The woman who says the sentences in Italian :(
Heeeeeey , Can we do anything to change the automatic voice or computer voice or whatever it is !! I cannot really get what she says most of the times Her "un" is heard as " una" and OMG when she says " e ( with accent = is) she is hilarious :D almost like " EIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIH" :D and she is so sweet when saying a sentences with " gonna " she is so sweet when she says it that u can hear the birds singing .... but uh do not you dare to ask her to repeat the word " Forchettca " :D she will say as if she is out of patience
Anyway , my point is .... can we do something about it !!!! check the words I mentioned before ... really weird !!!! ... I do not even think that Italians speak like that !!!!! So please try to report any sentence that is not clear ( do not be lazy :D ) and if somebody knows how we can send an e-mail or sth to duolingo's team that would be great :D .... I am not asking them to record the voices of real people pronouncing the sentences cause after all , this is a free site !! all am asking is different voice , a clearer one :(
I was horrified by the Italian voice when I started (especially the slow version, which really tripped me up), but after a while I got used to it :) So that's the best hope I can give to you for now, until Duolingo finds a better voice for Italian.
I used to think the same, BUT, in some perverse way, I think it may actually help! For example today I had to translate what I thought I heard as 'Beviamo in una regione grande ' and thought What??? I listened several times before thinking I bet it's meant to be 'Viviamo' which would make more sense. And it was! lol. It makes you think. Anyway after all the months I've been on here I've got so used to it that I have to say I am now very fond of our 'Italian Lady' lol :)
Yes, I agree totally. You do get used it, and it does force you get those brain cells working :)
According to Luis von Ahn, Duolingo plans on allowing volunteers to contribute actual recordings of native speakers to replace the computer voice over time. So it will improve at some point.
Yeah its hard for my to understand what she s saying, and thats because of that creepy voice
personally, i think the pronunciations are fine.. some things are a little hard to comprehend but over all it gets the words across.. with the regular and slow versions, i really can't ask for anything more!
I listen to "the machine" several times until I figure it out. After several lessons, you can understand it easily. I recommend you to be patient.
I concur…..I disliked her voice so much that I switched to French, as much as I love Italy. During my travels in Italy, I found the Italians so easy and hospitable….with or without knowledge of their language. The French are so responsive and helpful when I speak to them with my caveman French. My next travels will take me to France thanks to Duo.
I agree it is always so frustrating when she says un. I always put it as una and then get it wrong. :(
I agree that it is not as good as the voices in the other languages. To my ears, Spanish and German have the best voices, French is next, then Portuguese, and Italian is at the bottom. But I'm still sticking with it. It only really interferes when you have to type what she says, and even then, only if you have to listen to the slow version.
Otherwise just focus on the written words.
I don't think the voice is that bad. The slow version is very chopped, but the normal speed is quite merciful for Italian, and it sounds all right to me. The recording quality isn't the best, but other than that she doesn't sound different compared to what I usually hear in Italy.
I can confirm that she speaks horrible Italian. This is just unacceptable and the main reason why I left the course.
I think you can have her not speak go to settings and its maybe one of those not sure...
i personally think it is a good challenge. i have found through my travels, that every region in Italy has it's own dialect and accent and therefore it never sounds the same. Unless you are fortunate to only converse with Italian speakers that sound one way, then it probably sets the right expectations :-)
I agree, I've lived in Calabria, Rome and Florence and I have very good friends from Modena and Torino. There is a wide range of accents, dialects, slang, etc. Much more so than English in North America or the UK.
Besides, "she" is a computer, free, and no creepier than Siri
It always makes me laugh when she says "Burro," because she sounds shocked! I guess butter must be very surprising in Italy.
I agree. Breathing sounds are supposed to make computer speech sound more natural but I took an instant dislike to them.
I totally agree, Sarah. I know many italian speakers, and while they speak much faster, they are actually much easier to understand than is our "sweet italian speaking girl" on DUO. I also find it difficult to discern when she says 'ho una gonna', or similar. I'd love a chance to hear a different woman, or maybe un uomo? Good post.
When I get really stuck, or just because our italian voice is unhelpful, I paste my closest guess into google translate, then click the "hear it" button. Having two voices saying the same thing is really helpful.
Great tip, CatherinGregory!!! Thanks. I'm going to try that tonite. Gave you a lingot for it too!
That's a good point. The "hear it" button on Google Translate is really good. When I've been unsure between a couple of pronouns or prepositions, I've put put both of them side-by-side into Google Translate to listen to the differences via the "hear it" button.
I am doing French and the voice is not great there so I have just turned the voice exercises off and only do the writing exercises, and use different sources with natural speakers for aural learning. Could you not do the same?
I think that might not be such a good idea. In my opinion the voice excercises are one of the best things that Duolingo has going for it. Using more modes of communication in closely related time (listening, speaking, reading, writing) really engages the brain and also helps avoid the trap of learning words with sounds that resemble what the letters might suggest in our native languages. Straining to understand a spoken phrase and having to reply sensibly is a reasonable aproximation to learning with normal communication activities.
I'm Italian and I assure you that the voice is really bad and - sometimes - difficult to understand.
The irony is that probably the best computer voices are produced by an Italian company Loquendo ( see the wiki) which was bought out by Nuance a couple of years ago. You can buy these voices at Nextup,com with a product like Textaloud at a fairly reasonable price. There are 6 Italian voices which you can listen to on the site. I wish they would use one of those voices! Disclaimer - I am not associated with any of those companies
Try the French one! That's even better! Le singe, l'oeuf, these are her favourite words to say... :D
I've had the same problem, actually. At times, she sounded like she was crying. I honestly feel like the Portuguese voice is the best one, and if they could get her to do the rest, I'd be happy. And may I ask why all the voices are women? I don't mind, but I'm just curious.
I tend to prefer women's voices on the computer and feel that my comprehension is better with them but I think the reason they use them might be for better reproduction on cheap tinny speakers.
there are some minor problems, like the nice è which sounds like she has an minor orgasm, or that she pronounces 'una' when it should be 'un', et cetera, but overall it's a good pronounciation
She does have a few quirks, doesn't she? It took me a little while to figure out that "on-yah-mi" is ogni! Oh well, it's good for extra practice when I don't hear her correctly.
The Italian voice sounds very quiet it to me and I cannot understand what she is saying.
The problem is clarity: even with the volume cranked up, I sometimes still fail to identify a word on the basis of sound. Sure, if I consider all the possible words, I suppose I could guess. but it is tough when I am trying to learn seven languages concurrently. I have the impression that the voice is mumbling. I have no difficulty with any other voices for the six other languages that I'm learning.
I think it would be better if the fast version is enabled by default because I think it's more understandable and the slower one only if you're completely clueless about what she says, or else they could try to use recordings of native speakers for the audio exercises.