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

New Italian voice

I don't know if anyone has experienced this update yet, but the Italian female android voice was replaced. It's much more soothing and relaxing now, but I still feel like I lost a friend, after all we've been through together...

December 8, 2014

79 Comments


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

Now that she's been replaced, can we talk behind Francesca's back? She couldn't differentiate between un and una... and she was sometimes extremely breathy, almost panting between words! I lost so many hearts because of Frannie. My husband said it sounded like I was listening to porn, LOL. Long live Carla!

December 9, 2014

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

Well, you must admit she did make the word è sound like fun.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryan8202

E il "ho"

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rattl
  • 1943

The new Italian voice, "Carla", has been in A/B testing for a while, and it looks like it's just been implemented for everybody. I tried the Italian course out briefly just before and just after the voice testing started and it seemed like an improvement; glad to hear it won out over Francesca, may she be forever remembered fondly. ;)

December 8, 2014

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

How do you know the names of the voices and furthermore why do they have names?

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killary45

There was a discussion about the synthetic voices a little while ago. The names come from the companies who create the voices, such as ivona.com or natualreaders.com . Those two sites are both interesting places to visit.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5861257

December 10, 2014

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

Wow!! Finally there is intonation and this new voice sounds much more natural. Thanks Duo! P.S.: Hope Francesca enjoys her retirement on some nice tropical island with a cocktail in her hand, farewell Fra!

December 9, 2014

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

And let's hope the tropical island has facilities for speech therapy or respiratory illnesses :p

December 12, 2014

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

Arrivederci Francesca... Benvenuto, Carla... mi piace la tua voce!

December 9, 2014

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

I'm loving it so far. She is much clearer than the old bot!

December 8, 2014

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

It's still a bot just like the old one, except better.

You can go here and listen to it:

https://www.ivona.com/us/

Just click the menu and choose Italian>Carla. It's the voice Duolingo is using.

December 9, 2014

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

Giorgio sounds awesome too. :)

December 10, 2014

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

The male voice reminds me of when I was a child and watched Italian TV on holidays in Italy :D I wish I could switch to that one.

December 11, 2014

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

I like the new voice, it is a lot clearer and more soothing than the old voice.

December 9, 2014

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

This is fantastic. I find myself just listening now far more often, instead of reading, which is HUGE. At least preliminarily (obviously I haven't spent the same amount of time with the new voice to discover little things ('un' and 'una' on slow, anyone?) that existed with the old voice, but my first impression is MERAVIGLIOSO!

The new voice is much, much more natural, understandable, and doesn't have the pronunciation problems (especially between normal and slow speeds) that the old voice did.

This is going to take people to a whole new level. Bravissimo, Duo, bravissimo.

December 9, 2014

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

Much better! Trying to understand the old voice could be soo frustrating, great update.

December 9, 2014

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

I was honestly going to give up on Italian because the voice was too depressing and confusing.

December 9, 2014

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

I need to check this NOW.

Is it easier to understand?

December 8, 2014

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

YES. Much easier.

December 8, 2014

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

Wow, this is fantastic! I am honestly overjoyed that they officially replaced the Italian voice with Carla. Francesca needed to be scrapped long ago. This started as an A/B Test months ago, but I think this might be official!

December 8, 2014

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

Lei rimarrà nei nostri cuori per sempre...

December 8, 2014

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

Addio, ma che liberazione xD

December 8, 2014

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

God, I sure hope not! :-)

December 9, 2014

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

The new voice updated for me last night whilst in the middle of an question. I thought I was going mad for a second as some of the words I clicked on were in a different voice on that question.

The new voice is much clearer and makes it much easier to understand. I had too much difficulty understanding the old voice and it was too quite, I had resorted to plugging my phone into some speakers and turning the volume up full.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jas57

So much better. I can actually hear what is being said without the breathlessness!

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pjb518

I just noticed this as well. It's fantastic! I thought the old one was very difficult to understand.

December 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pjb518

Not sure if it's a bug, but the new voice is only working on some sentences for me. I just tried something on prepositions and I got the old voice back :(

December 8, 2014

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

I know right!!! I heard the new voice just today! I still miss the old one though...

December 8, 2014

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

I like it a lot so far, it sounds way more natural and, more importantly, actually Italian. The old one was just Italian words stuck together, this is much better. It may turn out to be a bit harder to understand (so far it seemed easier though), but I think it's better to learn this way. Also, I think it may be simpler to get the intonation correct now, because with the old one I was never quite sure if I should just copy it blindly when it came to that.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichelleOs899172

Oh my goodness, I'd actually given up on Italian because I couldn't follow that other voice, but I just tried a lesson with the new voice and it's much, much easier for me to understand. Now I can pick back up with learning Italian...

December 9, 2014

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

It should be possible to choose the voice in the settings...

December 9, 2014

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

I'm so glad they've finally added this for everyone. Questo è meraviglioso - grazie!

December 9, 2014

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

I got it too, so glad!

December 8, 2014

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

Yes, but I feel like I have been liberated!

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dancrawford91

If it means I can learn easier I'm all for it :)

December 9, 2014

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

Gosh yes! Thank heavens. The old voice sounded like a pouty starlet throwing a tantrum with a nose full of white powder.

December 9, 2014

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

It is much better now - together with the abolishments of the hearts it really becomes much nicer and much more ffective to learn. Congrats!

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kenlloyd7

yes, I noticed it. It is a nice improvement. One point though, the old voice always sounded like "una" when she said "un". The new voice is the opposite, sounds like "un" when she says "una". Oh, well.

December 9, 2014

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

What an improvement! I no longer have to play the slower version to understand what she's saying and she sounds much more like someone I might talk to in the street.

December 9, 2014

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

I think we are really lucky to have a free language learning app. All improvements gratefully received, but to be honest, I will take what I am given. I am so happy to be able to learn the basics of a language in just 4 months. Francesca was fine once you got used to her, and Carla has her problems too - some phrases die away and are really hard to hear, and she talks faster, eliding more words, IMO. The recoding clarity is better, though. Thanks, duo for a fab app.

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psilva00

I did notice it because I was kind of used to the previous voice but it's a matter of habit. In this short while it does seem a little bit less "robotic" and a bit more soothing.

December 9, 2014

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

Wow, the new voice is so much better... ......is it bad that it'll probably be my new best friend?

December 9, 2014

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

I talk more to Carla every day than I do to anyone else, including my husband. This is worrying! :D

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G0108

Is it just for Android or for the computer and iPhone?

December 8, 2014

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

I think he meant android as in sounding like a robot rather than the Android mobile OS.

December 8, 2014

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

I'm only working on a PC, so I wouldn't know about mobile platforms.

December 8, 2014

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

I use my iPhone and noticed that it had changed today

December 8, 2014

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

I just checked, and they've changed it for Android as well! :D I'm elated! I'm not sure about iPhone and Windows phone (I don't own either of those), but surely they shouldn't have left those out 3 For the first time in over a month, I'm turning listening exercise back on.

December 8, 2014

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

Changed on iPad too! She's a bit "tum-ti-tum", and I wonder if that is representative of how italian is really spoken? Any native speakers out there?

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maximize22

Not a native speaker, but that is my experience in classes. If you rent movies, there is rhythm but much much faster. This is an incredible boost, hope it goes all the way through, not just for the lower levels...

December 9, 2014

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

I'm a German teacher and of course in class I don't speak as fast and as unpronounced as I do in my normal German life. None of my students would understand a word. It is important to speak clearly and pronounced in class, understanding the "real" language comes after, on the street and in everyday life and situations. Carla speaks like an Italian teacher and that is very good for learning Italian, at least in my humble opinion.

December 9, 2014

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

Carla is there near the end of the tree too - I have about 8 blobs to go.

December 9, 2014

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

Questo è meraviglioso ! It sounds AWESOME

December 9, 2014

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

P.S. I'm doing duo this morning on a macbook pro with chrome, so it's definitely on the web version.

December 9, 2014

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

The voice is wonderful! Her "humaness" reaches out to you and that's exactly what language is supposed to do--connect people. I will look forward to my lessons even more!

December 9, 2014

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

Now that is weird! Francesca returns, but with an alternative voice for the "hints"

December 9, 2014

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

YES! I have been waiting so long for this, after I heard about it a few months ago when they started A/B testing it. Looks like now we all have it!

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psilva00

Hey, just want to mention that the amount of languages you're tackling at once is astonishing. Good luck!

December 9, 2014

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

Hehe, thanks. I think "tackling" is a little optimistic, but I do like to get a taste of all they've got available.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psilva00

I sure can see that. Keep it up.

December 10, 2014

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

Grazie, gracias, thanks, merci, danke, tack, and a few others I don't remember!

And your streak is much more impressive than mine!

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psilva00

Thanks. Also, in Portuguese it would be "obrigado" :)

December 10, 2014

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

The voice is immensely better. I was really struggling with the previous one. So pleaseed!

December 9, 2014

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

Mi mancherà Francesca ma la voce di Carla è meglio.

December 10, 2014

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

So far, I find the new Italian voice to be much clearer. There were many words that were slurred or didn't sound right in certain situations with the old voice. The new one (so far) doesn't seem to have that problem.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/janeAusten23

I like the new voice and think my Italian pronunciation will improve as a result.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/summer851

I don't like it, the new voice "carla" but i never liked when people talked to me in soothing voices it makes me feel like a baby, i like the old voice much better, i find Carla hard to understand, she runs the words together, the words come out in blurs, for beginners I believe Carla is hard to understand

December 10, 2014

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

Arrivederci, Francesca.

December 10, 2014

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

Congratulations DL. The new voice for the audios is a great improvement in the course. Thanks a lot.

December 9, 2014

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

i don't have the new voice. but i finished Phrases before i finished Basics 2!

December 9, 2014

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

I'm new at duolingo, so I didn't see any difference.

December 10, 2014

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

I don't know why but i now seem to a mixture of the old voice and the new one.

December 10, 2014

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

absolutely...i like the robotic lady...kind of like having a conversation with an Italian Siri XD

December 10, 2014

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

SO MUCH BETTER. The last voice was a real test of my patience.

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariekie1

no no i feel at home at last i understand what is being said....what a relief. dont have to have my ear next to the loudspeaker anymore. sono innamorata

December 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/june67

i agree, this voice is more clear - it seems easier to understand.

December 11, 2014

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

that is so funny. well to me at least.

December 11, 2014

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

haha!!! yes me too I was like whaat!!!! oh well! it is more soothing and I feel like the words are actually well pronounced now...lol

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grege2

I like new Carla, although I find some small "growling" modulation in some of the slow speech. On the other hand, the weird breathiness between (slow) words of Francesca is gone. Yes there's an occasional loss of distinction between un and una, or del and delle. I'm on latest Macbook Pro with latest Mavericks, Chrome. 16dec14.

December 16, 2014
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