Reading and comprehension is an important part of the language learning process, but something that shouldn’t be overlooked is listening ability. The only way you can improve you listening is by exposing your ear to more speech, if you have a Chinese speaking friend then you’re in luck. However, even the most patient of friends can become annoyed if you’re constantly asking about the pronunciation of words. For those times when your friend isn’t about, or you’re studying alone, a text to speech (TTS) program that reads the words from a document of web page out look can be extremely useful.
ImTranslator is a free Firefox plugin that is full of features and translates many languages, but the feature that stands out the most is Chinese text to speech. After installing ImTranslator, to start text to speech all you need to do is:
1. Highlight some text, then right click and choose ImTranslator Tools > ImTranslator TTS:
2. In the new window that pops up, choose “Chinese” form the language drop down and then press the “Say It” button:
The quality of pronunciation really isn’t bad, and the plugin also allows you to change the speed of the speech. Even if you only use this now and again it’s still a valuable addition to add to your collection of Chinese learning tools.
Know of any other useful tools for learning Chinese? Let us know below: