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SPEECH COMPARISON IN The Rosetta Stone



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SPEECH COMPARISON IN The Rosetta Stone ABSTRACT The Rosetta Stone is a successful CD ROM based interactive program for teaching foreign languages that uses speech comparison to help students improve their pronunciation The input to a speech comparison system is N 1 digitized utterances The output is a measure of the similarity of the last utterance to each of the N others Which language is being spoken is irrelevant This differs from classical speech recognition where the input data includes but one utterance a set of expectations tuned to the particular language in use typically digraphs or similar and a grammar of expected words or phrases and the output is recognition in the utterance of one of the phrases in the grammar or rejection This paper describes a speech comparison system and its application in The Rosetta Stone 1 INTRODUCTION Funding for this research came from the developers 1 of The Rosetta Stone TRS a highly successful interactive multimedia program for teaching foreign languages The developers wanted to use speech recognition technology to help students of foreign languages improve their pronunciation and their active vocabulary As of this writing TRS is available in twenty languages which was part of the motivation to develop a language independent approach to speech recognition Classical approaches require extensive development per language TRS provides an immersion experience where images movies and sounds are used to build knowledge of a language from scratch Since there is no concession to the native language of the learner a German speaker and a Korean speaker both learning Vietnamese have the same experience all in Vietnamese The most recent release of TRS includes EAR the speech comparison system described in this paper The input to a speech comparison system is N 1 digitized utterances The output is a measure of the similarity of the last utterance to each of the N others Which language is being spoken is irrelevant This differs from



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