https://www.duolingo.com/Morgengrauen

Uncover the secret of the Esperanto voice!

Morgengrauen
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I started the course today and find the voice very pleasant to listen to. And I've heard all sentences were recorded with a real person. So, who is behind that nice voice? May we know? Will there be an interview in the future? :)

3 years ago

65 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JimDawdy

Absolutely. A virtually perfect voice (clear, neutral accent, easy to listen to) for language learning. Excellent choice by the authors of the course.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thank you, JimDawdy ! I'm trying to thank everyone individually for their compliment to me ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

I completely agree! In the German lessons, the voices used are cringe-worthy, but I absolutely love the voice in our Esperanto lessons! swoon! haha!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fordaemdur
Fordaemdur
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Yes, I hate the voice in german course. I always fail in listening in that couse.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
MultiLinguAlex
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The female or the male voice? We didn't have any influence in choosing the voice as team Esperanto had, but I'm curious.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G0108

Die Stimme gefällt mir. Es ist nicht perfekt aber wie ein Lernender ich denke dass es gut ist. Ich konnte fast immer es verstehen wann ich den Kurs machte. Ich hoffe dass mein Deutsch nicht schlecht ist.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

I've slacked on my progress in the German course so it's been awhile and I just remember the listening was the one thing I found frustrating. I plan to pick it back up once I finish the Esperanto course, and when I do, I'll make sure to touch bases and let you know!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I don't have a problem with the female voice - it's not perfect, but it works fine. I have heard a lot of bad things about the male voice and relatively few people that like it :-/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andi_M
Andi_M
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[eo]: Tre bela kaj klara voĉo! Certe estas de profesiulo. Ne aŭdeblas akĉento. Tia neŭtrala parolmaniero estas imitinda, kaj certe bona por la voĉkomparo post la beta-fazo.

Ĉu vi en la finaj lecionoj aldonos aliajn, ankaŭ inajn voĉojn?

[en]: Very beautiful and clear voice! Certainly of a professional. No accent to hear. A neutral pronounciation like this is good to imitate, and certainly good for the voice comparison after the beta-phase.

Will you in the last lessons add other, also female voices?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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Ne, verŝajne ni ne aldonos alian voĉon... tiu, kiun ni havas jam bonegas. ;)

No, we probably won't add another voice... the one we have is already great. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xujie
xujie
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Hieraux aux antauxhieraux mi renkontis prononc-eraron, li erare prononcis "lia"-n kiel "la"-n, mi ne memoris cxu mi tiam raportis aux ne.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andi_M
Andi_M
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:-( :-( . Just ask Nils - native speaker in the third generation. He already made nice synchronizations of films with members of the you-know-family with four members and two native, äh, "speaker-inoj". Yes, I know, it's difficult to pronounce like this mystery professional, but just for a change... I hear their voices quite often, but not the other people doing the course.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VincentOostelbos
VincentOostelbos
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Btw, the mystery professional is no longer a mystery... it's the user Fsoghomonian, who has posted in this discussion a couple times.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Dankon pro la komplimento, Andi_M !

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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Well, I can tell you all I know, as the guy who lead the process from the Esperanto team. I talked with Duolingo about various ways to adapt a TTS (text-to-speech) system from Polish to get a satisfactory voice (which got surprisingly decent results except for a few edge cases), but in the end they wanted to go with a real human recording, which was fine by me!

They have an agency they use for recordings, so they asked them for an Esperanto sample and I was more than skeptical. Oh great, we're going to get recordings from an American beginner and this is going to be terrible. But ok, let's give it a try. I got the sample and was stunned. I can't even tell where this guy is from, it's so good. So, we approved an audition.

Then Duolingo asked me for 10 sentences to test his pronunciation. Ha, this will be fun. So yeah, I made up some of the hardest (yet realistic) sentences for him to say, often picking real sentences from the course. I threw the kitchen sink at him. I was curious what he might mess up. Got the audition recording. Perfect. I shared with my team and they were all so surprised and happy.

So, I gave Duolingo our approval and the rest is history. I'm really proud of our voice! But yet, I still don't know who he is. I'm pretty sure someday we'll find out. Esperanto is a pretty tight-knit community after all. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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It never occurred to me that Duolingo has a specific agency.

Good choice, IMO the best voice on Duolingo, out of both TTS and real voices.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/InsaneCule
InsaneCule
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Wait a sec, who else on Duolingo is a real voice?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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To my knowledge, Irish and Ukrainian. Possibly others I don't know about!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesBulls

I thought the Turkish voice was using a real voice, too? I remember reading that the TtS system couldn't properly render the language, but I haven't followed up on it in a while.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Caveat: I'm not a contributor, and I haven't been doing Turkish regularly the last couple of weeks.

As far as I know, they went with a TTS. I seem to remember Selcen saying they were disabling the TTS for any sentences where it was poor. It also explains why, so far as I've noticed, everything has a recording on the Turkish course, and repeated word/phrases always sound the same.

I would say it's not a bad TTS, sometimes it sounds a little robotic but mostly it's fine, but I would be very surprised if it was a real person. I just did a couple of exercises in the app to have another listen, as the last couple of weeks have been mostly Ukrainian and Esperanto with a touch of Norwegian, and it confirmed my impression that it's a TTS.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jal
jalPlus
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Whoever recorded it is perfect. A beautifully clear and pleasant voice. Such a positive change from the TTS voices on other courses, which often leave you wondering if you've misheard what was said. Thank you to DuoLingo for hiring him, and thank you to the Esperanto Team for a great course!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thank you, jal ! I'm trying to thank everyone individually for their compliment to me ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

How interesting! And so cool!! I really, really love how clear his voice is. I take Esperanto courses in other places as well (Lernu and Memrise) and even as a beginner, I just know that something just sounds wrong...if I can even understand anything being said at all!

I seriously heart Esperanto voice guy here LoL!! Thanks for putting him through the ringer to bring us the best voice possible! Have a lingot! =D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thank you, CNDragn ! I'm trying to thank everyone individually for their compliment to me ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seanboyle30
seanboyle30
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Thank you for using a real voice, it is much better than TTS. I went through Spanish Duolingo and the TTS is not as good for learning. I can now understand a lot of what I hear on the street (Los Angeles) and in movies from Spain, and the way they slur/shorten their words is not the same as the way TTS slurs/shortens the words. TTS is surprisingly good and it was definitely better than nothing, but real human voice is at least 30% better in my estimation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Furstin
Furstin
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You made me look for my microphone to test voice recognition.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Nice story! ;)

Does it mean that every time you add a new sentence to the course, the listening exercises are available only once the external agency sent back the audio track?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/xcanox

That's very interesting. I always thought the voice recordings were someone from the team working on the course.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
MultiLinguAlex
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That would take simply way too long and you have to also have very good recording possibilities (great and often very expensive microphones, rooms that are optimized for room acoustics a.s.o.), so that it makes sense that Duolingo has an agency for that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aleksescomu
aleksescomu
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I am pretty sure it's the voice of Cyrille. He lives in France and has Esperanto native daughters. Listen to him and give your opinion ;-)

Mi sufiĉe certas ke la voĉulo estas Cyrille. Li loĝas Francie kaj havas du denaskulinojn. Aŭskultu lin kaj opiniu ;-)

Informu 1 000 000 da personoj pri Esperanto: http://youtu.be/n5DQ4IyqvHU

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Saluton Chuck! Mi havas la plezuron malkaŝi al vi (kaj al ĉiuj Duolinganoj kompreneble) ke mi estas la "sekreta voĉo" registrinta la Esperanto-version de Duolingo :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VincentOostelbos
VincentOostelbos
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Ĉu estas vera? Tre bona!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Jes, mi konfirmas tion! Dankon pro la komplimento ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aleksescomu
aleksescomu
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Ĉu profesie vi laboras kutime por agentejo? Tre senakĉenta voĉo, sinmalkaŝema kaŝemulo :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Ne kutime... Dankon pro la komplimento :-) Mi ne kaŝemis : mi nur ne konis la finan klienton ;-) Mi hazarde malkovris ke temas pri Duolingo!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aleksescomu
aleksescomu
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Hehe! Do grandega surprizo! Dekmiloj da homoj aŭdados vian voĉon.

Nu, kaj kiel vi altkvalite registris? Mi scivolemas ĉar ankaŭ mi bezonas fojfoje kvalitan sonregistradon kaj ne plene sukcesas.

Mi ekzemple kreis tion ĉi https://youtu.be/-nQYo3GJABc Ĉar mi proponis tiun servon por ueaanoj (rektaj aŭ nerektaj) kaj antaŭpagis por ili (valoras 240€)

Se vi emas helpi iom pro via voĉo aŭ aliaj talentoj, eniru en la forumon por krei kaj kunkrei ;-) http://bit.ly/powtoon-forumo

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Mi ne havas hejmstudion, do mi luprenis tiun de kolego, kiu estas soninĝeniero. Mi ne kompetentas pri tekniko :-(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dgulledge
dgulledge
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Verŝajne vi pravas ke vi iam lernas kiun li estas. Sed mi demandis al si kiom multe da novaj samideanoj ni havos kaŭze de ĉi tiu kurso. Mi povas esperi.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Francophone-y

lol im the 111th upvote :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolishMathew
PolishMathew
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Amuzulo, can you tell us, what sentences you've made to "test" his pronunciation?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amuzulo
amuzulo
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  1. Lia kuracisto ne sciis la kialon por lia malsano.
  2. Li estis faranta stultajn erarojn.
  3. La lingvo de Ĉeĥio estas la ĉeĥa.
  4. Nia praavino daŭre uzas tiun praan kandelingon.
  5. La IJK okazas en malsama lando ĉiujare.
  6. Eĥoŝanĝo ĉiuĵaŭde.
  7. Ĉiam estas gufujo kaj dancejo ĉe junularaj renkontiĝoj de Esperanto en Eŭropo.
  8. Kial vi kontentis hieraŭ?
  9. En 1905 la unua UK okazis.
  10. Mia patro kutime laboras po kvardek horoj semajne.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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I was wondering the same!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dgulledge
dgulledge
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I was curious about that too. I try to model my pronunciation after some of the better singers. In particular, I sing along with Persone and Kore as I drive. You can find quite a bit of good music here: http://www.vinilkosmo.com/

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SheshanPatel

Same experience here. To me, recording is so good that I never let go sentence without listening twice or thrice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thank you, SheshanPatel ! I'm trying to thank everyone individually for their compliment to me ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/crlight
crlightPlus
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Yes, the voice is very good. I really wish all duolingo courses could use human recordings. Then I wouldn't have to go "Do they really pronounce that word like that, or is the TTS wrong?"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thank you, crlight ! I'm trying to thank everyone individually for their compliment to me ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thanks to everyone for the compliments about my voice :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic
m.tastic
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That's you?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Yes ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HealyHQ

I was thinking maybe it was Luis Jorge Santos Morales at first, but his voice is a bit deeper, so perhaps not. Though he could've changed it for this job, like a voice actor. [EDIT] Ha, I should've read the entire thread. It's Francis Soghomonian. Way to go, man! You also have a very lovely voice. :D Perfect for a language course.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Thank you, HealyHQ ! I'm trying to thank everyone individually for their compliment to me ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaPingvino
LaPingvino
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Also check out the songs he did on YouTube :).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

Dankon, LaPingvino ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/XantiRuiz
XantiRuiz
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To me it sounds like he has a slight Italian accent.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Italian.Ice
Italian.Ice
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Maybe, but unless Esperanto is your native language, everyone who speaks it has an accent. Actually, even if it was your native language, your parents probably spoke it to you in their accent, so nobody really would have an "Esperanto accent," which is pretty cool when you think about it!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JimDawdy

You can definitely detect different accents in Esperanto. The Kurso de Esperanto which is made in Brazil seems to have definite Portuguese accents. There is a podcast with a German speaker who seems to have a bit of a German accent. If you listen to China Radio International, some of the announcers have accents- usually they have trouble with the "n" ending. However, Jianping has excellent, nearly accentless Esperanto, and is a pleasure to listen to.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Italian.Ice
Italian.Ice
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I know, I was just saying that when it comes to Esperanto, everyone has an accent, which is one of the very unique quirks of Esperanto.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Another_Guy

The thing a lot of English speakers struggle with is rolling their r's

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VincentOostelbos
VincentOostelbos
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TJLawJX, you might consider working on a rolling R in the back of your throat. That's the kind I use as a Dutch person (although I think most Dutch people actually still roll their Rs further forward).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
MultiLinguAlex
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Right! Coming from East Germany, we don't have that sound in our language whereas people from the South are normally able to pronounce the rolling r correctly.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TJLawJX
TJLawJX
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Oh yeah, the r's are very hard for me. I've had my tongue pierced for 19 years now. The piercing completely gets in the way while trying to roll the r.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Italian.Ice
Italian.Ice
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Yeah, but the thing Italians struggle with is the "th" sound in English, because in Italian, the "t" is silent. So it's really interesting to see how each Esperantist pronounces the words.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ashsilv
ashsilv
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Hi. I'm sorry for being three years late to this, but god damn. Thank you, Esperanto-speaking gentleman, because your voice is like liquid chocolate with honey mixed in. You're the best.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fsoghomonian

No problem, ashsilv : it was worth waiting that long to read your kind compliment! Thank you so much! Greetings from Lisbon where I attend the World Esperanto Congress 2018

2 months ago
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