I'm looking for a smartphone app or computer program that will listen to me pronouncing a vowel and will tell me where exactly the vowel is located in the IPA vowel chart. Does anyone know of apps or programs that do this? If so, which ones would you recommend?


From what I understand, from a programming perspective this would be a matter of computing a spectrogram, extracting the first two formants, and performing a transformation on these to map them to the chart (which from what I understand uses tongue position rather than formants).

Some nice-haves in terms of other features to detect:

  • Rounded or unrounded
  • r-coloring
  • nasalization
  • The pitch of the vowel, as well as any contour
  • Vocal register
  • Whispered or not
  • 1
    By "IPA chart" shall we assume you mean "cardinal vowel space"? – user6726 May 16 '16 at 0:24
  • I'm not sure of the correct name of the chart. I'm talking about the trapezoid with the cardinal vowels on the edges. The one that depicts front vs. back vowels on the x axis and open vs. closed vowels on the y axis. I see these often in Wikipedia pages like the following en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_phonology (under the "Vowels" section) – joaqo May 16 '16 at 3:29
  • I recently found out about the computer program Praat (fon.hum.uva.nl/praat) which seems useful for obtaining vowel formants, and here (home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~krussll/phonetics/practice/praat.html) is a tutorial on how to do just that. However, it would be nice if there were another similar program but that is real-time and that shows the vowels in a vowel chart instead of a spectrogram. In case the spectrogram is the only possibility, it would be great to also have the "standard" IPA vowels plotted for reference. – joaqo May 29 '16 at 20:15
  • It should be possible to compute LPC spectra in real time with an imperceptible processing lag, but it would be constantly changing. Perhaps a moving dot displayed on the F1 vs. F2 axes: maybe someone will do this. Bringing in Jones standard vowels, though, would require normalizing formant values since people have different vocal tract sizes. – user6726 May 29 '16 at 20:44

A late answer but.

Here is a real time viewer for vowels.

The VowelWorm can plot vowel features on a canvas in real-time. It is based on the work done at the Department of Computational Perception at Johannes Kepler Universität Linz. enter image description here


Also look onto the speechace site by SpeechAce LLC

We develop best in class speech recognition software designed specifically for language learners.

Our patented technology is unique in its ability to score a learner's speech and pinpoint individual syllable and phoneme level mistakes in a user's pronunciation in real time.

Mistakes are then presented to the user in an appealing visual format along with supplementary feedback on stress, intonation and speaking rate. Such comprehensive feedback speeds up the learning process and is invaluable to users who do not have constant access to a qualified instructor for pronunciation practice.

enter image description here

  • 1
    ok I added some more details – Skins I Dec 8 '17 at 1:15

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