Resources: audio transcription of language lessons

One of the most important things for language learning is listening to material, preferably native-speakers in real environments.  I’ve already mentioned podcasts and radio, but not that many people create their own listening material.  It can be really easy to take your new language everywhere you go.  Sometimes you just have to put a little bit of effort in beforehand.

If you are taking language lessons, an easy way to create your own audio files is to use a dictaphone or other audio recorder.  Many laptops and mobile phones have simple and easy to use recording software.  You can either record an entire lesson, and edit it later with free software such as Audacity, or ask your teacher to record specific examples for you, with or without translations.

If your recorder uses a file type that you can’t use on your music player, there are free audio converters (I use Switch) which easily change your files to something you can play on your media player or audio device.

You can even go one step further and transcribe your audio.  iTunes and other software allow you to edit your MP3’s lyrics so that the content appears on your iPod or music player as you listen.  If you haven’t written down what was on the sound file, you can listen and transcribe at the same time using software like Express Scribe.

Is there anything that works best for you?  Please let us know in the comments.

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