Antimoon's pronunciation software

Tom   Wednesday, April 23, 2003, 22:02 GMT
Hi all,

We've just released PerfectPronunciation -- our software for learning English pronunciation. If you would like to speak English with more confidence and in a more understandable way, what better way to do it than to learn to pronounce the most frequently used English words properly?

More information:
Peter   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 05:34 GMT
Is that American or British pronunciation?
Jim   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 05:51 GMT
Neither, it's a mixture of Newfie and Kiwi ... just kidding.

That's a very good question, Peter, except things are not that black and white. As we all know there are many different British accents and many different American accents and then there are many more accents which are neither British nor American. There is no one way to pronounce English words properly. How could you write a program to do justice to the pronunciation of English words?
Tom   Thursday, April 24, 2003, 10:05 GMT
The phonemic transcriptions are given both for British and American English.
The recordings contain American pronunciation.

The phonemic transcriptions are general enough to cover some of the regional variations -- I mean, some people pronounce the vowel in "cat" [@] in a flat way, others in a more drawling way. But both versions are transcribed with the same phonemic symbol - [@].

Naturally, the phonemic transcriptions do not cover any of the true regional accents like Geordie or the abovementioned Newfie. However, such accents are of little interested to the English learner. Virtually all people learning English as a foreign language try to learn either British or American English (in truth, most people totally ignore pronunciation, and speak Polish English, German English or Chinese English...).
Marcelo   Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 14:19 GMT
Who recorded the words ? I mean, were they done by a native speaker ?

I also have another question about vowels, in Spanish we have only five and in English there are at least 11. Will that software help me in any way with that ?

Tom   Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 20:19 GMT
Hi Marcelo,

I recorded the words personally which resulted in BETTER quality than we would have gotten if we had asked a native speaker to do it. I can pronounce English words in the "standard" way (i.e. they way they are transcribed in English dictionaries), which not many Americans can do. I don't skip or transform any sounds. If it's in the transcription, you can hear it in the recording. I don't pronounce "picture" as "pickshure", "investment" as "invessment", etc.

I am fully convinced the recordings in PerfectPronunciation contain American pronunciation of the highest standard.

I also believe that "standard" pronunciation is easier for learners to follow.

Yes. In PerfectPronunciation, you can listen to recordings of words containing all the English vowels -- so you can practice your pronunciation of these vowels.
cmhiv   Wednesday, April 30, 2003, 00:20 GMT
"I don't pronounce "picture" as "pickshure",..."

Wow, that took me a while to get. So, I said "picture" slowly, and to my amazement, there is a "ch" like in "church."
Tom   Wednesday, April 30, 2003, 15:57 GMT
You mean you weren't aware of the "ch"?
cmhiv   Wednesday, April 30, 2003, 16:23 GMT
I just never really thought about it before. When I say picture, I sound the "ch," but when I am talking to someone in conversation, it comes out as "sh." And like I said, I do not really think about this kind of stuff until it is brought to my attention.
Jim   Thursday, May 01, 2003, 03:01 GMT
I pronounce it like "ch" i.e. /tS/. Does anyone say /ty/?


Any thoughts about making an RP version? ... or how about a strine one, mate?
Tom   Thursday, May 01, 2003, 09:24 GMT
A British version is possible, an Australian one is not likely. As much as I like Australian pronunciation, it doesn't seem to be very popular with English learners.