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Swedish 101: Swedish for SLaTE 2017 Attendees

Swedish 101 is a toy CALL course built using the University of Geneva’s CALL-SLT platform, and provided for SLaTE attendees by Manny Rayner, Claudia Baur, Marianne Starlander and Nikos Tsourakis.

It is intended to give you some really basic spoken Swedish that you can use when attending the SLaTE 2017 workshop in Stockholm. You don’t really need it — most Swedes speak English — but it’s always nice to be able to ask for your coffee and say thank you in the local language!

System requirements

You can run Swedish 101 on a normal desktop browser; Chrome and a headset are recommended but not essential. It doesn’t yet run on mobile devices. To access the course, click on this link and log in as ‘guest’ with no password. Allow the app to access your camera and microphone. You should now be on a screen that looks like the picture below (the number may be different).

Instructions

If you think you know how to say the number in Swedish, press the microphone button on the right, KEEP IT HELD DOWN, wait for the little oscillating wave icon to appear, speak, and then release the button. You should hear your voice echoed back, and the app will give you a green border if it thought that what you said was reasonably close to the correct utterance.

If you don’t know what to say, press the Help button — question-mark, lower right — and you’ll hear a recording of a correct response spoken by a native Swedish speaker. There are four lessons. You can find the others using the Select Lesson tab.

The CALL-SLT platform

The CALL-SLT platform is not intended for building pronunciation training apps (though that hasn’t stopped some people from trying to do it). It’s rather designed to enable rapid construction and deployment of web-enabled spoken dialogue systems for developing generative language skills. This course took a couple of afternoons to build and put on the web, and most of the time went into finding the pictures. If you want to look at the source, it’s checked into SourceForge here. There are links to more example courses here, and you can find online documentation for the platform here. If you’d like to try it out yourself, mail Manny Rayner or Nikos Tsourakis and we’ll be happy to give you a developer account.

All photos from and by Djuronaset.