Google is adding a nifty new feature to its search results when you look for the pronunciation of words. You’ll now be able to not just hear the correct pronunciation, but you can also now practice the right way of saying ‘quokka’ and get immediate feedback on the page. While you may not think you need a tool like this, it’s surely a great tool for language learners.
All of this, of course, is powered by machine learning. Google’s speech recognition tools process the recording, separate it into individual sounds and then compare it to how experts pronounce it.
In addition to this new pronunciation feature, Google is adding more images to its dictionary and translate features. For now, this is only available in English and only works for nouns. It’s quite a bit harder to find the right image (or GIF) to illustrate verbs, after all, let alone adverbs.
“Advances in speech recognition and machine learning can improve the way we learn about languages,” Google says in today’s announcement. “We hope these new features give you a creative, more effective way to practice, visualize and remember new words. We plan to expand these features to more languages, accents and regions in the future.”
Bonus: here is a video with lots of quokkas.