The listening is really difficult
Not because of what it's testing, but it's so hard to understand what is being said! The sound quality is awful and cuts out randomly!
The woman reading it sounds like she's constantly running uphill and is out of breath!
To me she sounds like she's dying, just trying to push one more word out before the end.
"un" and "il" often sound the same so i get the whole answer wrong for that one word
the "i" and "e" sounds (as in ragazze, ragazzi) are identical to my anglo ears. I have a 50/50 chance of getting these rights.
That's fine, unless you have a spoken phrase to type...This is where the problem lies, even at slow it's impossible to distinguish. Internet is not a Hifi equipment.
Indeed, it's sometimes really difficult or impossible to distinguish. But if you pay attention to the article you have an extra tip.
I agree. At regular speed that is no way certain words sound correct, not even to an experienced ear. So disappointing because everything else is so flawless.
On one hand you're right but on the other - try to understand a real Italian speaking, it's much more difficult :D
For being free, the audio is amazing. Duolingo is brand new to me, and I'm just blown away by how good it is. The parsing of the sentences on the slow function is strange, but understandable. Overall, wow, so cool that audio is even available, and I'm so glad they don't over-enunciate like voice actors on programs I've used in the past do.
I concur with all previous comments. I am using a sophisticated desktop computer with a high quality sound card and a stereo sound system. I still have not found a way to separate out some of the words unless I were to install an audio equalizer in the system and it's not worth it. So I struggle, and it takes three times as long to get past a lesson.
I have ended up turning the speaker and sound effect settings off so that I don't get the pure listening questions; although my smartphone seems to get confused sometimes and give them to me anyways.
Until it is improved I would rather watch films, practice out loud independently, or use audio books for speech and listening recognition.
Replay using the "turtle" button ( just below play ) one or more times to hear the sentence read slowly
In my case almost everytime the sound doesn't come out on my smartphone. It's quite annoying. I end up guessing the answer, and am always wrong.
I agree I often get the questions wrong because I can understand what she is saying.
In some tasks the speaker says una , and when you type una the correct sentance is la or l' , really annoying !
it is, I am taking italian in college and the lady for this program rushes through words and doesn't always pronounce everything. Not to mention my teacher talks to us in a normal pace of italian, not slowed down, but it is hard to understand what she says in this program as she skips pronouncing everything.
They really need to hire some Italians of different genders and regions of the country to read out some phrases. The electronic voice really isn't cutting it for me.
That's so true. Every time she says "i ragazzi" she sounds excited. And that is creepy
I have problems hearing the short words, like il or un or ho. It's a problem, so I often just guess based on the other words.
Several times I have had to replay the dialog. The woman has a light and breathy voice, so it's difficult to understand the articles, as well as the I & e plurals. Could you get a man with a deep voice to pronounce the words more clearly? Grazie mille. Lana Agnew
I have already left a comment of agreement. Since I just recently started I fear it will become more irritating as I advance because longer phrases will be even more confusing.
Agreed! compared to the Spanish audio this one is woeful. It's a shame really as many parts of this system are really good. Thanks for the earlier tip though, I'll turn the sound off and just use the writing questions for now, as that's the best part of this system I think anyway.
Maybe the sound it's not perfect, but i understand it without problems. My native language is spanish, so for me italian listening is not difficult. Maybe i'd complain if i practice with english audio ;)
Difficult to understand. I agree. The thing that is simply always in my mind is that whenever you would try to listen to a native Italian speaker... It would probably be much, much more difficult. So this "practice" is kind of useful. My only problem has been my own computer, that sometimes doesn't play sounds at all.
Good point. Make the practice tough, and the actual "game" becomes easier. ;-)
Glad to hear I'm not the only one that has this problem. It's nearly impossible to tell if she's saying "un" or "il". 50/50 chance.
I agree with almost all the comments here. It seems to me the problem is not the quality of the sound, but the Italian lady speaker. Listen to the Spanish lady speaker, for example, and see how perfectly well she pronounces the words, and she does it always the same for every word. The Italian lady speaker pronounces the same word differently in various sentences. Take for example é' sometimes 'ehhhh', sometimes 'éh', and still other times a very short sound that remotely resembles é. I personally would appreciate if DL replaces the Italian lady speaker with someone that is not out of breath all the time, and that can pronounce the words clearly and correctly, and most importantly, always the same. I must add that other than this problem, DL is a perfect five star language learning tool, the best I have ever encountered!
Well, the italian lady speaker doesn't sound like a native italian at all
As I mentioned earlier, and I know this sounds a bit funny, but Google Translate has much better pronunciation...
Just a funny example : http://translate.google.com/#it/en/Io%20bevo%20acqua.
I am in total accord with the comments. The audio and even the pronunciation on this Italian course is lamentable and not a patch on the Spanish course or even the German where I thought there were a some issues. It is such a shame that Duolingo are not addressing this because, even though it is a free course and we all greatly appreciate what Duolingo is offering, I fear that this Italian course will damage their reputation and all the good comments that I have been pleased to read about Duolingo and have been only too happy to endorse.
Probably the cost of re-doing the whole Italian course with a new professional speaker lady (or gentleman) is more important to DL than their reputation. I personally am ready to make some contribution, if cost is the issue. It's worth helping such an excellent language learning program to get perfect.
I agree, absolutely terrible. Slurred, like she is mumbling. And the "slower" speech is even worse. She pronounces very poorly as well, often making "e" endings sound like "a". I am also doing German and Spanish and they are both very very clear.
La frutta is always a quieter word than everything else, and it drives me crazy!
Agreed. I've been studying Italian for a few years and lived there for 6 months and have trouble testing out of some of the basics because I can't "hear" the woman very well when using the app on my phone.
I think it has to do mainly with the phonetics you are used to. I am a native spanish speaker and since italian and spanish are both romance languages the phonetics are similar; but I can see how difficult it can be for germanic languages' speakers.
As a native Spanish speaker I understand perfectly the listening bits.
I have to say that I am extremely happy with "DUOLINGO". What a beautiful way to teach a foreign language. CONGRATULATIONS! Obviously, the person that Duolingo has for the Italian class is not a native Italian. I had an Italian boyfriend from Rome for many years and I was surrounded by Italians from different cities. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
sometimes if u dont have a microphone on your computer and you do the listening parts, its really hard.
thanks for the heads up. I tried it and it sure gets better. But still I have problem deciphering some of the words she says, especially single syllable words like é, ed, e and so on. Problem is her tone of voice greatly goes up and down, sometimes her pronunciation of single syllable words is so low and vague that I have no way to guess what she says. Of course the bigger problem is probably myself, if I was more advance in Italian, I could have guessed the right word with respect to the overall structure of the sentences. I keep trying harder :D. Cheers
yeah, i agree. But sometimes the lady voice gets so low you cant hear it; then you think she said something else when she really said something else. Its confusing
Yeah, I agree with you as I just made a mistake 'cause I kept hearing something like "op" instead of ho il piatto.
P.S. Google translate has much better sound quality and pronunciations... in case you're not sure how to pronounce something
I agree, the sound quality of Google translate is excellent. Thanks for the tip.
I agree. I'm glad duolingo has audio, don't get me wrong, (and the 'turtle' button does help a little bit) but sometimes the words still slur together, or some of the letters sound the exact same which is hard to pick the correct answer.
I have mistaken ho and ha a couple of times but overall I think the quality is decent. Don't complain guys, its free lessons and I must day they have done a pretty good job
I agree. Concept is great. The French lessons are worse. I have good speakers and it is still a problem.
So this topic is 11 month old and still no development? I just started Italian and the audio completely demotivates me to continue.