Learn Spanish with AI: With Free Text-To-Speech Apps

Learn Spanish with AI: With Free Text-To-Speech Apps

OFF CAMERA
(Something said by a text to speech app)

ALEX
Maura, ¿con quién estás hablando?
(Maura, who are you talking to?)

MAURA
Jajaja, con una app de text to speech.
(Hahaha, with a text to speech app.)

ALEX
¿Eso se puede?
(Can that be done?)

MAURA
¡Eso y más!
(That and more!)

¡Holis! Today’s video is very interesting and kind of techy-techy. You’ll learn how to use text to speech to empower your Spanish progress, and how you can learn Spanish with AI tools! ¡Empecemos!

1. Learn Spanish with AI: Text-to-speech AI to practice listening skills

MAURA
Lo más básico que puedes hacer es practicar escuchando.
(The most basic thing you can do is practice listening.)

ALEX
¿Qué cosa?
(What thing?)

MAURA
¡Lo que sea! Puedes probar desde palabras puntuales hasta textos.
(Anything! You can try anything from single words to text.)

ALEX
¿Cómo los traductores? ¡Yo creo que DeepL hace eso!
(Like translators? I think DeepL does that with words!)

MAURA
¡Exacto! Google también. Es muy útil para entender exactamente cómo se pronuncian ciertas palabras.
(That’s right! Google too. It’s very useful for understanding exactly how certain words are pronounced.)

With all AI it is always a good idea to try out as much as you can think of. After all, the things it can do have implications that go well beyond categories and rules. So always test the things you come up with. Alex will try a bunch of things in this lesson and we’ll conclude the results together at the end.

First let’s see how Alex does with this test.

ALEX
A mi siempre me fastidian los acentos. Le voy a pedir a Google translate que pronuncie “buscara y buscará”. A ver.
(I always get annoyed by accents. I’m going to ask Google translate to pronounce “found and will find”. Let’s see.)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
Buscara y buscará. (Search and search)

ALEX
Buscara y buscará. Ok. A ver qué dice Deepl.
(”Found and will find”. Ok. Let’s see what Deepl says.)

ALEX
Ahora le voy a decir que me lea la sinopsis de la película de Barbie.
(Now I’m going to tell it to read me the synopsis of the Barbie movie.)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
Tra ser expulsada de Barbielandia por no ser una muneca de aspecto perfecto, Barbie parte hacia el mundo de los humanos para encontrar la verdadera felicidad. (After being expelled from Barbieland for not being a perfect looking doll, Barbie sets off to the human world to find true happiness.)

ALEX
Veamos qué más puede hacer.
(Let’s see what else it can do.)

ALEX
Bing, ¿puedes contarme una historia para dormir?
(Bing, can you tell me a bedtime story?)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
Claro! Aquí te dejo una historia para dormir que encontré en guiainfatil.com que espero te guste:
Había una vez un….
(Here is a bedtime story I found on guiainfatil.com that I hope you like:
Once upon a time there was a….)

So far, so good. These bots can help tons with these basic tasks and make them more fun and interactive while removing the nerves factor all together.

2. Text-to-speech AI to practice conversation

MAURA
Ahora prueba lo mismo, pero para tener una conversación.
(Now try the same, but to have a conversation.)

ALEX
¿Como con ChatGPT?
(Like with ChatGPT?)

MAURA
¡Sí! Solo que con voz. Es la perfecta manera de entrenar los nervios de hablar en persona. Y puedes pedirle que te haga preguntas específicas y te de feedback de tu respuesta.
(Yes, just that with a voice. It’s the perfect way to train your nerves of speaking in person.)

Remember my video about learning Spanish with ChatGpt? If you don’t, it’s right here. The thing is that the logic would be the same though ChatGPT doesn’t provide text to speech quite – yet.

Keep in mind that you have different options to activate the speaking feature of these apps. Most of them will have a microphone button. Or a direct text to speech feature on their mobile app.

First Alex will try to talk to Bing.

Prueba 1 (Test 1)

ALEX
¡Hola Bing! ¿Podemos practicar hablar en español?
(Hi Bard! Can we practice speaking Spanish?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Hola! Claro que sí, estaré encantado de ayudarte en lo que necesites. En qué puedo ayudarte hoy? (Hello, of course, I’ll be happy to help you with anything you need. What can I help you with today?)

ALEX
¿Qué tal está el clima en Madrid?
(How is the weather like in Madrid?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Según la informacíon que encontré, el clima en Madrid hoy es soleado con una temperature de 38 grados Celsius. Además, se espera que la temperatura alcance los 39 grados Celsius durante el día. Si necesitas más informacíon sobre el clima en Madrid, puedo buscar más detalles para ti. Hay algo más en lo que pueda ayudarte? (According to the information I found, the weather in Madrid today is sunny with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius. In addition, the temperature is expected to reach 39 degrees Celsius during the day. If you need more information about the weather in Madrid, I can look up more details for you. Is there anything else I can help you with?)

ALEX

Cuéntame cómo estás.
(Tell me how you’re doing.)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Estoy bien, gracias por preguntar. Hay algo más en lo que pueda ayudarte? (I’m fine, thanks for asking. Is there anything else I can help you with?)

ALEX
¿Puedes responder y hacerme preguntas para conversar en español?
(Can you answer and ask me questions to talk in Spanish?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Por supuesto! Cómo ha sido tu día hoy? (Of course! How was your day today?)

ALEX
¡Muy ocupado! Tengo todo el día trabajando. ¿Y tú?
(Very busy! I have all day working. How about you?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Mi día ha sido bastante tranquilo. Qué tipo de trabajo haces? (My day has been pretty quiet. What kind of work do you do?)

As you can see, you kind of have to ask the app to ask you questions if you want to create a normal conversation structure. And, you should do it right at the beginning considering that it has a limit of 5 messages.

Now let’s see what happens with Bard by Google.

Prueba 2 (Test 2)

ALEX
¿Podemos conversar en español?
(Can we talk in Spanish?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Claro que sí, podemos conversar en espanol. De qué quieres hablar? (Sure, we can talk in Spanish. What do you want to talk about?)

ALEX
¿Cómo estás hoy?
(How are you doing today?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Estoy bien, gracias por preguntar. Cómo estás tú? (I’m fine, thanks for asking. How are you?)

ALEX
Estoy bien, gracias.
(I’m well, thank you.)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Me alegra saber que estás bien. Qué puedo hacer por ti hoy? (I’m glad to hear you are well. What can I do for you today?)

ALEX
¿Cómo podría mejorar mi respuesta?
(How could I improve my answer?)

TEXT TO SPEECH
Tu respuesta anterior fue breve y directa, pero podrías haberla mejorado anadiendo más detalles. Por ejemplo, podrias haber dicho: Estoy bien, gracias por preguntar. Estoy trabajando en un proyecto de IA que me resulta muy interesante. Qué tal estás tú?” Esta respuesta es más informativa y muestra que estás interesado en la conversáción. También en más respetuosa, ya que preguntas a la otra persona cómo está. (Your previous answer was brief and to the point, but you could have improved it by adding more details. For example, you could have said: “I’m fine, thanks for asking. I’m working on an AI project that I find very interesting. How are you?” This response is more informative and shows that you are interested in the conversation. It’s also more respectful, since you’re asking the other person how they’re doing.)

Bard definitely struggles to transcribe what it hears from you. That’s why Alex had to edit it every time. Apart from that it is very good at correcting your answers and therefore helping you express yourself better.

All in all, both Bard and Bing can talk to you if you ask them to ask you questions. They both have an accent from Spain which unfortunately you cannot change. And they both have a rate limit of messages per time. Bing’s is shorter for sure.

3. Text to speech AI to practice grammar and pronunciation

ALEX
O sea que también puede corregirme.
(So it can also correct me.)

MAURA
¡Claro! Puede corregir tu gramática y tu pronunciación también.
(Of course! It can correct your grammar and pronunciation.)

ALEX
¿Puedes corregir mi pronunciación es español?
(Let’s give it a try. Bing, I’ll read you a text and you correct my pronunciation, okay?)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
Hola! Claro que sí, estaré encantado de ayudarte. Podrías decirme una frase o palabra en espanol para que pueda eschuchar tu pronunciacíon y corregirte si es necesario? (Hello, of course, I will be happy to help you. Could you tell me a phrase or word in Spanish so I can listen to your pronunciation and correct you if necessary?)

ALEX
“No quiero salir hoy”.
(I don’t want to go out today.)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
Muy bien! Tu pronunciacíon es bastante buena. La frase “No quiero salir hoy” se pronuncia como “no kie-ro sal-ir o-ee.” Espero que esto te ayude. Hay algo más en lo que pueda ayudarte? (Very good! Your pronunciation is quite good. The phrase “I don’t want to go out today” is pronounced as “no kie-ro sal-ir o-ee.” I hope this helps you. Is there anything else I can help you with?)

Honestly, I don’t think it’s actually listening to what’s been said. So, correcting pronunciation might not be its strong suit.

ALEX
¿Es esta frase correcta?: Necesito una vacación pronto.
(Is this sentence correct?: I need a vacation soon.)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
La frase “necesito una vacación pronto” es comúnmente utilizada en el lenguaje coloquial. Sin embargo, la forma correcta de escribirla es “necesito unas vacaciones pronto”. Espero que esto te ayude. Hay algo más en lo que pueda ayudarte? (The phrase “I need a vacation soon” is commonly used in colloquial language. However, the correct way to write it is “I need a vacation soon”. I hope this helps you. Is there anything else I can help you with?)

See? I think it analyzes the transcription it creates from what it hears from you, more than actually listening. Nonetheless, it is definitely more accurate at correcting grammar than pronunciation through this method.

Let’s see how it behaves in a traveling situation and then we’ll put all of our conclusions together.

4. Text to speech AI for traveling

Breaking down language barriers has got to be one of the most life saving uses of text to speech. It can speak for you or translate what it hears from other people, so it can help when traveling.

MAURA
Y si te vas de viaje, Alex… no más pánico. Text to speech puede salvarte la vida si algo supera tu capacidad de comunicarte.
(And if you’re going on a trip, Alex… no more panic. Text to speech can be a life saver if something is beyond your ability to communicate.)

ALEX
Pero justamente esa es la idea de viajar: practicar el idioma. No usar una app para que hable por ti.
(But that’s the whole idea of traveling: practicing the language. Not using an app to speak for you.)

MAURA
Totalmente de acuerdo. Por eso yo lo dejaría para un momento de emergencia. O si es un idioma que apenas estás empezando a aprender y necesitas más apoyo. Prueba a ver.
(I totally agree. That’s why I would leave it for an emergency. Or if it’s a language you are just starting to learn and need more support. Try and see.)

I definitely think this can be a useful tool if you don’t abuse it and actually try to practice while you can. At the same time, if you pay attention to the translation it generates for you, you’ll be doing a type of practice anyway.

ALEX
Ok, vamos a probar. “No me gusta el café.”
(Ok, let’s try. “I don’t like coffee.”)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
“No me gusta el café.” (I don’t like coffee.Ö

ALEX
Al revés: ¿dónde está la parada de autobús?
(Backwards: where is the bus stop?)

TEXT TO SPEECH BOT
¿dónde está la parada de autobús? (Where is the bus stop?)

5. Text to Speech review for learning Spanish

So, for your consideration and thank to Alex’s tests, here’s what I conclude plus some advice on how to proceed:

  • Es muy bueno para aprender la diferencia de pronunciación entre palabras que son similares. (It is very good for learning the difference in pronunciation between words that are similar.)
  • Para practicar escuchar es perfecto, porque puedes pedirle que te hable sobre lo que tú quieras. (For listening practice it’s perfect, because you can ask it to talk to you about what you want.)
  • Las voces son algo básicas. Y en estas apps gratuitas no tienes muchas alternativas para cambiarlo. (The voices are a bit basic. And in these free apps you don’t have many alternatives to change it.)
  • La que más me gustó, porque me pareció más fácil, fue BIng. (The one I liked the most, because I found it easier, was BIng.) It has better transcribing capabilities so you don’t have to edit what you tell it. Bard struggles with this.
  • Para practicar pronunciación es más útil que pedirle que te lea un texto. Así puedes escuchar y leer a la vez. (To practice pronunciation, it is more useful than asking it to read a text to you. This way you can listen and read at the same time.) Asking it to directly correct your pronunciation might surpass its capabilities.
  • Es importante que le pidas que te haga preguntas para conversar contigo. (It is important that you ask it to ask you questions to talk with you.) And do this right at the beginning!
  • Es mucho mejor corrigiendo tu gramática que tu pronunciación. (It is much better at correcting your grammar than your pronunciation.) When it comes to grammar it can certainly help not only by correcting but also by improving your answers.
  • En las apps gratuitas, es posible que te encuentres con limitaciones de respuestas por día. (In the free apps, it is possible you may find limitations in the number of answers per day.) Remember Bing is shorter than Bard but this is all tied to a time period so you can always let it rest and then come back to it.
  • Como asistente de viaje es infalible. (As a travel assistant it is infallible.)

AI is here to stay. You don’t have to change your entire life right here and right now. But I do think it’s a good idea to slowly check it out. For language practicing I’ve found AI to be a blessing.

Click the here to watch my ChatGPT video to understand more of what I mean.
See you there!

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