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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renae601683

French male speaker says a few things incorrectly

My husband is half french, and one of the male speakers in the French courses mispronounces several words. Une has an emphasized neh sound at the end which is incorrect (and if you listen to the other voices, no one says it) Same with homme (an added meh at the end) and a few other words I should be able to test out, and because of this cannot understand what he is saying (and it is just the one voice). I would strongly recommend replacing that voice in the course

May 15, 2020

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jimmy54103

I have noticed the same thing.

I think it is just an example of strong enunciating, so arguably it's not necessarily incorrect. But also, I believe that some speakers normally speak in that fashion.

Moi, je préfère le français qui n'est pas si fortement énoncé.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

His accent sounds more like how people speak in the south of France. It's not perfect of course but that's what he made be think of when I did the reverse tree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianC602

This one comes up regularly, and the various mothertongue speakers and residents are always adamant that it's not wrong, just a bit different to the other voice. Some people swear it's the male that's wrong, some the female.

Different accents and emphases, different parts of the country. Just like in the UK or the US...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GScottOliver

Renae, as you have not responded to any of the comments, I wonder if this was really intended as a discussion, or just a vent. Maybe you should ask for your money back.

However, if you're interested in the voices, you can hear them at ttsmp3.com
The male voice is known as Mathieu, and the female voice is Léa. There is only one other European French voice, which is female (Céline). Granted, I don't know for sure that no others are available somewhere, but remember that Duo's resources are limited. I find it helpful to hear the way Mathieu says things sometimes.

I hope you enjoy using Duo, the vagaries of the text-to-speech modules notwithstanding. Timor mortis conturbat me. 2020-05-15


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianC602

Ask the three French voices to say "leur"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

Actually, I tried a short sentence and they all say leur correctly. I wrote this single word and only Lea pronounces it weirdly like on DL exercices... it's a bit strange ..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianC602

She's definitely "our" Lea, with that little verbal tic, isn't she?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cleanthe3

;) It's a bit weird that they haven't fix it yet, it has been reported many times . I don't know how those websites/companies work and improve their product ..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renae601683

I was told to report problems here? That's all I was trying to do. Seeing as how it's free, no money back. I think someone said south of France? That sounds believable to me, since my husband mentions how people there when he visited had an accent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GScottOliver

I apologize for my snarky start. It was unwelcoming, and you did not deserve it.

I’m not sure that this is the best place to report problems, though. There is a bug reporting facility, but I’ve never used it.

As for the voice, I’ve seen the same thing, from several users, so maybe that’s what it is. In any case, it’s just part of the Wonder of Duo. Have fun in the course!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DragonGirl7-

I think they are just trying to enunciate so that you can tell the difference between female and male words. However, if you can't understand the voice, I usually just turn it off or mute the tab.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kati673185

as I know these are robots not living persons


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff_Grundman

It's not an error, it's an accent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

No it's not an accent, it's a robot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianC602

Speech synthesis builds "words" out of phonemes. Those phonemes are generated from human speakers, and speakers with different accents will produce different phonemes and different output.

That's why you can get "voices" in US English or UK English, ZA English, AU English, whatever - as well as female/male, or other differences. The satnav manufacturers don't REALLY get a famous actor to record every single road name... They just get them to record all the different building blocks.

There's no difference here, except it's even subtler - the voices are from different areas of France with different accents.

The fact they're generated rather than recorded is obvious with some words - the one that always grates with me is the female voice saying a sentence including "leur", then saying the word individually from the word bank...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jojo553168

I am a french native spreaker, the male voice does not have an accent from anywhere in France. I understand that the pronunciation may sound strange, but an accent is something totally different from a strange pronunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeff_Grundman

I am not a native speaker, at this point I can't even claim to speak French. My wife on the other hand is fluent (Belgian French rather than Parisian,) and we have discussed the voices.

Is it possible that the male voice is intended to have a southern accent, pronouncing the final silent e in word such as une for example, but that like all robot voices it is quite imperfect.

I don't think anyone would claim that any computer generated voice, here or elsewhere, is a perfect representation of any human language. Our technology is just not that good yet. But isn't it also possible that the different voices on Duolingo are intended to represent different regional variations of French, however imperfectly?

I will definitely defer to your expertise as a native speaker, but the voices are so different, surely there is some reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YulianaDK

It's not just male. They both do. For instance the female one often says things wilh an American accent instead of the French one. Report it if it's incorrect. I do it all the time.

Annoyingly I can't specify that I'm reporting a sound issue on the IOS. While I could do that on web and Android.

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