Using Audacity to help with a lesson

I have recently found a tactic to help with recordings that seem overwhelmingly fast. With Audacity (free program) its is possible to introduce gaps between the phrases which gives the brain a little time to catch up. If I know most of the words it seems to work for me.

If I make the gaps longer, or pause it, then I can repeat the phrase, trying to imitate the speakers intonation. It takes quite a few listenings and attempts, but I find it interesting (i think others would hate it!). It is about linking subtle muscular movements with whqt we hear

I have tried really focussing on the details and expression of the speaker (pitch, louds and softs, how the phonemes join up etc), and I think I am gradually getting close (this is in Portuguese, a newish language for me)r. The native speakers really sound different, which makes it a fun exercise.

I should say that I am a musician , and this kind of active listening is maybe a bit like how I would listen to myself , or a student, or a player I would lke to emulate. Ultimently we think of a soud and the muscles somehow do it, but it needs a lot of listeng and experimenting with tiny muscle movements before that happens.

Does this make sense, and do others use similar methods, either consciously or unconciously

Yes, your methods make a lot of sense. To me, listening to a difficult passage in another language is a lot like memorizing the words and music of a new song.

I also use Audacity to introduce gaps in recordings that I have a hard time understanding. Usually I introduce a gap every minute or so that I can loop that little bit of the recording until I understand it. However, I do not repeat out loud what I hear, though I might start doing that at a later time.

One of the odd things that I have discovered is that once in a great while I see a word or a part of a word in the text, but I can’t hear it spoken at all in the recording. Only after a half dozen or so repetitions do I finally hear that elusive sound.

I usually use the following application, which allows us to introduce gaps between the phrases on iPhone or iPad. It is quite easy to do that.
http://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/best-dictation/id393766745?l=en&mt=8

And I am also very interested in using Audacity to create audio files.

One of the odd things that I have discovered is that once in a great while I see a word or a part of a word in the text, but I can’t hear it spoken at all in the recording. Only after a half dozen or so repetitions do I finally hear that elusive sound.

People don’t pronounce all existing letters when speaking fast. So I have some difficulty in catching up natural speed sounds. However I become familiar with and capable to guess such tendencies of omissions after listening a lot in certain contexts.

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Another option might be to put the downloaded exercises into one of the iOS apps that are intended for slowing down music (while keeping the pitch the same). Two such apps are Anytune and iLift.

@MaryThomas2

Anytune works well on my iPod Touch with both music and dialog. It speeds them up, too, which is also useful when narrators drag out a reading far too much.
For this task, Anytune is far more convenient than Audacity, IMHO.
Thanks for the reference.

thanks