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Speechling - 20% discount off for NEW customers


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I'm reposting this from Reddit.

 

Currently, they have a 20% off promotion until year end for all new customers, so head over in case any of you are interested. I think it fills a gap, so you can try out and see how it goes.

 

Update: They gave me a referral code " 647468". I think it gives a 10% discount, but that might not work with the current promotion. Usage up to your discretion :P

 

***

Hi fellow Chinese learners,

 

I'm Hongyu, one of the creators of Speechling, an educational nonprofit. We're offering a free service for helping you practice your Chinese speaking. This includes rhythm, phrasing, accent reduction...everything.

 

To date, Speechling is only 2 months old, and we have over 500 active monthly users, who have completed/recorded over 10k sentences.

 

We currently maintain a large sentence collection of common, useful Chinese sentences, and employ real voice actors from mainland China of both genders. There is a skill tree for basic travel phrases, for beginners practicing sentences like "你叫什么名字?", and for advanced students practicing more difficult sentences.

The website works on a desktop computer w/ Chrome or Firefox. There are apps available for Android and iOS.

 

How does it work?

It's simple.

  1. Listen to a native speaker say a sentence on our website.
  2. Repeat after the native speaker and record it right in your browser/app, hitting the big red record button. You can record as many recordings as you wish.
  3. We then go through each and every one of your recordings for free, and give you personalized feedback, such as imitating a word you pronounced incorrectly, and then improving it for you. The turnaround time on the feedback is 24 hours, so you'll get your coaching daily.
  4. You can then re-record as many times as you like, and we'll go through those too. Again, 24 hours.

 

Wait what? How do I sign up?

Just head on over to Speechling!

If you're on iOS, the web version will not let you record. Download the App. If you're on Android, either the web version or the app should work.

 

How are you making money?

At the moment, we're not. I'm self-funding the entire operation. I'm looking to improve our core product, and not make a quick buck.

Even if a bunch of people sign up, we got you covered -- the more the merrier!

Eventually, because coaches cost money, I will have to make it freemium, but with a very functional free version, not unlike Spotify or Google Drive. Likely with a coaching cap per month, but still unlimited access to the sentences.

 

What's next?

I'm a huge fan of language learning. I've dedicated 2-3 hours for the past ten years learning English, Spanish, and French on top of my native Chinese, on the daily.

For me, the next steps are building features, features, and more features. Don't forget the new content, content, and even more content.

I'm just one engineer in Silicon Valley, with a small team of freelance content producers, passionate about helping language learners improve their speaking, which is hard to come by with other services out there (minus private tutoring). If you need/want something, let me know and I'll try to accommodate.

 

TL;DR

  1. Head over to Speechling
  2. Record yourself speaking Chinese (all levels welcome)
  3. Get free daily feedback on your speaking
  4. Others will think you're from Beijing (!?)
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艾墨本

This is epic! Finally. Stoked to try it out and see if it can fill the gap that no other app has done successfully yet. 

 

Note to Mr. Chen, can you provide visual feedback for what tones the speaker has said and heard? It helps to illustrate how there are no true third tones and the many variations of neutral tones.

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Flickserve

I have just tried it out today.

 

I wish it could have an option to auto loop the sentence 4 or 5 times for a training mode. It’s a bit inconvenient to keep pressing the play button five times, especially if there is a slight delay from when you press to the sentence actually playing.

 

 The feedback is not very detailed. Admittedly it is a free service so expectations cannot be too highy. It only rates your sentence on how good it  was. It does not tell you which part of the sentence needs correcting. 

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艾墨本
13 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

It only rates your sentence on how good it  was. It does not tell you which part of the sentence needs correcting.

Well that’s close to useless. I don’t need someone to tell me there is room for improvement. I already know that.

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25 minutes ago, 艾墨本 said:

Well that’s close to useless. I don’t need someone to tell me there is room for improvement. I already know that.

 

you are already really good having competed on a TV show

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1 hour ago, Flickserve said:

I have just tried it out today.

 

I wish it could have an option to auto loop the sentence 4 or 5 times for a training mode. It’s a bit inconvenient to keep pressing the play button five times, especially if there is a slight delay from when you press to the sentence actually playing.

 

 The feedback is not very detailed. Admittedly it is a free service so expectations cannot be too highy. It only rates your sentence on how good it  was. It does not tell you which part of the sentence needs correcting.  

 

The resources available is impressive, for a free service.

However, the UI interface could use some improvement. And your feedback issue on it failing to inform which part needs correcting, is pertinent.

 

I forwarded your comments to Speechling. I have also forwarded my own suggestions. Hopefully they look into it and improve further.

 

Kind rgds

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Surely the paid service gives more detailed feedback? 

 

This does look like a winner. My Chinese friends all use this shadowing APP for learning English. As soon as I saw it in action I thought it would be great to have it for learning Chinese

 

My conversational Chinese is decent but I’m horrifically tired of studying in a traditional setting. I can’t do anymore of those textbook lessons: learn the words, read the passage, answer questions oral and written, repeat forever. I would, however, like to just have someone sit and listen to my Chinese then hammer me on pronunciation. Maybe this would be useful for that if the paid version had detailed feedback AND the sentences were useful. 

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8 hours ago, ChTTay said:

Maybe this would be useful for that if the paid version had detailed feedback AND the sentences were useful. 

 

I have emailed them on this thread and hopefully they'll get someone to respond.

 

Just received two emails from them. The paid version has detailed feedback on your pronunciation from the email below.

 

***

[email protected]

 

Email no. 2

Sure! Some of the improvements we've made already: in the latest update, there's a better onboarding process and you don't need to log in to use the app, and UI improvements are to follow.
 
The coach usually adjusts to your level. For users on the Describe the Image and Answer the Questions, he/she will give you feedback on how to improve your sentence structures and tone as well as pronunciation. If they think you are a beginner, they will default to picking up on zooming in on the words you said wrong. We don't, as far as I can tell, "rate your sentence on how good it was" -- I don't think our coaches ever give you a numeric score for example.
 
Paid users do get more longitudinal feedback and the coaches do get to know you. Free AND paid users are welcome to use the "talk to your coach" button and request specific types of feedback, which we always forward to the coach.

 

Email no. 1

Hi,

One of the biggest goals in Speechling’s mission is to make anyone fluent in a language at no or little cost. Not just fluent, but good enough to fool people into thinking that you are a native speaker. How do we do this?

Our personalized roadmap to language learning success.

Go to
Speechling’s skill tree on the navigation bar at any time to access it.

 

  1. First, you start off with the foundations: words. With Speechling Foundations, you learn the most common words and your coach will correct your mistakes until you say it like a native speaker.
  2. Then, you move on to sentences. In Speechling’s Core Curriculum, you learn thousands of sentences in context, spoken by professional voice actors of either gender.
  3. Finally, more intermediate/advanced learners can answer questions and describe images with Speechling Conversations. Your coach will correct you on not only pronunciation, but word choice, intonation, grammar, and much more.


Simply reply to this email if you have any questions on how to better use Speechling to improve your language learning.

Regards,
Hongyu

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Flickserve
11 hours ago, agewisdom said:

The coach usually adjusts to your level. For users on the Describe the Image and Answer the Questions, he/she will give you feedback on how to improve your sentence structures and tone as well as pronunciation. If they think you are a beginner, they will default to picking up on zooming in on the words you said wrong. We don't, as far as I can tell, "rate your sentence on how good it was" -- I don't think our coaches ever give you a numeric score for example.

 

Ok. So it’s not on the shadowing sentences section which is the only bit I have used.

 

 I shadowed and recorded about five sentences and had feedback such as ‘phenomenal ‘, ‘ keep it up’, ‘super’. If that’s not a rating, then what is it?

 

BTW, it’s good to have a male voice. 

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12 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

I shadowed and recorded about five sentences and had feedback such as ‘phenomenal ‘, ‘ keep it up’, ‘super’. If that’s not a rating, then what is it?

 

I guess they were referring to a numerical score like 1-10. Maybe they wanted to keep it more qualitative rather than quantitative.

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22 minutes ago, agewisdom said:

guess they were referring to a numerical score like 1-10. Maybe they wanted to keep it more qualitative rather than quantitative.

 

I guess they don’t have a background on data analysis. I would agree numerical rating is also not very informative.

 

When I listened back on one of my recordings later on, I can hear a tone error. Those don’t bother me that much. It’s the mistakes that I can’t hear that bother me much more.😀

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I'm getting the impression that I'm locked out after the trial period unless I pay? Actually I think this is a pretty solid app and will be good for many people. For me I just have so many Chinese friends already that I don't feel it would be valuable for me to spend the money at this point. But I think the creators of the app of done a good job and I would definitely recommend it at something to try.

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1 hour ago, david387 said:

I'm getting the impression that I'm locked out after the trial period unless I pay?

 

No, that's wrong. You can still access to the app even if you don't pay. You just need to register an account. Please do recommend it to your friends. I think it's worth getting the word of mouth out, since its' rare that a Mandarin app focuses on speaking and listening. Most focus on reading and writing. I think they are quite responsive, so you could also email to them your feedback etc.

 

The free version limits you to about 30 recordings per month where you can get feedback. And access to some of their components like audiobooks offline, I think.

 

3 hours ago, Flickserve said:

When I listened back on one of my recordings later on, I can hear a tone error. Those don’t bother me that much. It’s the mistakes that I can’t hear that bother me much more.

 

Usually the way we THINK we sound and the way we ACTUALLY sound is very different. So, it's good to test and obtain feedback. Since you're already reasonably conversant in Mandarin, I think the free version could be good enough to help you just focus on the problematic parts.

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Flickserve
1 hour ago, agewisdom said:

So, it's good to test and obtain feedback.

 

That is my point. The feedback that I got back in the trial using Speechling was not detailed enough to be useful.

 

It would have been more meaningful if they said, oh this word was spoken wrongly or wrong intonation. That way I could go back and identify the part where I have a problem.

 

 I think the principle is good and it works very well to be flexible for learners to get external opinion. It is just a matter of the type of feedback that the learner can usefully use to improve. Maybe I am just being difficult. LOL.

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54 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

That is my point. The feedback that I got back in the trial using Speechling was not detailed enough to be useful.

 

Yes, you're right. And I have feedback to them. They said they might try highlighting the characters where there is a problem with the intonation. Perhaps that maybe useful enough?

55 minutes ago, Flickserve said:

Maybe I am just being difficult

 

Nah, you've got a valid point. Good feedback is always invaluable, so feedback away :D

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Flickserve
2 hours ago, agewisdom said:

They said they might try highlighting the characters where there is a problem with the intonation. Perhaps that maybe useful enough?

 

Sounds good. Thanks for giving them the feedback.

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  • 2 months later...
imron

No, but I looked in to it for the first time yesterday (after seeing it mentioned in another post) and it looks pretty good (I haven't signed up for it, but I like what they're doing).

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