What has been your experience with the Spanish language challenges?

  • Lingvist graduate

    I tried the speaking challenges but never managed to finish one conversation. I feel that the robot is too stingy on my pronunciations, with zero error tolerance. I know my pronunciation is pretty bad (that's why I'm practising it), but the robot keep pointing out my mistakes and never let me finish one sentence, and even cut me off if I have one second or so's hesitation. How am I supposed to improve my speaking if I'm never allowed to speak? I think even the most amateurish real world language tutors know letting the learners express themselves with mistakes. After a while the robot's "sorry I have been staying up late and can't understand a thing" reply gets really infuriating.

    So I want to ask my follow Spanish learners, what has been your chance with the speaking challenges? Is it helpful, effective? Do you need to be a fairly good speaker before the challenges become useful, and should I take some less challenging challenges before I use this?


  • Lingvist graduate

    Thanks guys for your replies. I also use it as a pronunciation trainer rather than, say, a whole fledged speaking practice, it would be a rather silly thing to do when the whole conversation has already been laid out...
    I think the robot is great in spotting my mispronunciations so I know where my problems are and I can work on them later. The problem is that correcting your pronunciation mistakes takes time because it takes a great effort to adjust the tongue, the mouth, and the muscle movements, I would much prefer them to point out my mistakes and just let me move on, rather than give me pass only after I perfected it. For example, I'm still having difficulties with the trembling R and since they are ubiquitous in Spanish, in the current system I simply can't practise anything because they'd catch me on that every time.

  • Moderator

    Agreed, I don't really see them as a speaking challenge as the words are given to you, so it's more about vocabulary and pronunciation.

    I've been doing some of the Spanish ones and tried the French ones (my French pronunciation is a lot crappier than my Spanish one...), and I think they're kind of cute. But I'm not sure I'm actually learning much from doing them. Taking notes would probably be a good idea...

  • I think they are good for vocabulary and I think they can help the anxious speaker start speaking Spanish to a machine as that first step before talking to a real person. Ideally, we'd all start speaking from day one, but for some people it's baby steps.

    I take notes after each challenge I do, so I see it as a vocabulary building exercise rather than a speaking challenge.

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