Good speaking habits in terms of pronunciation, speed, articulation, etc. help to clearly communicate in almost any situation. This is especially true if your conversation partner has hearing loss. Speaking clearly enables your conversation partner to rebuild words and sentences based on their context, to read lips, to interpret face expressions, … Speaking clearly also helps our app to better understand a speaker and interpret words and sentences more accurate.
While testing the Earfy app together with the University of Ghent, we hav seen quite some differences in conversations using the app. Bottom line, we could say that it all comes to pronunciation and tempo. If you swallow parts of words and/or speak to quick, the results become less accurate and harder to understand for the deaf or hard of hearing conversation partner.
First of all we learned that accents are not a big issue. We’ve had speakers coming from all over Flanders, speaking different Flemish accents. When they pronounced letters and words in a specific way, the app discovered this and generate the right output. The only difficulty with the interpretation of accents are local expressions and the use of shortened words. Moreover, some speakers used a lot of diminutives, like “koffieTJE”. The “-tje” part of the word means “little” and is used quite a bit some regions. This causes interpretation troubles for the app, so the diminutives should better be skipped.
As stated above, the accent is of minor importance. As long as you really pronounce each word. Skipping letters or gluing words together does not improve the accuracy of the subtitles generated by the Earfy app. So if you want to get the best out of our app, carefully pronounce word after word. By the way, this generally improves the understanding of what you say 😉
Speed is another parameter that influences the results of our app. Although the Earfy app is fast, it is good to take a break now and then after you’ve finished a sentence. When using the app, you will soon get aware if and when you need to take a short break.