Around a month back, I came across a very interesting project in KDE’s list of ideas for OPW (Outreach Program for Women) –> Artikulate. It is a basically a pronunciation trainer which aims at improving and perfecting the pronunciation skills of the user, thereby helping in speaking foreign languages with ease. Artikulate is currently in the KDE Edu Playground i.e., it is still under development and has not been released yet.
How Artikulate is supposed to work:
The project contains different courses in various languages which in turn offer a variety of units (scenarios) containing phrases of all lenghts like words, expressions, sentences and paragraphs. The idea is to have recordings of each phrase by native speakers and related phonemes will be tagged to every phrase. The user can now listen to the recordings and try speaking it the same way, recording her own attempts in the process. By comparing the two recordings, she can correct her pronunciations in that specific language.
Due to my interest in Language Studies and Foreign Languages, the idea immediately caught my attention and under the guidance of Andreas Cord-Landwehr (IRC Nick: CoLa), I started submitting patches and contributing to Artikulate. My contributions to Artikulate so far are:
1. I created an Unit Test that tests all the language files and checks the validation of the schema and also checks if a language file contains the same ‘phoneme id’ more than once.
2. Artikulate initially supported two languages (French and German). I added six other languages (phonologies) to the project, namely:
*English (General American)
Currently, I am working on adding Bengali which is my mother tongue to the list of languages.
Also, thanks to the last commit, Marathi got added by Rohini Lakshane to the list of languages in Artikulate making a total of nine languages at present.
I am applying for the Outreach Program for Women, 2013 for KDE with Artikulate. I will be adding my proposal here shortly. BTW, the good news is that this year KDE is participating in OPW for the very first time with KDAB as the sponsor offering one internship. \o/ Hoping for the best. ^_^