Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Learning foreign languages the easy way -- trans-English

Last night I was watching some Japanese anime that had some awkwardly translated English subtitles and I thought to myself that it would be nice to learn a little Japanese while I was watching the anime. But the problem is that subtitled translations restructure the dialogue according to the language of the subtitle. So there was no way that I could match up the Japanese dialogue I was hearing with the English subtitles I was seeing.

I realized that if a transitional subtitling mechanism was used instead, which preserved the original word order of the Japanese dialogue I would probably be able to match up the words more easily. It would read like weird, but understandable English.

The basic idea behind trans-English (transitional English), is to use simpler subtitles, that match the word order of the original spoken dialogue, in order to facilitate foreign language learning.

Here’s an example with Korean, which I know a little of. “Hangguk-mar chekkum aruh yoh”. A typical English subtitling would totally restructure this to be: “I know very little Korean language” or “I know very little Korean”. Now, because of the reordering of the words, in order to maintain a presentable English sentence, the person watching the Korean video, with English subtitles, would have no idea which English word corresponded with which Korean word.

Now, here’s a trans-English (transitional English) subtitled version of the same Korean sentence: “Korean-language little know sir/madam”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to match up words here.

Hangguk-mar => Korean-language
Chekkum => little
Aruh => know
Yoh => sir/madam.

Now, even though “Korean-language little know sir/madam” is not a proper English sentence, it actually achieves two results. It matches up the words with their English equivalents so that you have a reasonable chance of picking up individual words because there is now a close match between word order and what you are hearing. The second result is that you get a sense of how Korean language sentences are structured. And importantly, you can still basically understand what was meant, even though it’s not a properly structured English sentence.

So, suppose you learn a bunch of new Korean words from watching Korean videos with trans-English subtitles. At the same time, you’ll gain more and more of an intuitive understanding of how Korean sentences are structured.

It’s a win-win situation.

Interestingly, it should actually be much easier for a subtitling company to provide a trans-English subtitle version than a regular English version. That’s because the trans-English version is essentially a verbatim word for word translation.

A while back, a friend of mine was watching an English show with close captioning subtitles. I asked her why she was watching it that way and she replied that it was helping her to learn English.

Thinking back, I think she was able to do it because close caption subtitles match the spoken English word for word. (By the way, she learned to speak English really well.)

So when I’m watching a Japanese anime, with subtitles, it would be cool if I could learn a little Japanese in the process. I’m fairly sure that the use of trans-English subtitles will facilitate that.

If you could learn a foreign language by watching foreign language films with trans-English subtitles versus watching foreign language films with regular subtitles, which would you choose ? I don’t know about you, but I’ve watched a lot of foreign films with subtitles and learned essentially no foreign languages in the process. It would have been cool if these foreign language films had had trans-English subtitles in them. At the very least, I think I would have been able to learn some basic foreign language words that way..

Foreign language film distributions should start to include the trans-English subtitling option on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. This should actually help boost sales of foreign language movies. Not only are people getting the movie, they’re getting a painless foreign language lesson at the same time ! My guess is that it would boost sales/rentals of foreign language movies by a factor of ten or more.
Think of it this way, would you rather learn a foreign language using a standard foreign language learning program or would you rather watch your favorite foreign language films and learn the foreign language that way ? My guess is that 99% of people would choose the latter.

To sum up, the basic idea here is for foreign film distributors to provide trans-English subtitling option with their foreign films. This is advantageous to the foreign film distributor because it will significantly boost sales and rentals of their foreign films. And it’s advantageous to us, the consumers, because it’s a way that we can learn foreign languages easily and painlessly.

And as an added bonus, it should actually be simpler to provide a trans-English subtitle than a standard English subtitle.

Wouldn’t it be cool if your kids started watching foreign movies, with trans-English subtitles, and ended up learning half a dozen foreign languages in the process ?

We, as consumers, can help make this happen by requesting trans-English subtitles on foreign films. Send them email, with a link to this post, post on their blogs, etc..

There may be a day when you say to your kid "Stop doing your homework and watch this foreign language film !"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Turn an Ultra Voice Changer emailed audio file into a ringtone or notification

Suppose you receive an email from a friend containing an audio file that was created by Ultra Voice Changer (or Deluxe Ultra Voice Changer) and you want to turn it into a ringtone or notification ?

Here's a recipe you can follow:

  1. Install the free Android Market app, called "Download All Files" (by HwkRbbt Software) onto your Android phone.

  2. Run 'Download All Files' at least once so that it will be able to integrate with your Gmail app.

  3. Also, make sure you've run Ultra Voice Changer (or Deluxe Ultra Voice Changer) at least once, to ensure that Favorites directory has been created properly.

  4. In your Gmail app, go to the email which contains your audio file.

  5. Select the 'Preview' button. When prompted with 'Complete action using', you should now see a 'Download All Files' option. Select this option.

  6. Change the (save to) Folder to /Android/data/com.kimusoft.ultra_voice_changer

  7. Change the file name to be more descriptive, BUT be sure to add a .wav extension to the file. So you could change the filename from: GmailAttachment to Cool Ringtone.wav (the .wav extension is IMPORTANT, else Ultra Voice Changer will not be able to detect this file later on..).

  8. Run 'Ultra Voice Changer' and click on the 'Favorites' tab. You should now see 'Cool Ringtone.wav' in your list of favorites (it will appear visually as 'Cool Ringtone') .

  9. You should now be able to turn 'Cool Ringtone' into a ringtone from within Ultra Voice Changer. (press the ringtone button, which looks like a musical note)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ultra Ringtone Morpher

Morph your ringtones by applying special effects !

Brought to you by the creator of the popular Ultra Voice Changer app..

Hear what your favorite music or audio files sound like on helium, as a chipmunk, as a robot, in slow motion, or backwards !

Morph your existing mp3, wav, or ogg ringtones into new ringtones by applying special effects to them !

List of Special Effects:
Alien, Chipmunk, Helium, Robot, Echo, Possessed, Hyper, Slow Motion, Bee, Deep, Backwards, Slow Backwards

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Amazon Free App of the Day !

Deluxe Ultra Voice Changer is the Amazon Free App of the Day ( for July 20th, 2011) !

Monday, March 21, 2011

Morse Code Attack ! Demo

Here's a (mostly audio) demo of my new Morse Code Attack ! game:

Tags: morse code teacher tutor training android app

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ultra Voice Changer Demo

Here's a sample of 3 voice effects you can create using the Ultra Voice Changer:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deluxe Ultra Voice Changer

Now on sale at the Android Market !

Here's a sample of some of the robot voice effects you can create:

Enjoy !

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ultra Voice Changer : Troubleshooting Checklist

If you are unable to record audio

If you are unable to record audio using this app, try the following things, in order:

  1. Speak closely into the microphone.

  2. Raise the speaker volume on your phone/device.

  3. Raise the recording volume from within the app.

  4. Also, if you have a bluetooth headset and you are not able to record audio or just hear static, try turning your bluetooth headset off and see if that resolves the issue.

  5. If the above steps fail, try rebooting your phone (to rule out unwanted interference from other apps that may have been running on your phone) and see if you are then able to record using Ultra Voice Changer.

If you hear excessive static during playback

If you hear excessive static during playback, try lowering your recording volume and make a new recording using this lower recording volume setting.

If you *still* hear excessive static during playback, either your sdcard or your device's CPU may not be fast enough for simultaneous real time voice effect transformation and playback. Instead of clicking on the play button, click on the floppy disk button, to save the voice effect as a favorite. Then, play this saved voice effect from the Favorites tab. If you get better results this way, use it as a workaround.

New Spin Air Hockey playfield

How to use your own recordings in Ultra Voice Changer

Use my app Ultra Ringtone Morpher, now available on the Android Market.

Ultra Ringtone Morpher for more information.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Selected Reviews of: Ultra Voice Changer

  • by Madisun (February 13, 2011)
    Its the greatest App ever don't listin to any neggitive comments they don't know fun if it slaped them in the face

  • by vanee (February 12, 2011)
    This is awesome i really need something like this to make my video with my friends i highly recomend this

  • by Dustin (February 12, 2011)
    Really fun. Great amusement at parties! Seriously considering using this on the next album. Get it

Selected Reviews of: Spin Air Hockey

  • by Christian (February 13, 2011)
    Tried every Air Hockey game on the market, this is by far the best!! If i could i would give this a 6******

  • by charles (February 12, 2011)
    Great game, works well no problems... HTC EVO.

  • by brandon Samsung Moment 2.1 (February 11, 2011)
    Alot of fun with 2 players. Samsung epic 2.1

Ultra Voice Changer

Check out my 'Ultra Voice Changer', now available on the Android Market..
Voice Effects:

  • Robot

  • Alien

  • Alien II

  • Backwards

  • Bee

  • Chipmunk

  • Deep

  • Echo

  • Helium

  • Hyper

  • Normal

  • Possessed

  • Slow Motion

LG Air Hockey

For those of you who reside in Sweden, check out 'LG Air Hockey', now available on the Android Market. The Swedish branch of LG Electronics licensed a customized version of my 'Spin Air Hockey' game, to help promote their brand.