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

Is anyone else having problems understanding the audio exercises?

Is it just me or does the TTS engine pronounce certain phrases really unclearly? I don't remember having had this problem to the same extent with other Duolingo courses.

June 4, 2015

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deliciae
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It does in some cases, and we're disabling the listening exercises for those sentences as we find them.

However, there is always a learning curve when it comes to distinguishing sounds in a new language that you aren't used to having to distinguish between in your own. Some nuances that are very clear to the native ear, can initially be hard to pick out for a learner.

We get -a lot- of audio reports for the first few skills in the tree. Not because there is more faulty or unclear audio in those skills, but because the learners at that early stage of the learning process haven't had the chance to attune their ears to the new language yet. Fortunately, that is something that improves with time and exposure. :)

I see that you've also taken the Spanish course here, and the TTS there does indeed sound a bit better. This has to do with how phonetic and regular the pronunciation of Spanish is. It's very robot friendly!

June 4, 2015

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

Interestingly, the English TTS is reasonably good, even though no one would ever describe English as phonetic or regular. That's presumably because an enormous amount of money has gone into developing English TTS systems. Norwegian is considerably more regular, but not quite as popular.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deliciae
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We obviously need to funnel some oil money into TTS development. ;)

June 5, 2015

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

At a secret Norwegian army base somewhere north of the arctic circle the team developing the robot viking army is hard at work on the problem.

June 5, 2015

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

It has been done: http://www.telenor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/T03_2.pdf

Telenor used quite a bit of resources on TTS and voice recognition in the nineties/early twenties, but I think this has ground to a halt as more and more private enterprises has come into the same market.

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreas83

Yes, I think some of the problems are with how "flexible" Norwegian can be about pronunciation. I still don't recognize every word I know how to write.

June 5, 2015

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

Well, the course is still in beta. As a native Norwegian speak, I always report the audio if it sounds wrong. It'll probably be fixed when the course is finished.

June 6, 2015
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