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Main page » Black Hole » Understand English Better : VoiceBook - Volume 1

Understand English Better : VoiceBook - Volume 1


Half a million people in the world now understand English better thanks to VOICEbooks, one of the best-selling multimedia language-learning applications of all time.

One of the reasons for the success of VOICEbooks is that using a VOICEbook Player is very simple and intuitive: listen to what the person is saying, and write down what you understand. If you have chosen the right level of VOICEbooks for you, then you will generally understand between 50% and 80% of the words – unfortunately, even if you understand 90%, you can never be completely sure that the most important detail in the message wasn’t in the 10% you didn’t understand (you have probably had that experience 1000 times when listening to a foreign language, right?).

This is when the powerful features of the VOICEbook Player come into action, making VOICEbooks a real learning experience, and not just a frustrating testing software:
Dictionary mode. You can ask the VOICEbook Player to give you a definition of any of the words in the phrase – you can ask for definitions of words you have completed and even of those you did not understand
Spellcheck mode. You can ask the VOICEbook Player to correct your spelling if you got a word half right. Yes, the VOICEbook Player is so intelligent that it recognises words which are half correct. (Most language software applications will simply tell you that you are wrong if you write "Englis" instead of "English" – the VOICEbook Player will tell you that you are almost right, showing you "English" and inviting you to add the final letter.)
Letter-by-letter mode. You can ask the VOICEbook Player to give you a letter in a word that you don’t understand so that you can try and complete the word phonetically, one letter at a time.
Grammar mode. (only available for VOICEbooks in English) You can ask the VOICEbook Player for grammar notes for any of the grammar-linked words in the text. Sometimes you will understand the words but you will not be able to understand the meaning because of the grammar. The grammar link will show you the grammar rule being used in this phrase.
Comments. You can choose to display comments about the text each time you complete a phrase. Sometimes you will understand all of the words in a text but you will not be able to understand the meaning because there are some details which are difficult to understand – this could be cultural references, difficult syntax, notes about pronunciation or any other comment which helps you to understand the real meaning of the text.

Minimum system requirements

Multimedia PC Pentium 133 or higher
32 Mb RAM (64 recommended)
10 Mb hard disk space for the VOICEbook Player
2-5 Mb hard disk space for each VOICEbook
Graphics card 800 x 600 x 256 colors
Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows NT 3.51, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (but not Windows 95)

We think VOICEbooks are wonderful - and we're happy to say we're not the only ones. About half a million people around the world have improved their English with VOICEbooks, and many of them have bought whole series of CD-ROMs – in fact worldwide sales have passed 2 million CD-ROMs (which means over 10 million VOICEbooks)!

VOICEbooks use recordings of about 2 minutes in length in one of the following foreign languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. Some are easy enough for beginners to use, while some other VOICEbooks are so difficult that even people who have studied for years still find it a challenge to complete them, and of course there are many different intermediate levels in between.

VOICEbooks give you very concentrated interactive listening work, as we want you to improve your language listening, not just demonstrate to yourself what you know and what you don’t, so each VOICEbook seems to take between 1 and 2 hours of study per minute of recording. That means that a 2-minute VOICEbook will give you enough material for up to 4 hours of work, all for a price of just 4.5 Euros (currently about 5 US$), which is a very small price to pay for the improvements you will be making using VOICEbooks.

Like the taste of strawberries, VOICEbooks are not easy to define, but like strawberries they are very easy to understand when you use them. So we suggest that you download a free demo VOICEbook now to try one out (and you can't do that with strawberries, either, can you?). A practical demonstration is worth a thousand words, so instead of reading all the fantastic things we have to say, we recommend trying out the product yourself – don’t worry, you have nothing to lose: if you decide you don’t want to use VOICEbooks ever again, you’ve only wasted 20 minutes of your life.

For those of you who prefer to read theoretical descriptions before you will download something and try it out, click on the definition of VOICEbooks first anyway (and if you're still a little confused by the jargon, don't worry - you'll understand things better when we show you what VOICEbooks are).

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Tags: understand, VOICEbooks, English, between, words, Understand, Volume