The Pronunciation Training Machine

Using a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino, an Adafruit NeoPixel Ring and a servomotor, Japanese makers HomeMadeGarbage produced this Pronunciation Training Machine to help their parents distinguish ‘L’s and ‘R’s when speaking English.

How does an Pronunciation Training Machine work?

As you can see in the video above, the machine utilises the Google Cloud Speech API to recognise their parents’ pronunciation of the words ‘right’ and ‘light’. Correctly pronounce the former, and the servo-mounted arrow points to the right. Pronounce the later and the NeoPixel Ring illuminates because, well, you just said “light”.

An image showing how the project works - English Pronunciation TrainingYou can find the full code for the project on its hackster page here.

Variations on the idea

It’s a super-cute project with great potential, and the concept could easily be amended for other training purposes. How about using motion sensors to help someone learn their left from their right?

A photo of hands with left and right written on them - English Pronunciation Training

Wait…your left or my left?
image c/o tattly

Or use random.choice to switch on LEDs over certain images, and speech recognition to reward a correct answer? Light up a picture of a cat, for example, and when the player says “cat”, they receive a ‘purr’ or a treat?

A photo of a kitten - English Pronunciation Training

Obligatory kitten picture
image c/o somewhere on the internet!

Raspberry Pi-based educational aids do not have to be elaborate builds. They can use components as simple as a servo and an LED, and still have the potential to make great improvements in people’s day-to-day lives.

Your own projects

If you’ve created an educational tool using a Raspberry Pi, we’d love to see it. The Raspberry Pi itself is an educational tool, so you’re helping it to fulfil its destiny! Make sure you share your projects with us on social media, or pop a link in the comments below. We’d also love to see people using the Pronunciation Training Machine (or similar projects), so make sure you share those too!

A massive shout out to Artie at for this heads-up, and for all the other Raspberry Pi projects he sends my way. What a star!


Shivasiddharth avatar
Fester Bestertester avatar

Admittedly, older Japanese folk have that difficulty, but they’re not the only ones. Try getting an American (particularly a Southerner) to pronounce the L in “golf” or “solder”. Our education systems (I’m a Kiwi and I see it here in NZ) have lost the inclusion of the fun exercises of Tongue-Twisters. Betty Botter, Peter Piper … Admittedly they occasionally come up with gems of their own: The Monkees’ “Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky” … :)

An.86 avatar

Es genial la idea, pero podría llevarse a mucho más este proyecto, integrar más palabras y no solo para diferenciar entre dos, sino para ejercitar la pronunciación de las palabras con R, ya que hay muchas personas que tienen problemas para pronunciarla.

naief mohammed avatar

Is it important to use Arduino? Can we use the raspberry pi GPIO using gpiozero library instead?

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