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Language Learning System Babbel Introduces Speech Recognition
- Foreign language pronunciation training online
- Real-time technology based on the new Adobe Flash Player 10.1
- Speech recognition with Babbel iPhone apps also planned
Today Babbel (http://www.babbel.com) integrates a unique speech recognition tool into its language learning system. The feature encourages practice and gives the opportunity to fine-tune pronunciation skills. This adds yet another dynamic dimension to online language learning.
The browser-based speech analysis gives learners an instant evaluation, letting them know how close their pronunciation is to that of a native speaker. Included in all Babbel courses, the feature will take effect automatically. No installation is necessary beyond the latest Flash Player.
Many students of foreign languages, regardless of their level, lack speaking practice and often shy away from direct communication. Breaking out of the shell can take courage that is not always at hand. The idea of the speech recognition feature is to give them the confidence to open their mouths. "We're encouraging learners to speak and improve their pronunciation with a technical tool before they have to face real-life situations", says Markus Witte, Managing Director of Babbel.
In a new kind of exercise integrated into the Babbel courses, learners hear a word or phrase and are prompted to repeat it back. The quality of the pronunciation is then rated on a scale of 0-100. A result of 50 or higher means that the utterance is generally understandable. Then, the user can continue to use the tool beyond that point to polish their pronunciation to desired perfection.
New technology from audio software experts
The Babbel founders have an extensive background in audio technology. Among them are the original developers of TRAKTOR, the world renowned DJ software. This professional-level technology has been channeled into the online language learning system Babbel and made accessible for anyone online.
The new speech recognition tool marks a milestone in online language learning and underscores Babbel’s technological lead. It works directly with the popular Flash Player and is the first to make use of its new capabilities
Another implementation of speech recognition technology is planned for the recently released Babbel iPhone apps.