A bit more about Artikulate

This post is to explain to the readers more about Artikulate. Artilkuate is the pronunciation trainer software for different languages. Currently supported languages are: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Catalan, Greek, British English and American English. The user can choose the language that he would like to perfectionate and follow the units prepared for this language course such as: Tourism, Alphabet, numbers, sports, etc. In each of the units the user can choose between practicing words, expressions, whole sentences or paragraphs (2-3 sentences) which all together are called phrases. The phrases are pre-recorded by native speakers and the user can listen to them. The user can also record himself speaking the same phrase and compare how close he is to a native version. There is also an option of practicing a particular phoneme that the user has particular difficulties with.
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This all looks great!!!!! BUT most of the features are not ready so unfortunately you cannot use Artikulate yet…My job this summer is to make it work. The first task for me is to prepare course skeletons for the units. The course skeletons are written in English and consists of several units as described above. The units can be then translated to all languages available in the program therefore saving the work of writing the courses for different languages separately. The current units available in basic skeleton are: Numbers, Alphabet and Tourism. Artikulate team decided to add some more and my job is to add nine additional units: Family, Sport, Entertainment, Clothing, At the supermarket, At the doctor’s, Time and Dates, Weather, Countries and Cultures. We have decided that the whole basic course will have about 20 units so other team mates are working on the other units.Ā 

Therefore my first three weeks I will work on adding the required units and writing contributor manual which will explain the user how to add more units and phrases…YES you will all be able to add some too!

Hopefully this is a good starting point and will allow for creation of exciting basic course skeleton which can be translated to other languages and possibly extended later on. The next step will be translating the units from the course skeleton to the available languages and gathering recordings of native speakers. But about this later, I will keep you posted…

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9 thoughts on “A bit more about Artikulate

    • hmm…it is a bit different but maybe could be incorporated as an additional feature. The initial idea is to have basic course skeleton with phrases and record all of them in different languages creating small language pronunciation courses. What you have suggested could be added as additional feature and include e-book text and recordings…especially that these recordings already exist!!! I do not know though if it would be possible to incorporate the e-book recording in Artiuklate…some rights permission issue? But I think its worth exploring…

  1. Definitely sounds interesting for the second iteration of Artikulate, since that would allow us to use really long texts/recordings. Though I expect that read texts will sound different than freely spoken texts as we use them currently in Artikulate. Hence, the audo books may fit only for a special use case.
    IMO it would also be interesting to incorporate such long recordings to add a dictation mode in the future (though I fear that will be out of scope of the goals for this year… and that would be something that must be coordinated with our KTouch developer) But that actually could be a further missing piece for our KDE Edu software portfolio for language learning applications šŸ™‚

  2. It sounds like the base for a language-learning engine. Interesting šŸ™‚
    I remember that some time ago there was a call for help from the Marble community to record directions, perhaps you could use some of their material: http://community.kde.org/Marble/VoiceOfMarble

    BTW, I suggest you to split Spanish into two variants, Castilian and Latin American. We have different accents (and words/expressions too) šŸ˜›
    Cheers!

    • Really liked the link to marble recordings. They might be useful. Also it is nice to see that someone already tried to gather recordings in the similar way and it worked well. As I can see there was quite a lot of contributions in different languages.
      Regarding the Spanish division into Castilian and Latin American this is a hard one. Many languages have different accents. Probably you could further divide Latin American dilect into: Argentinian, Colombian, etc. The same is for many languages. I think we should discuss how we will address it in Artikulate. I think we would not want to split it too much, so maybe splitting English to British English and American English, splitting Spanish into Castilian and Latin American would be the desired level at least for the first version. I think this something we need to discuss and decide. Thanks for pointing it out šŸ™‚

  3. Great project! I was learning Spanish (Castilian) for the past couple of years and although sites like Duolingo have “record yourself” activities, it’s hard to self-evaluate my own pronunciation. I wanted something just like this. Good luck with what you’re doing… because I want to use it when you’re done šŸ˜‰

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