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
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...
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
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!
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...
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.
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.