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Accent Tutor


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This project helps you learn to recognise the various local accents of the world. Imagine a map of the world, North America or England. You can wave your mouse over the map. Little red circles pop up close to the mouse. If you click a red circle, the program plays a paragraph as read by a person from that part of the world. In addition it tells you the age, gender and economic class of the speaker. The difficult part is persuading people to record the paragraph for you. You could ask them to record with their own software and upload an AU file. You could record direct from the microphone. For accents hard to get, like the Queen’s you could capture her saying something different from your standard paragraph from Internet sources You may have to filter out some samples, since people move around so much it is hard to find pure local accents. You can collect multiple samples from the same region so to hear the variations.

You could also turn this into a game where the computer plays an accent sample and you have to point to the place on the map where it comes from.

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