Google has unveiled a new feature that will help users practice pronouncing tricky words, along with providing their meanings as well. Now before delving into details, do note that this new pronunciation feature is experimental and only works for US English, which means you will only get the American pronunciation for English words. Getting back to the feature - if you want to practice your English pronunciation, you will able to access this new feature in Google Search on your smartphone. Additionally, Google will also be adding images to its English dictionary that will come in handy for visual learners.
As Google explains in its blog post, previously when anyone tried to look for a word's pronunciation on Google, they would be served up an audio rendering of the word's pronunciation. But with the new practice pronunciation feature, you will now be able to both hear the audio of the word as well as practice saying it into your phone's microphone and receive feedback on it if anything needs to be improved upon in your pronunciation. As we mentioned above, this new feature is currently rolling out for American English only, with Spanish language support soon to follow. At the time of writing, we weren't able to replicate the feature, either via our mobile Chrome browser or Google app.
Moving on, how this feature works is that speech recognition technology processes spoken words by separating them into individual soundbites and by using machine learning, it then cross references your pronunciation with the pronunciation it expects. And based on this process Google will give you feedback on how you can improve the next time.
"Studies have shown that practising how to say a word can be helpful for remembering it, especially when you're learning a new language. Previously, when you searched for things like “how to pronounce quokka,” you could play audio and hear the word. With the new pronunciation feature, you'll be able to also practice saying “quokka” into your phone's microphone and receive feedback on what, if anything, can be adjusted in your pronunciation," the blog post says.
Additionally, certain words will also be getting a visual representation when you search for their translations or definitions, so you can understand the word's meaning. In other words, when you lookup for the translation of a word or its definition, you'll start seeing images that give you additional context. Now, as we said certain words, Google is currently starting this feature with nouns and plans to expand from there. Additionally, images in the dictionary features will be available in English and across all language translations.
We hope that this new pronunciation feature will help people in effective ways to practice, visualise, and remember new words. Finally, Google plans to expand these features to more languages, accents and regions in the future.