Italian audio needs improvement
I know it's not just me. The Spanish and Portuguese speakers are crystal clear but the Italian speaker is very hard to understand. The audio sounds shaky/robotic/chopped up. When you slow down her voice, she sounds like she is gasping for air! It's very bizarre. Are there any efforts being made to improve the audio for Italian?
I agree. The Italian voice is not very good for a language learning program like Duolingo. I have difficulty understanding what she is saying because it's not clear, her voice sounds like she has a severe cold, and slow feature does sound a lot like she is gasping for air and it breaks up the sentence structure.
Spanish and German voices are excellent, and should be used as a reference on what the Italian voice clarity should be like.
To be honest, I think they need to remove the Italian lady's voice entirely and redo all the words with another person. I'm guessing it's very time consuming, but it really needs to be done.
In some cases the pronunciation is confusing, like when speaking slow 'è' looks like 'errr'. 'Buonasera' has a very distinct pronunciation too and I wonder which words are wrongly pronounced. In slow sentences, the lady who speaks seems to be sensualizing. That seems to be some recording issue. I am really thinking about stopping with Italian and wait for improvements in the speech technology.
And 5 years later... On some audio exercises I find it impossible to distinguish what words are being said. I thought it might be my poor hearing (even in my native English I have to clearly hear and understand every single word being spoken else I cannot make a sentence. I say "pardon" quite a lot!) But I have tried other forms of audio with far greater success... I have found myself giving up more and more and just tapping the 'can't listen now' button. That isn't what I'd call a good learning aid. Come on DL, please can we have someone who can clearly pronounce? Maybe over pronounce in the early sets?
It is the end of 2020 and I have the same problem. It sounds as if they speed up by resampling and dropping out small bits. It is especially bad with articles. Things like “il libro” often sound like “libro”. It is also too fast. It is one thing to challenge people to listen at a normal conversation rate, but it’s like a New Yorker on amphetamines. I’ve spent a bit of time in Italy and no one I heard spoke quite so fast. The pace that is usually used as standard is what they use for radio and TV.
I confirm, the audio is terrible, it has no intonation so you can't distinguish a question from an affirmation. Also, for example, the word "pure" (meaning "also") is pronounced in English instead that in Italian. I tried other languages and Italian is the only one with such a poor syntetic voice.