Using speech recognition to check your accent and pronunciation
I don't know why I never thought of this, but it's possible to use the translation page of Google or your favorite translation app to help with your accent and pronunciation, and it works great!!
I've tried this with Spanish, French, English and Chinese and it was a very interesting experience, because it showed me what is heard when I speak and when I make little mistakes.
In Chinese it's even better because it shows you the pinyin translation and you can verify that your tones have been correctly understood. The Chinese to english translation is so-so when you only say a few words, and that's because of the nature of the Chinese language. It is much better when you say longer sentences. For example I just tried to say "xià gè yuè wǒ de péngyǒu qù běijīng ào yùn" and Google translated as "Next month my friend went to Beijing Olympics" which is grammatically incorrect in English but fine in Chinese, and most importantly the pinyin was correct so I was happy to see that at least Google understood my Chinese accent!
I made mistakes and this allowed me to figure them out for example it understood zhang instead of jiang, or wouldn't even recognize jiang at all. Same with shouji, I never noticed that I pronounced it shuzi. I think it's a good tool to perfect the Chinese accent, but don't spend too much time on individual words, because you'll go crazy. Try to pronounce long sentences, real life sentences, and you'll see good results with this.
Phone seems to understand better, probably because the microphone is better, I don't know. I'm definitely repeating the phrases from the Fluenz method using the phone now, it helps tremendously!
Open Jan 23, 2016 - 11:26 PM
Mandarin, Mandarin > Culture