Italian voice = fingernails on a chalkboard
The Italian woman's voice is terrible. I cannot distinguish "un" from "una" or "i" from either "gli" or "e" . She often sounds as if she is gasping or her throat is contracting. I have read that Italian words are pronounced as they are written. I would not reach that conclusion listening to la donna.
Fret not my fellow learners. When I first started out I too could hardly distinguish what she was saying. Believe me when I say though that it will come to you in time, just be patient. Every time you get frustrated just remember that you didn't learn English in a day. (Rome wasn't built in a day hehheh relevant) Your English took trial and error and many years of listening and practicing to become fluent. You will begin to acquire an ear for the pronunciation I promise. Also, you will start to recognize sentence structure and you will realize when it wouldn't make sense to use whatever word it sounds like she is saying. Although inconvenient agreed, this is realistic and comparable to what it would be like listening to a native speaker. You will eventually understand where e`s and un's and una's as well as ci's and vi's should go =D. The secret l's and dell's before voweled words will become second nature.
I know! And then I put what it sounds like, and I get it wrong. She sounds like she's gasping for air while drowning...
I think she sounds like she smokes 40 a day and has just run up five flights of stairs.
I actually think she speaks like a typical young woman from Northern Italy; I am sure she will train you well. Something weird does happen if you need to use the turtle to slow her down, and she gasps. It must be a technological glitch. Strange however that it doesn't happen in the other languages.
I took Italian to fulfill a language requirement in college, learning the language from a native speaker, and even studied in Italy for a semester. I completely agree that the Italian woman's voice is awful. I'm sure some of the problem is due to learning a new language but the woman's voice is terrible and the pronunciations of some of the words seem just wrong to me. The voice routinely puts emphasis on incorrect syllables and there is essentially no difference between her pronunciation of "li" and "gli".
Sometimes on the slow speed she absolutely misses "ci"--pronouncing it "si." Very frustrating!
Compared to the Spanish, Italian is terrible. I learned to just turn off the listening exercises when doing Italian and then turn it back on for Spanish. I still listen to her pronounce the words but I don't get points off for not figuring out what she's saying. I'll just have to keep watching Life is Beautiful over and over again to work my listening skills.
one upside to this is, that after getting it wrong a bazillion times because she pronounces like ❤❤❤❤, you actually have to think what word to put in, by yourself! It's a comfort..... (at least that's what i'm telling myself as I am crying myself to sleep)
very true... and im of spanish descent so its kind of easy for me to pick up on italian, but yes, i agree 100%..... hang in there and use that slow button
'She' is a computer voice... it has been artificially generated, that's why it sounds that bad...
You are right, the voice is terrible. I started using earphones and it did help.
The Italian voice is, for my money, broken, and I don't use the Duolingo Italian page anymore. The French voice is fine, and any problems I have with its pronunciation are my fault.
I agree. The German voice is excellent, with clear and elegant pronunciation (German was my first language, eons ago) but the Italian, especially the slow voice, is very bad, and sometimes hilarious. The "ho" sounds like she was just punched in the stomach, and the "è" at times sounds like she is straining in il bagno (forgive the crudeness, per favore.) Many times I lose a heart not because I don't know something, but because I just can't make out what the Italian voice is saying.
I know your pain. French used to be I would say even worse, but a recent update has made it much better.
And when are they going to fix the 'slow una' problem, where she erroneously says una instead of un ... I've lost more hearts for that and I can count!
So have I! Are Italians incapable of ending an 'n' cleanly, or is this simply something we have to accept in the same way that we accept that some English speakers cannot/do not pronounce 'r' at ends of words? (Eg Door, flower, drawer)
Gli is very subtle, it's not like you would say in English. It's more like "lhy".
It seems like the voice has been tweaked a little, unless it is my imagination. There is certainly room for improvement though. Yesterday, she was saying the word "chiama," and whether I listened at regular speed or slow speed it sounded like "piama."
I love duolingo... But the italian lady robot voice is why i don't practice as much as i would like.
In the last few weeks (June/July 2014), using the iPAD app, mostly, I have found her much easier to understand. Maybe I have just got used to her! But using earphones certainly helps.