Google is testing a pronunciation feature in web search

December 21, 2018

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they are experimenting with a new feature to help some of their searchers pronounce words. A Google spokesperson said “this is an experiment” they are running.

A Reddit thread has a screenshot of this in action. The query that triggered this one mobile search, in Google India, was [how to pronounce compunction].

What is this pronounce feature? When asking Google how to pronounce a word, Google may help you pronounce it by letting you listen to how someone else says the word. In addition, Google will phonetically show you how to pronounce the words on the page. There is even a toggle to have it spoken in “slow” mode.

What does it look like? Here is a screenshot from the Reddit thread, you can click on it to enlarge it:

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Similar features. Google has a similar feature in India named Word Coach that helps searchers in those regions learn new words and expand their vocabulary.

Google told us then in regards to Word Coach:

Google Word Coach is a game designed to help expand English-language vocabulary in a fun and engaging way. It appears under our dictionary and translate boxes or when someone searches for “Google Word Coach.”

Why you should care. Since this is just being tested, there aren’t too many digital marketing applications to point to right now. But if we really think about it, this could be helpful for some brands at least. Poorsh? Poor-sha?

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