Not every word is easy to say, and if you’ve ever struggled to say something properly, like say “epitome” or “meme”, you can now ask Google to help you out.
Using a search engine can net you the results you need, as well as a few surprises thrown in for good measure. You might find exactly what you’re after, news about it, videos, images, and more, but then you might not.
Sometimes search can only find, but it’s gradually evolving to assist a little more greatly.
Think of the translation technologies used originally in the now defunct Altavista Babelfish, but more commonly known in Google Translate. Thanks to that technology, you can translate words and sentences into other languages, a technology Google has also filtered into its Lens app so you can translate street signs and other real-world examples of language into something you recognise.
Language is one of the more interesting areas that search intersects with, because language can be very complicated. If you’ve ever struggled to work out why one website does better than another on Google, language is a key part of that.
However understanding how to say aspects of language isn’t something we all naturally get. Sometimes you need to hear how to say something before you truly understand it, and before you can say it in front of people without them questioning if you really know what you’re talking about.
You might not realise it, but this is an area Google can help with, and this week, the world’s largest search engine is rolling out a technology to make it happen, integrating pronunciation into its search engine.
It’s a feature that kicks in if you ask Google how to pronounce something, or if you just include the word “pronounce” next to the word you want, with this feature showing you how it is said, complete with a button to help you say it, speaking for your mic and practicing with Google.
To make this work, Google is using speech recognition to process the words into individual sections, and then uses that to connect them with what you have said. Using this, it can help train you to say the word correctly, complete with visuals along the way.
It won’t work for all languages yet, but Google has said it will work for American English to begin with, and Spanish soon after. Hopefully it includes other languages, too, such as Australian English (which is more like British English), Italian, French, Japanese, German, and just about every other language commonly used in Australia and the world. Why, it might not be long until Google could start teaching you how to speak that language.