Babbel helps make that a lot less intimidating for online learners today with integration of a speech recognition tool into its language learning system.As important as memorizing vocabulary, conjugating verbs, and declining nouns are, nothing beats speaking practice when it comes to learning a foreign language. The German company
The feature allows learners to practice and fine-tune their pronunciation skills as they learn a foreign language. The browser-based speech analysis gives real-time feedback for the user, gauging how close their pronunciation is to that of a native speaker. "We're encouraging learners to speak and improve their pronunciation with a technical tool before they have to face real-life situations", says Babbel's Managing Director Markus Witte.
The speech recognition tool is integrated into a new learning exercise in the Babbel courses. Learners hear a word, are prompted to repeat it, and are scored 1-100 based on the quality of their pronunciation
The feature will be available immediately in all Babbel courses. No installation - other than upgrading to Adobe Flash Player 10.1 - is required.
Babbel's founding team have a strong background in audio engineering as Witte, along with Lorenz Heine, Toine Diepstraten and Thomas Holl were colleagues at Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer of audio software.
The speech recognition tool is one of many innovations that Babbel has brought to foreign language learning, including mobile apps and individualized training programs. Babbel's competitors include Livemocha and Rosetta Stone.