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Bravo Zulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-09 12:21 AM
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Carnegie Speech
CMU spinoff firm's software teaches non-native speakers clearer English
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
By L.A. Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mia Liu, a Chinese MBA student at the University of British Columbia, wants to speak clear, precise English for business and pleasure.

That's why she's using Carnegie Speech's NativeAccent software to improve her spoken English.

Carnegie Speech, a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off company, in 2004 started marketing its NativeAccent software and Carnegie Speech Assessment software, which pinpoints errors in sound, rhythm and pitch.

"The software can record my own voice, my own pronunciations, and tell me which vowels I couldn't pronounce right," said Ms. Liu, 33, via telephone on break at home in Chongqing, China. "I can compare it with the native speaker's pronunciation and check the differences."

Ms. Liu, whose native language is Mandarin, can access the software program from any computer in the world -- at school in Vancouver, B.C. or in China -- practice her spoken English exercises in private and receive feedback and additional exercises specifically tailored to her problem areas.

"What we're really looking to do is help people become intelligible in their speech, not really eradicate all traces of their native accent," said Angela Kennedy, Carnegie Speech's chief executive officer.
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