Audio coming soon ..... really?

Hey devs. One thing that kinda stopped me using this site as much as I used to is the distinct lack of audio after basics. My partner is Japanese and has a very clear voice. We ended up doing all of the recordings of the ones that weren’t on the site and I just play them on shuffle when I want to cram things.

The real question is. Are you guys planning on ever actually adding any audio? It’s been over a year since I saw any added. Or… for people like myself, should I just upload all the sound recordings I did with my partner so that people can use them. Alternatively, you are even welcome to use them on your site (if you credit her for her hard work).

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I empathize with your frustration, but they do still plan on adding it. Last I heard, they were waiting for all the sentences to be fully polished and completed before adding audio. Since they’ve been adding a lot of grammar recently, and still have more to go, I think it’s a safe bet to say that audio is still a long ways off.

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Since devs will most likely be reading this - I want to say one thing. Please hire professional voice actors when you do start recording the audio!

Current voice might sound okay, but if you compare it with the quality iKnow offers it’s night and day. I can barely understand the mumbling of the current recordings in comparison to crystal clear pronunciation of iKnow sentences. It really makes a big difference in learning.

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Yeah, even the quality my partner recorded for me is worlds better than the currently available. Which sucks considering how good BP is otherwise.

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I’d be happy with any audio additions honestly and if you are offering native samples, let’s upload them right away!

I was fine with the current voice actress honestly, even on the samples she blazes through; this is more real to me. The slow "天気がいいから、散歩しましょう "pace is a more painful listen.

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Yes, please keep audio at native speed. Although slowed down audio might seem helpful at first, it really just slows down the process of learning to comprehend Japanese at native speed.

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I second this. There have been nothing but promises for several months regarding the audio. I considered getting lifetime and this was what stopped me.

I would be ok with any audio if it is native (would prefer it with native speed).

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I would rather they polish the sentences before recording the audio, rather than being stuck with subpar sentences. They can take their time :slight_smile:

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If we’re going to demand high quality audio then I’d also like to request voice actors of both genders. This would be especially great for grammar points that are stereotypically masculine or feminine.

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Yes, and not just both genders, but at least 3 different voice actors for each gender, preferably in different age groups so you can be exposed to different styles of pronunciation. As long as they clearly pronounce everything.

Well, just look at iKnow, they have the best voice actors of all Japanese learning sites period.

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Yes, and not just both genders, but at least 3 different voice actors for each gender, preferably in different age groups so you can be exposed to different styles of pronunciation.

you do know this is a small niche grammar website right? I don’t know how much money they get from bunpro but I’m pretty sure it’s not enough to pay for 6 professional voice actors to record thousands of sentences in a studio level environment.

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Yeh I think this is unreasonable for sure. Defs not needed.

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It doesn’t really change the price :slight_smile:

The price depends on the number of lines that need to be produced.

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They shouldn’t take their time on the missing audio. As we burn through sentences, they are gone forever in our study routine and the listening practice experience during reviews is gone (unless resetting or cram). There A LOT of missing audio too; half of N4 and all of N3-N1. I’d rather take this short term solution @Asher is offering (which sounds like a great solution) than ask for all these extra stipulations and wait even longer (and probably burn most of the content during the wait). Most of the content right now is pretty neutral to the speaker minus some exceptions.

I was hoping BP wound consider a separate miscellaneous non-N level section that could address colloquial and dialect content along with idioms and expressions useful for communication; this would be a great area to have voice actor variety and content that reflected different ages and genders.

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@Asher Thank you for your post. And thank you @s1212z, @Jet, @Johnathan-Weir, @Litharrale, and @alyr_arkhon for your input.

The simple answer is: “Yes,” however, it is a little more complicated than that. While we have native Japanese support on the team, we are not equipped to record, mix or edit professional quality audio in house. We outsourced the first batch of audio and fully intended to continue working with the voice actress that we eventually settled on. However, we quickly realized that this would be easier said than done when we found sentences that needed to be rewritten either because they contained mistakes, we used grammar that was too advanced, or we thought that the grammar point could be better understood in a different context. Each rewritten sentence needed to have its audio replaced, which would sometimes lead to differences in audio levels and mix quality.

In addition to having sentences recorded again, we are still adding new grammar points and separating existing structures into more digestible chunks. New grammar/updated grammar is often placed between grammar points that already have audio, creating some gaps in content. As @Kuromaku and @conan alluded to, we thought that it would be better to wait until we had polished existing content thoroughly and had the majority of the content we wanted to add made available before we had new audio recorded.

That being said, we realize that continuing to push back the release of new audio for the sake of uniformity/quality may not be the best solution and that it can be detrimental to the way many people learn Japanese. We think that it is amazing that your partner recorded audio for Bunpro sentences and we would love to work with you both! We will be sending you a PM soon regarding the use of the audio on Bunpro and how best to credit to your partner for her hard work. Cheers!

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I understand all your concerns. For me the bottom line was that I wanted to maximize my time being exposed to the grammar, regardless of it being perfect or not. Looking forward to hearing from you, I am sure a lot of people will get use out of this for sure, it certainly helped me at least.

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Please don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Incremental but continuous progress with adding audio over time, even if it’s not of perfectly uniform quality, sounds much better than waiting for that perfect moment forever.

Also, in real life, my conversation partner is unlikely to be a pro actor in a studio. I’d like to be able to understand a store clerk, a bus driver, and so on, in a noisy environment no less. I actually like the current voice because it’s fast and sounds pretty natural, and that challenges me well.

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While I doubt they will add audio with background noise, you’ve got a point here and passages with background noise actually do come up on the JLPT sometimes :joy:

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