I'm stuck typing my answers there.

DUOLINGO

To my relief, Duolingo handles the dictation even better than Memrise does. Since I already maxed out the EN>PT course years ago, I've been using the PT>DE course, which prompts me to give most of the answers in PT. The few times every session that the iPhone app requests a German answer, I don't even have to switch language settings (as I'd have to on the Fire).

What's the upshot of all this extra speaking practice? My PT-BR accent is getting respectable again and my ability to reproduce what I know in live conversation is catching up with my reading and writing. It's not quite as well honed as those skills, but it's already getting a lot better. I really felt like I was stalling orally before I stumbled on this approach. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks of it and whether any DLers have availed themselves of it.

1 year ago

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