Request to improve on voices for the Portuguese course
So, my friend recently tried Duolingo Portuguese course, he spoke of how the concept and effectiveness was amazing and how it should be used in schools. However his biggest complaint was the major flaw of the Brazilian voices. Please improve upon this.. Thank you
The CEO mentioned they spent a ton of money on the existing one and it was the best they could find or afford at the time.
I have to get use to them saying the words wrong. Miss it and then recognize the way they say it so I don't get it wrong again. But for free we get a pretty sweet deal. If anyone knows a free site as good as this one let me know please. I would appreciate it.
No human can be that accurate either. All humans I've met oft mispronounce words, lisp, cough between speech, use high pitched voice, omit words, and last but not least naively believe they don't have an accent.
I'll take a consistent TTS voice any day over a human voice that is prone to regional/ dialectal biases.
A human voice that is prone to regional/ dialectal biases. You mean like (gasp) real life? Luckily all the Portuguese-speakers we're likely to encounter off-site are going to sound like robots.
Yes, the real world where people speak too fast, belittle, mock and bully others who have an accent and are attempting to learn.
must be the best environment for learning.
I don't know what you're talking about, man. Have you ever tried talking to a Brazilian? They're thrilled and charmed when they find out you're trying to speak your language. No Brazilian has ever mocked, bullied or belittled me—quite the reverse. On the whole, the Brazilians I know have been kinder than me than people of any nationality. They're certainly enthusiastic conversation partners.
as a portuguese native speaker, i really agree to that. most people that I know really enjoy to know that someone is trying to learn portuguese, I don't know if that is something common in other contries. I actually tested the portuguese course here to see if it was good and if someone could actually learn with it and I admit that I was surprised. The little that I saw was really well done and the voice was REALLY clear. those complainings may be due to differences to the fonetics from your native language, but it is way harder to understand us in a conversation :D
The mileage will vary, I'm talking about learning in general. Children or even adults tease those who are different. I speak Portuguese so I wouldn't know if Brazilians are different to non-Portuguese speakers or not.
For something like this I'm talking about a professional work, not anyone recording the sentences. It has to be, obviously, a native speaker with good diction and keeping the strict pronunciation rules. Either way this is not easy, if DL used a system with the quality of Ivona (for example) that would be awesome.
Personally any business that doesn't openly share their pricing to business seems particularly shady to me. For all we know Duolingo might have to pay a monthly tariff to them for the use of their services.
That said, Portuguese is my L1, so I can tell you for a fact, though the TTS engine isn't perfect it is not as bad as people claim it to be.
Most people complain about it because it takes time to get used to it, the same happened to me before I got used to the french sounding lady. That and regional biases as I said before. A portuguese person may hate a Brazilian TTS and vice versa.
P.S. I do agree however that those voices are impressive.
I remember reading that they tried this long ago, but the testers were more satisfied with the robotic voice. I cannot understand how they performed this test: in no scenario that I can think of would I prefer a TTS over a true recording.
I wonder how hard it would be to allow users to upload their own versions of DL sentences like forvo does. Then we'd at least have an alternative to compare it with. They could allow people to do it in the discussion section. This could also be used for native speakers to correct learner's speech.
I was born in Portugal and my Portuguese is very rusty. I normally have trouble understanding Brazilians but I find it really easy to understand this voice. I give it top marks! Awesome app, loving it, so is my 7 year old :o)