Swahili Audio Extension version 1.0.0 has been released!

Hamjambo tena fellow Swahili learners!

I have finally fixed a couple bugs with the audio extension I released about a month ago and I can now say with confidence it deserves to be formally graduated from Beta - which it, well, has! For those of you who have it downloaded on your computer, you don't need to do anything - it will automatically update to version 1.0.0 next time you reboot Chrome (you can even check which version it is running by navigating to chrome://extensions in the URL). For those of you that have not downloaded it, well, now is a better time to do so than ever before! :-)

The main new changes with version 1.0.0 as opposed to the previous Beta release is that some sentences were not being spoken, even after my initial recommendation of reloading the page - now, all new Swahili sentence challenges should be spoken on each new challenge load, and words will ALWAYS produce audio upon scrolling over them!!

I also made a couple subtle audio enhancements after some feedback from a native speaker (namely, @machieng - thanks so much for your priceless feedback, as someone who lives in Canada and has never really been exposed to the language outside of Duolingo, actual feedback on the audio is huge!).

What this means is if all goes well with its first real non-beta release, you will probably not be hearing from me for awhile, unless some new changes become crucial - then expect me to take care of it as quickly as I can!

A few last couple things I should note: I quietly uploaded it to Firefox a little while ago and have published the newest changes to Firefox as well. A bit of a disclaimer: it DOES NOT work on my WINDOWS computer, but DOES work on Linux and Mac OS. I decided to release it on all platforms in case maybe it is just my computer and it would work on other Windows machines, but please, if it doesn't work on your Windows computer, please don't rate it negatively, just uninstall and perhaps try out Chrome until Firefox for Windows supports the necessary TTS services it needs :)

Also, it will be up on Opera shortly as well. As with Firefox, it didn't work on my Windows but worked just fine on Mac OS and Linux. Best of luck to all that use Opera - I hope it will work on your computer.

I think that's everything! Working on this project has been an awesome experience - as an avid Duolingo user it has been amazing to connect with so many members of the community and to try to make learning the Swahili language a little easier and a little more fun for as many people as I could :)

Finally, if you have downloaded it and it has helped you out, please consider giving it a review on the Chrome/Firefox(/Opera) web store. As a University student, projects like these can be huge to getting good internship possibilities and good reviews are an enormous boost to a project's credibility.

P.S. There is a chance that words that begin with m- and n- sound a bit wonky on Mac OS for now. If they do, I will quickly fix it and release version 1.0.1 ASAP. For now, I am hoping all will be well.



Link to Chrome (for those who haven't downloaded it yet):

Link to Firefox web store:

Source code:

August 14, 2018


Wow, that's great! I think it's fantastic that you're doing this.

I suppose it probably won't ever come out on Edge . . . Microsoft needs to work on their browser, I suppose, before that will happen. Anyway, I heard before that it would work on Safari too . . . ? Does it?

August 14, 2018

So a little more of a detailed update on that - the browser service I am using to power the extension (namely SpeechSynthesis API) is a really unexplored and virtually Beta-released software. What that means is, this project could legitimately be one of the cases it was used the most extensively in an individual project - if you limit it to just projects that have used languages aside from English (I am actually using Indonesian), I have found barely any documentation or other examples of projects using it anywhere near as much as I have. All this to say, since it such an obscure service that according to my research has been used very little since its release, I don't know when or even if Edge (or Firefox and Opera for Windows) will ever work on supporting other languages aside from English. Until Edge supports it (/ if they every decide to support it), it won't work on Edge. Regarding Safari, it should work, although unlike Chrome, Firefox and Opera, it is not free to post an extension to Safari (developers have to be subscribed to the Apple Developer License or something along those lines). And that license is not cheap by any means and only lasts a year. So what that means is that until there is more incentive for me to develop apps for Safari/iOS/MacOS, I will probably hold out from releasing it on Safari. Probably not the answers you wanted to either question so I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news there, but yeah until either situation changes for Edge and Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox are probably going to be the only browsers where I release it.

August 14, 2018

Oh, that makes sense, although it's sad Edge doesn't have SpeechSynthesis API. I do hope they add that soon.

I was just wondering about Safari, because you said it would work there; I don't use Apple devices.

August 15, 2018


August 14, 2018


August 14, 2018

Duolingo should provide the sound in fact, but so far this is a good replacement. Thank you for your effort!

August 20, 2018

Absolutely, but until (/if) the audio gets added, I hope this helps in the meantime!

August 21, 2018

thanks a ton for doing this. Out of curiosity is there any way that this will work on mobile (I assume not) or is there any plan to do something there?

Really it would be nice if duolingo released audio but for now this is a great addition.

August 23, 2018

At the moment, I don't think any mobile browser supports extensions (Chrome for sure does not), meaning until extensions are supported this extension won't work on mobile devices unfortunately. Long term it would be cool to investigate a mobile alternative - I have thought about creating something similar but for Android, but this is a very long-term plan and by then (hopefully) Duolingo would have released the official audio first.

August 23, 2018

Firefox supports extensions (Add-ons) on Android.

I installed the Swahili Audio Extension there but nevertheless don't have audio during the Swahili lessons. This may be a configuration issue on my smartphone, so it would be interesting to know if it is the same for others.

It works well on my desktop computer with Firefox though.

Thanks for providing this extension!

August 31, 2018

I love this extension. However, for all people missing more audio exercise, I would like to redirect you here: this is an audio course (have fun by listening!) plus a transcript created by me:

August 23, 2018

Thanks for the kind words and awesome additional resource, looks great!!

August 23, 2018

Hey Sean!

Thank you for the effort you put into this project. I can't begin to imagine how much work has gone into the extension, which is why I was really really looking forward to its release, and why it breaks my heart to have to write the following review: Whatever the source of your audio is, its pronunciation sucks. Not in terms of sound quality (that's excellent), but in the sense that nobody speaking like that would be easily understood in East Africa, and I would discourage learners from trying to imitate what they hear. I'm afraid your buddy @machieng was overly well-meaning with their feedback. Again, this isn't meant as criticism of your lovingly built browser extension per se. It works as advertised - a Swahili sentence appears, you hear its pronunciation; you hover over a word, you hear it, loud and clear. I will leave a good review on the Chrome web store, since you clearly did the best that could be expected of a competent developer without a grasp of the language, and therefore deserve all the internship opportunities etc you can get.

For any Swahili learners reading this - sorry for the downer. If you want to learn authentic Swahili pronunciation, listen to or similar didactic videos. Since Swahili pronunciation is perfectly regular, no new word can surprise you once you have familiarized yourself with all possible syllables. So until Duolingo does something about the missing audio, I guess that's the best you can do.

August 22, 2018

The prenasalized sounds are especially screwed over.

August 26, 2018

Whatever the source of your audio is

If I understand it correctly, the audio depends on the TTS on your computer. So the pronunciation may differ from one computer to another.

It would be interesting to know which TTS system works best for this extension?

September 2, 2018

I can get the voice in my Laptop but not my GalaxyS8+ phone

August 26, 2018
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