At one point or another, you’ve used Google to search for what a word means and/or how it’s pronounced and/or what’s the translation in another language. Okay admit it, you do that a lot, especially if you’re trying to learn a new language. Now Google wants to help you even more with this as they will now be able to practice saying the word you’re looking for and receive immediate feedback if you’re doing or rather, saying it right. Plus, they also now have some visuals to go with the definition to help visual learners as well.
When you search for something like “how to pronounce quokka”, you usually also get to play the audio so you can actually hear how it’s said and not just the phonetic spelling or something. Now your search results will also have a pronunciation feature where you can practice saying the word into your phone’s microphone. You will receive feedback on whether you’re saying it right or what else you need to change or improve in the pronunciation.
How they do it is through the processing of the speech recognition technology. It separates the words into individual soundbytes and through machine learning, it will cross reference it to how it is actually pronounced in Google’s database. It will analyze how you said the word and then figure out where you went wrong (if you were wrong) and then tell you how you can improve it. You can then try pronouncing it over and over until you get it right.
For the visual learners, Google also has a new tool for you. When you search for the definition or translation of a word, you’ll also see images so you can better understand the word. This is especially useful for words that may have different meanings and the same spelling, so at least you’ll have visual context for the word as well. But it will only be available for nouns right now since not all words can be easily explained with an image.
The pronunciation feature is now available for American English for now and will soon also add Spanish words. The images in the dictionary feature is also available in English and across all language translations.