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0001 <!--
0002     Copyright 2013-2019  Andreas Cord-Landwehr <cordlandwehr@kde.org>
0003     SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-SA-4.0
0004 -->
0006 Concept for ArtiKulate (Pronunciation Self-Teaching)
0008 Problem Statement and Goal
0009 ==========================
0010 When learning a new language, usually the following skills must be accomplished: writing, reading, speaking, and understanding. For writing and reading a lot of materials and software programs (e.g., Parley for learning vocabulary) exist. But the important field of speaking and correct pronunciation of words and sentences is barely considered, yet, though it is one of the most important skills in real life. Hence this proposal is about an application that allows self-learning and improvement of pronunciation skills, which is usually only possible with the help of native (or at least very fluent) speakers that correct the learner.
0012 Sketch
0013 ======
0014 We part the functionality of the software into the part of the learner and the part of the teacher/native speaker who can provide teaching material.
0016 Learner
0017 =======
0018 The learner select its learning language and downloads a pronunciation training for her language (Hot-New-Stuff or similar). The learning material is a set of words/phrases/sentences/paragraphs that are tagged by specific difficult pronunciation characters (e.g., "th" in English) and categorized by their difficulty (length of the text). Each text string has a sound file that contains the speaking of this phrase, recorded by a native speaker. The student then selects a difficulty level to start with and optionally a specific pronunciation he wants to improve. Then the program displays a list of phrases and with each the student can perform:
0019 1. read the phrase
0020 2. play the sound file
0021 3. read the phrase herself and record that speaking
0022 4. play her own recording and compare herself if this is similar to the native speaker's pronunciation
0023 5. these steps can arbitrarily repeated and interleaved
0025 Teacher/Native Speaker
0026 ======================
0027 On the other side we need an editor functionality where a native speaker writes phrases, tags and categorize them, and record the speaking of them. Also it is necessary to allow an easy merge with existing files and an easy exchange interface to provide files to students (by Hot-New-Stuff or e.g. the Plasma Active Market).
0029 Similar Programs
0030 ================
0031 There exist similar commercial programs that are available for a few specific languages (e.g., "Son pour Son" for French, "....???" for English). But none of this programs is freely available and they lack of an availability of a broad scheme of teaching materials.
0033 Open Problems
0034 =============
0035 Though the basic functionality of the software is quite simple, the main task is to form a userbase (at least for a very few languages at start) where we have native speakers who help to contribute recordings and who take care that the recordings (and if we possibly ship a default teaching material file for a language, that the recordings are of good quality and correct). So, besides the programming part the following task somehow must be solved:
0036 1. provide initial teaching material for at least a few languages
0037 2. integrate language teachers that actually use this software and by this have an incentive to provide/improve the pronunciation material
0038 3. provide very simple ways to exchange and provide teaching material (it could also be a way to allow teaching material providers to provide their material by the Plasma Active Bodega market).
0039 4. provide a Windows version to allow this software to be used in language learning centers (they use mainly Windows and cannot easily switch, since all other software operates on Windows)
0044 Language Specification Files
0045 ----------------------------
0046 For each language we need a specification file that states
0047   - TAGs for specific prononciation patterns
0048   - links to further language education material
0049   - possible groups of tags (e.g. in French the group of all "nasal"-sounds)
0051 Training Units
0052 --------------
0053 A unit consists of
0054   - specification of the language
0055   - list of (tagged and categorized) strings
0056   - according set of sound files
0057 Further the strings are categorized by
0058   1. word
0059   2. expression
0060   3. sentence
0061   4. paragraph/sentences
0062 The tags however, are specific for the current language. Though a basic set should be the phonetic alphabet.
0067 Difficulty Levels:
0068 word
0069 - grĂ¼n
0070   2DE86C
0071   RGB 45/232/108
0072 expression
0073 - blau
0074   327BFF
0075   RGB 50/123/255
0076 sentence
0077 - gelb
0078   FFF13F
0079   RGB 255/241/63
0080 paragraph
0081 - orange
0082   E85A02
0083   RGB 232/90/2