- Byki gives the most detailed graphs to show how well you pronounce. Each time you say a word or phrase, you can see an overall score, and graphs on how the vowels, consonants, pitch, etc. sounded in 76 languages.
- Passport to Languages / Learn to Speak has a simple pronunciation score in 6 languages, without detailed graphs, but they have more vocabulary than Byki. Any of these first programs costs $20-$40 for permanent ownership of courses and scoring.
- Pronunciator is $30 per month, has good scoring in 72 languages, and is easier to use than Byki, though its graphs are not as detailed as Byki's. It has at least as much vocabulary as Learn to Speak. It offers free samples of the pronunciation scoring, which most do not.
- Two more are expensive and hard to use, according to reviews: Tellmemore and Rosettastone. Tellmemore scores pronunciation generously. I got undeservedly high scores in Spanish. A graph shows volume and an extra line for pitch to help you learn intonation. This would be especially good for Mandarin, which is one of the languages they teach. Reviewers say that in sentences, you must speak each word separately to get a good score.
- Babbel gives you too little feedback about pronunciation and then moves on to reading and writing. It scores good pronunciation on a scale 50-100, but gives you no score or feedback on poor pronunciation and goes on to the next screen before you get the pronunciation right. They let you say each word just once each time through a lesson.
- Two others are free, but only teach intermediate English: EnglishCentral and GoEnglishMe.
- Berlitzonline is expensive, and no samples or reviews are available.
Several websites record you saying a word or sentence. Then they analyze it and give feedback in a score, and often a graph. The approach allows you to practice repeatedly and improve your accent. The programs work by comparing your recording to the model recording in the program, after adjusting for any basic difference in pitch.The programs vary widely in what they offer. Items 1-3 are excellent and worth getting.
Review of Passport to Languages, from eLanguage.com
Words+pictures, Pronunciation scored, Cheap, ★★★★
They teach 35 languages in a combined package ($20). All languages let you record and compare yourself to their native speaker. They earn 4 stars for scoring your pronunciation in US English, French, German, Italian, and Latin American Spanish. They earn 3 stars for other languages. Their scoring of your pronunciation can be set from generous to strict.
They lose a star because their software seems to need Windows 95/98, ME, 2000 or XP. They told me they have a version compatible with Windows 7 and Vista, but when I bought it, directly from their website, it did not work on Windows 7. I tested it with an old laptop running XP. It is an excellent 5-star program if you have access to one of the older operating systems.
They explain lessons in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish, though a few buttons and the installation instructions remain in English.
The pronunciation scoring is under "Learn by Subject," not "Pronunciation." They say each word, and show spelling and a picture, You choose whether they provide a translation into your own language. They say the word as often as you wish, and you can get scoring of your pronunciation as often as you wish. Sound quality varies but is reasonable.
They cover a lot of vocabulary. In health terms, they have detailed words for different bones, blood and breathing systems, major organs, parts of the head, mouth, eyes, arm, hand and foot, as well as a modest range of health office terms. They teach a charming sequence of 14 emotions with pictures of a mime. They have different health words from Pronunciator, and more than Byki, though Byki has helpful detailed pronunciation graphs besides the summary score.
They explain grammar, but offer no drills or practice.
ELanguage also has more detailed packages in English, French, German, and Spanish, reviewed separately.