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Old 02.12.2020, 11:31
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Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

I have just tried the fancy icon "reading mode". It not only reformat the page for ease of reading but actually gives quality tools for language learners!


windows-10-hidden-gems-improving-your-language-ie1.png


Look at that, it let you highlight the grammar points. If only I had this tool when I started learning french


windows-10-hidden-gems-improving-your-language-ie2.png


The voices are really high quality. I paid for such quality screen reader a few years ago (which is inferior to this one) just for one language and here you got them all!


So if you just started learning or you need to improve your accent enjoy!
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Old 02.12.2020, 11:46
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

Is that MS Edge?
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Old 02.12.2020, 11:52
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

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Is that MS Edge?
Microsoft Edge
Immersive Reader



Edit:
There is even a voice similar to that of the late Professor Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. It is Microsoft David.
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:21
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

How exactly does getting text read out as spoken word help improve language learning?
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:37
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

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There is even a voice similar to that of the late Professor Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. It is Microsoft David.

I have no idea why the old-tech voice is still there. That was the reason why I previously bought a better software. I really recommend the "Natural" voices listed there, I'm so amazed by the quality of speech, accent and handling of various texts, that is reading aloud acronyms, symbols, numbers, etc. It's all very natural.
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:45
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

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How exactly does getting text read out as spoken word help improve language learning?

Well, it depends what your brain is used to due to your mother tongue and what language you are trying to learn.


I need to practice clear American accent since I learned French and I'm mostly speaking with British English speakers so I can't maintain a good standards otherwise.


When learning a new language I found it essential to hear the proper pronunciation whenever I read anything as my brain tend to stick to my native language sound meaning of the letters, not even touching the subject of the accent. Even then I tend to forget the correct pronunciation, remembering just the letters. I need practice, practice, practice...


Well, apart the speaking part I have found the grammatical utilities quite interesting. In French the same words can have different grammatical functions depending how are they used which was very confusing for me.
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:50
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

I've noticed that a number of more technical Youtube videos, especially from non native English speakers, are now using generated speech instead of natural speech. Actually, often this can often be a vast improvement, even for those who find the American accent grating
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Old 02.12.2020, 12:54
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

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Well, it depends what your brain is used to due to your mother tongue and what language you are trying to learn.


I need to practice clear American accent since when I learned French and I'm mostly speaking with British English speakers I can't maintain a good standards otherwise.


When learning a new language I found it essential to hear the proper pronunciation whenever I read anything as my brain tend to stick to my native language sound meaning of the letters, not even touching the subject of the accent. Even then I tend to forget the correct pronunciation, remembering just the letters. I need practice, practice, practice...


Well, apart the speaking part I have found the grammatical utilities quite interesting. In French the same words can have different grammatical functions depending how are they used which was very confusing for me.
Right. I do wonder if you're getting hung up on pronunciation and accent. They're not quite the same thing, and it's entirely possible to be completely fluent on a foreign language without ever losing one's native accent. Just as within any given language there will exist a myriad of different accents without it hindering mutual understanding.

Anyway, learning how to pronounce a word is something I've always felt to be the easiest part of language earning. Sure, if it contains sounds that you struggle with then that can make it difficult, but no amount of listening to others will help with that. Listening to your own voice in comparison therewith might be a useful way to go.

As for the grammar tips - are they independent of the spoken-out-loud aspect of this tool?

And lastly, what has this got to do with Windows 10? From the screenshots it looks like a feature within the Edge browser only, which makes it unusable for a large proportion of Win10 users. Is that right?
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Old 02.12.2020, 16:22
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

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Right. I do wonder if you're getting hung up on pronunciation and accent. They're not quite the same thing, and it's entirely possible to be completely fluent on a foreign language without ever losing one's native accent. Just as within any given language there will exist a myriad of different accents without it hindering mutual understanding.

Anyway, learning how to pronounce a word is something I've always felt to be the easiest part of language earning. Sure, if it contains sounds that you struggle with then that can make it difficult, but no amount of listening to others will help with that. Listening to your own voice in comparison therewith might be a useful way to go.

As for the grammar tips - are they independent of the spoken-out-loud aspect of this tool?

And lastly, what has this got to do with Windows 10? From the screenshots it looks like a feature within the Edge browser only, which makes it unusable for a large proportion of Win10 users. Is that right?

Well, my mother tongue assigns one sound per one written character. I find it really challenging to master this kind of various groups-of-letters to sound matching which is necessary in many languages like English or French.


I agree that accent is not necessary but when you mispronounce words and apply a strong foreign accent people can't understand your message. When you eliminate at least one, either pronunciation mistakes or strong accent you are being understood much more easily. However, past the basic, when we are talking about a fluent speaking, yes you can have a foreign accent as long as it is not hard to understand as otherwise people get tired of listening to you pretty quickly.


I guess, you're right. The Edge browser seems to be available as a standalone application. I just got it by the latest Windows 10 update.
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Old 02.12.2020, 21:13
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Re: Windows 10 hidden gems for improving your language

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. . .
Anyway, learning how to pronounce a word is something I've always felt to be the easiest part of language earning.
. . .
As a native English speaker, perhaps because other languages are much kinder to you. English makes little attempt at a phonetic spelling, so someone learning English has learn all sorts of rules:

wound : p.p. of to wind (note not wind: as in breeze )
wound : an injury

table / label : el / le at end can be the same, but tablet is different again.
read : (I read and write simultaneously / I read the book yesterday)

heart / heat : ea ?

Wednesday: really ? Wed-nes-day or Wend-s-day

womb / wombat

colon / colonel ( gut or army rank ? )

You get the idea (or is it idee ) ?
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Last edited by me.anon; 02.12.2020 at 21:26.
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