Archive for the ‘English’ Category

Skype video conference live machine translation –“way to go…”?

… as in “has a way to go”- there are many more such difficulties in natural language for machine translation.

These sample screenshots from a recent demo show a lot of them in a nutshell.

You can probably sense that something is wrong with this company representative’s smile, skype-machine-translation-recode1

even if you do not speak German. If you do: 

skype-machine-translation-recode2 makes sense NOT!

… as in “NOT!” Smiley (Don’t forget, though, that there is an initial speech recognition layer in this demo which seems to have become almost transparent as a technology now? See Gartner’s hype cycle of 2014.)

Advanced language learners can test their English, German or Spanish proficiency in 3.5 minutes here using Exhale

2014/05/23 4 comments

Update: A new version of the Spanish vocabulary test is here, and the English vocabulary test has been updated here.

Go here and click English or German, or  (also requiring only 3.5 minutes to take, but more for  manually grading your test with this answer key) go here for Spanish, if you want to to take a simple quick vocabulary test that has been shown to correlate well with general proficiency.  You can find more info here on English and German, and here on Spanish.

Paper @ CALICO 2014: Using NLP Platforms for Language Learning Material Production

…has been accepted for inclusion in the program for CALICO 2014, May 9-10 at Ohio University, (Athens, OH) and was presented on May 9: Here are abstract and slide deck:

How to install and use a free dictionary/encyclopedia app in MS-Word 2013

Installing is easy (our example is Wikipedia): Right-click a word, pick “define” from the  context menu, the click download in the side pane for the app you choose.


Usage is also easy: To look up phrases, select, right-click and choose define: imageimage

To look up individual words, you can also just double-click the word: image

You can also click “Expand”: image

To install more dictionaries after the first one, click Insert / Apps for Office. imageimage

You can search for your L2 (too many to list): image

It works for base forms: image

But I cannot lemmatize (ouch): image

I found out that when I go to Insert/ My Apps/ See all : image, I can show more than one app in the side pane.


However,how o I change the default lookup that happens on double click on a word?

Protected: Elti0162 Syllabus with learning materials for listening and speaking

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Common commands in Speech Recognition for all languages supported

(I cut a corner and left out the language variants ZH-TW and EN-UK, sorry, we do not teach those here):

Faculty Workshop Spring 2014: "Mira, mamá! Sin manos!". Practice speaking L2 with automatic intelligent feedback by operating LRC PCs through speech recognition instead of keyboard/mouse

  1. When: March 28, 2:15-3:15, April 4, 2:00-3:00
  2. Where: LRCRoomCoed434
  3. What: Language learning speaking practice assignments with automatic intelligent feedback using Windows Speech Recognition
    1. As part of the foreign language tools we installed with Windows 7 this past Fall, we got speech recognition on the LRC PCs for 6 languages (English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish ) representing over 85% of our enrolment.
    2. Unlike the speech recognition that comes with learning content packages like Auralog or Rosetta Stone
      1. which had to be purchased, for individual languages, but stopped functioning on the server on a long time ago,
      2. was limited to built-in content ,
      3. was restricted by a separate account system,
    3. Windows Speech Recognition is
      1. free (with the operating system), runs on the local lab pcs, and should be a bit more robust,
      2. content agnostic and hence can integrate flexibly with your curriculum and contribute meaningfully to your students’ progression,
      3. can be integrated with the existing user accounts.
    4. We combine Windows speech recognition with the new LRC screencast software, MS-Office and Moodle to offer a simple self-access assignment type that
      1. is available on all 45 LRC PCs (= scales even to large enrolment languages and 1st-year classes that cannot use the 24-seat Sanako for face-to-face speaking proficiency training)
      2. and blends the “artificial intelligence” of speech recognition with human intelligence to provide students with immediate automated feedback during pedagogically sound speaking practice, with minimal grading overhead for the teacher (= grade secure assignments by looking at the very end of a student-submitted screencast).
    5. This workshop will show actual speech recognition usage and assignment samples
      1. so far in English, French, German;
      2. if you want to bring your own samples to this workshop – there might still be time- , or to an upcoming faculty showcase, I can help you during my biweekly LRC clinics (see LRC main schedule, or schedule your own).
    6. We will step you through – hands-on, including tips&tricks – a sample voice training and assignment completion: Better than my made-up assignments would be if you could bring one or more concrete tasks to be solved using speech recognition that we could prepare assigning to your students. Here are some parameters for that:
      1. Speech recognition can replace mouse and keyboard when operating the computer. Voice commands are simpler than sentences, so this could be a beginner task, as long as you have students study the (limited) command vocabulary (which I will make available during the workshop).
      2. Speech recognition can replace any writing task with dictation. Suggestions for proficiency levels:
        1. I have dictated a web page assigned for reading comprehension in a textbook used in 1200 or even a as a false beginner.
        2. However, a one-time training helping the computer recognize an individual’s voice is required and comes sentences that vary in complexity between languages
          1. English: very easy, Beginner level;
          2. German, French: let’s have a look together, I’d say 1202 level;
          3. Japanese: 3000 level, I was told;
          4. Please test with me during the workshop: Spanish, Chinese.
  4. Download the SlideDeck (too big too embed)