Wednesday, November 6, 2013


"May's library card has always opened up a world of knowledge, but now it also opens up a world of language. May, meet Pronunciator, the world's largest language learning service, available for free at participating libraries."
~from the introductory video


ABC Library recently got a new language learning eResource called Pronunciator.  Using pronunciation analysis, virtual coaches, simulated conversations, scored quizzes, and downloadable audio lessons, Pronunciator can help you with pronunciation and to teach you to create communicate in 75 languages, from Amharic to Italian, Korean to Urdu, and including English as a Second Language (ESL).  Each language's course begins with a Welcome screen with a little background about the language - is it a Germanic language? Where are its roots?

The first section is Postcards, which takes you through some important introductory, or "powerful", phrases (each language starts with "Please").  Listen to the reader - at normal or slow speed - while looking at some pleasant pictures.  You can bookmark pages to go back to them.

The Postcards section has a review section, plus culture & business notes, telling you a little about cultural traditions and business practices in the country where each language is spoken.

The second section contains drills - listening, flash cards (essentially another review of vocabulary learned before), voice comparison, pronunciation analysis (you can record your voice!) - including a section that lets you correct your pitch by playing a voice alongside musical notes - and a written review to help you learn the correct spelling.

You will learn core vocabulary for a number of different topics and essential verbs, including apologize, buy, feel, invite, and write.  Core vocabulary subjects include business/finance, directions and positions, film genres, lodging, people/interpersonal relations, and more!  There are also vocabulary sections for kids, such as home/bathroom, numbers, and time/days of week.

The third section quizzes your vocabulary; spelling and writing; listening comprehension; and reading comprehension.  You have minimal control over the settings - you can change the number of times the speaker repeats a phrase.

As you learn languages, Pronunciator keeps track of your stats.  You can choose to look at your stats by course, by level, or view your stats for all courses. Areas for improvement in different categories (reading, writing, pronunciation) will be indicated  Most language courses allow you to stream or download audio lessons, but not all.  All language courses include a downloadable 32-page PDF phrasebook.

Give Pronunciator a try and let us know what you think! 

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