Adding an audio feature to iTalki

It's been said time and time again, that one of the most important aspects of becoming fluent in a language is listening.

That got me thinking, maybe iTalki should add an audio feature to the site. When writing notebook entries, language learners can have the option to not only request corrections, but also request audio recordings where native speakers read the notebook entry out loud and upload them as downloadable MP3s.

The closest website based on this feature is RhinoSpike, but it is so frustratingly inactive. It takes months - even up to a year - to get a single audio recording from someone.

I contacted iTalki about this idea a while ago and they brought up the issue of people recording inappropriate content and uploading it. I have to disagree. While I don't deny this is a possibility, this potential problem can apply to anything really. Discussions, notebook corrections, messages, even lessons - a handful of spammers and trolls will always have access to these features, and there is always the risk of stumbling across inappropriate content. The best solution is to this is to simply add a "Report this Recording" feature beside every audio clip.

What do you think about this idea? Do you think iTalki should add an audio feature for language learners? What kind of problems would come up if this feature was added, and would the benefits outweigh the risks?

May 4, 2018 10:57 PM
Comments · 10

There used to be such a feature in italki, but it was just like a bad joke. A button that said something like "record here"; you would press it and say something: ¡Holaaaaaaaa!... And nothing would come of it lol. It was more like a fancy, do-nothing tech bluster, so italki ended up removing it.

Just like there are lots of peer-to-peer live video software; with just audio there should be no problem finding a good resource on the web for downloadable recordings. There have been some discussions here where we used Vocaroo to record a little something for the community as well, so it´s just a question of finding a quality tool that could help you achieve good audio.

Asking italki for anything more than a guy at customer service instead of a bot: It´s crazy Gabrielle, crazy I tell ya!!!

May 5, 2018
Italki is very unlikely to add any free features, even simpler than this one, so there is no use in writing them. But your idea is good. Maybe you can simply write a request at the end of your notebook entry for it to be recorded. There are sites such as vocaroo that host such recordings and it will work just as well without a dedicated button. If the idea catches on maybe more people will start bugging italki about it. Still I'm quite sure they won't implement it though.
May 4, 2018
Actually I asked italki support to add this feature it would help us in pronunciation and native people correct for us,it's a great idea!!
May 11, 2018

Italki has a million excuses for not doing anything that people want. "Inappropriate content" is a flimsy nonsense excuse. LiveMocha had a recording feature for years. I never heard of one single problem on there with inappropriate recorded messages. Not one.

Italki  does have a problem with written inappropriate content. Following their logic, they should shut down the Discussion, Answer and Private Message sections of the site.

May 11, 2018

" The best solution is to this is to simply add a "Report this Recording" feature beside every audio clip."

In my opinion, depending on one by one report to trolls on a website is too time-consuming to maintain the website well as a website designer. It is primarily not a good design.

 For instance, if a women does not want to be disturbed by unsolicited request, the designer of the website has to add function to keep the woman from unwanted harassment with a simple button to avoid such a trouble instead of asking members to report a single case over and over again to the management centre. A button for members to choose yes or no to accept unsolicited requests is necessary. That is comparatively easier set up a self-managed button for members than assigning a number of staff to deal with routines of this kind which have been complained thousands of times. .  

Think about how many members are there in comparison how many staff are here working and serving payable customers on daily disputes between teachers and students then you will see how difficult for the managers to reflect on your issue. 

It is a good proposal though voices play an important role in the course of mastering a language . 

May 11, 2018
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Language Skills
English, Korean
Learning Language