Science

PRONOUNCE is a revolutionary headphone set that enables you to break free from the rhythm of your mother tongue by superimposing the rhythm of English on your voice.




Over 5,000 languages are spoken worldwide, and there are 650 consonant sounds and 180 vowel sounds. This is clear evidence of the remarkable richness of language sounds in the world around us.

Despite this, each language uses on average only 40 basic sounds, known as phonemes. A phoneme is the smallest sound unit that enables us to create a difference in meaning between two words, such as between ‘rat’ and ‘mat’, for example.

Each language is thus characterised by a small number of phonemic categories, and we perceive them as separated by clearly delineated sound breaks. These sound breaks enable us to separate the words of a phrase and deduce their meaning. Better still, this separation means we can establish a linguistic logic enabling us to anticipate the following sound and to deduce sounds that we do not hear. We do this naturally when talking on the phone or when there is interference from background noise. Some sounds we do not hear, but we are naturally able to guess what they are.

This linguistic separation varies greatly from one language to another. We assimilate it while learning our mother tongue. During our childhood we learn to select units of sound that are compatible with our linguistic environment, and to not hear those which do not form part of the phonetic structures of our social group. During the course of our development we thus become programmed with the rhythm of our own language.

It is not just by chance that we speak to a baby by overly accentuating the sounds and stretching out the words. It is what is known as ‘Motherese’.

This training soon becomes a hindrance to learning a foreign language, since rhythm and sound vary greatly from one language to another.

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Pronounce enables us to break free from the rhythm of our mother tongue by superimposing the rhythm of English on our voice. In reaction, our brain naturally corrects the voice in order to adapt to what the brain perceives via the headphones. By repeating this exercise, our brains are able to naturally assimilate the rhythm, which was previously quite foreign to us.

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