Hey people! I want to write some lines about a very new Edu application that I recently started.
Disclaimer: everything that follows is work-in-progress and if you are one of the braves who try to compile the code and test it: The program will eat all data that you put in for sure 🙂
The project I am talking about is named “ArtiKulate” and is a new kind of language learning application. It shall help students, adults, professionals, etc. to improve their foreign language pronunciation skills. This shall be done as follows: A user gets a text phrase and a corresponding sound file that is recorded by a native speaker. Then the user can play the sound (or if she/he feels lucky, this step can be omitted) and tries to speak that phrase by herself/himself. This trial is recorded by the application and the user can then compare both recordings (for now I only plan to implement a comparison done by the user by listening to both sound files, but surely an automatic highscore that states how similar both recordings are would be nice in the future…)
A few weeks ago the project landed in the Edu Playground and IMO it makes a nice and steady progress. In the next days, I think a first working version of the course file editor will be finished and will allow creating of courses and units. Also in the near future, a learning and editing mode based on problematic pronunciation syllables (like “th” in English or “nd” in German for example) will follow. This will then complete the very basic set of essential program functionality. — The UI work will still comes after that of course 😉
But actually, the most challenging work of this program will come once the functionality is implemented. Like a lot of educational software, this program will only be useful if good course files exist. And this means, recordings that a learner cannot produce by herself/himself. Here I mean recordings with different voices (female and male, young and old) and only recorded by native or accent free speakers that are provided in a significant number. To ease the creation of courses, I plan to create a basic course that gives a list of phrases that each supported language should provide. Already creating such a list is of a course a non-negligible amount of work (though it is a non-technical work and allows a great opportunity to participate even if someone is a non-coder 😉 and every interested and helping hand is invited to join. In the more distant future then, you surely will see at the very same point, where this blog is posted, a call for speakers to provide recordings of their great voices…
And as a blog post usually needs a pictures, here is a very first UI screenshot of that what will be the training screen (btw. thanks to the awesome Plasma developers for helping me with my first steps with QtQuick :-):
The sources can be found here: https://projects.kde.org/projects/playground/edu/artikulate