I'm really tiring of having to hit the skip button (and be penalized), not because I don't know the answer, but because the voice recording recognition is so poor. I would like to recommend that, after 3 - 4 shots at pronunciation, you have to option to move one without penalty. Interestingly, that option is available in the mobile apps.
That's interesting, since I never tried the actual web interface, as long as I have known it the voice recording questions have always skipped without penalty you don't get it a few times. It says something like 'let's move on from this for now...'
I think the sections are important though, because you are forced to open your mouth and speak, even if the recognition is a bit flaky. I once read the Spanish phrase, translated it in my head to English without really thinking, and then recorded it before I realised what I had just done - and still got a point :)
I also have no doubt that given Luis' previous work, that they are probably looking into making something useful of all that speech data they must be amassing. There's a pattern developing after all...
Yup! You can pretty much mumble anything and it will generally mark it correct. That's why it's even more frustrating when you are forced to skip it and it's the last exercise. The final straw for me was when it wouldn't accept ''es necesidad''...not exactly vocally complex. How one becomes ''fluent'' in a language without ever uttering a word in the language is beyond my comprehension:)
I've used RS which has it's own set of ''challenges'', but I have to say that, if you set the voice recognition to high, it's pretty difficult to get away with really poor pronunciation. In some ways speaking is a bit easier to mimic in that the native speakers are really clear spoken. They don't use computer generated voices but they aren't free either! DL is way more fun!
I don't know if you have ever heard of the Fast Show, but I tried saying 'ethethethethethethetheth, ethethethetheth' to see if it would pass me, and sure enough, it did.
You actually reminded me of something that is on the website that is not in the mobile app too, which is sometimes annoying, that is the ability to challenge an answer that has been marked wrong. This happens more often than not when I am translating to English, and my phrasing is subtly different from the expected answer.
I am sure they intend to make a more uniform experience on all devices, but I reckon that 90% of their focus is probably being taken up deciding how exactly this 'user generated courses' think is going to work.
my experience of voice recognition software has often been bad, take the automatic subtitles on youtube for example they are awful and if you try using Siri the voice recognition on the Iphone in an airport it doesn't recognise very much with all the ambient noise in the background