FAQ

Here is the list of the questions that are most commonly asked by Saundz American English Pronunciation Software users.  If you still have not found what you have been looking for, please refer to User guide, or contact us.

Who is Saundz for?

Saundz is meant for anyone who has learned English as a second language and wishes to improve his/her vitally important pronunciation skills.

Many linguistic experts consider pronunciation problems to be the prevalent source of misunderstandings in oral communication.  Our goal is to significantly improve the verbal communication skills of our users, giving them the ability to produce clear, correct and confidently delivered English speech.

Saundz is a fun and effective way to help you improve your pronunciation, and we believe that you will notice a significant improvement in your pronunciation skills as early as the first month, regardless of your current level of English.  After you have completed the course, you can use Saundz as your own reference for American English pronunciation.

What can Saundz do for me?

Saundz helps you improve your English as it improves your pronunciation of American English consonants, vowels, and many problematic consonant groups.

We will show you how to improve your pronunciation by teaching you how to position your mouth and tongue so you can correctly form the unique sounds of the English language, all with our easy to use curriculum.  In as little as 5 lessons, we will literally help reshape the way you pronounce words.

What makes Saundz different from other similar products?

If you have ever tried to learn English, you probably know that most teaching methods focus on grammar, vocabulary and writing skills, yet neglect pronunciation.  Online courses follow the same trend and they, too, tend to overlook pronunciation.

As soon as you try Saundz, however, you will realize that our virtual teacher Simone has a completely different approach to teaching American English phonetic pronunciation.  Furthermore, we have covered the process in greater detail than any other software that tries to teach you how to sound like a real native speaker of American English.

How long does it take to finish the course?

Saundz consists of 37 lessons and there is no time limit for their completion.  This means that you can set your own pace and go through each lesson whenever you want.

However, a successful learning process depends on continuity.  We suggest that you devote a fixed time slot for learning pronunciation and follow the schedule that you have created.  At the pace of one lesson per day, you will complete the Saundz course curriculum in approximately six weeks.  If you want to complete the course at a quicker or slower pace, that’s completely up to you.

And the really good thing is that you can return anytime to sounds that are more difficult to pronounce.  After you have completed the course, you can use Saundz as your own reference for American English pronunciation.

Can I use Saundz on my tablet or smartphone?

Yes – the Saundz tablet app is available at the App Store for iPad and at the Windows 8 App Store.

I have comments, proposals or ideas about something I’ve seen on the site. What can I do?

We’d love to hear your feedback.  Feel free to contact us with any suggestions, issues or proposals, and we will make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

How do I sign up for and set up my Saundz account?

Setting up an account and starting the Saundz course is easy.  All you need to do is to click Login, choose Register and follow the instructions.  You can start practicing your pronunciation in a matter of minutes.

What are the system requirements necessary for Saundz to work?

Your computer must meet the following requirements so your Saundz app would work properly:

Browsers

  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Safari 6 (Mac OsX)
  • Firefox 16
  • Chrome 20

Minimum hardware requirements

Windows

Version

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions supported)
  • Windows 8*

Processor

  • At least 1 GHz

RAM

  • At least 512 MB

Mac

Version

  • Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard”
  • Mac OS X v10.6 “Snow Leopard”
  • Mac OS X v10.7 “Lion”
  • Mac OS X v10.8 “Mountain Lion”

Processor

  • At least 1 GHz Intel processor (Core 2 Duo)

RAM

  • At least 1 GB

Linux

Processor

  • At least 1 GHz

RAM

  • At least 512 MB
How can I solve technical issues with sound recording?

Microphone settings on Windows computers can be found in the Sound window of Control Panel.  Make sure that the “Mute” checkbox under the Microphone slider is unchecked.  The volume and microphone controls on Mac are under System Preferences/Speech.

For further reference, please browse through our User Guide.

Why can’t I sign in to Saundz?

If you still can not log in, try resetting your password.

- Please make sure that you are using the correct username and password.

If you still have troubles, please make sure your network connection is working properly.

- Make sure your computer supports system requirements for running Saundz.

- Check your firewall settings.

- Check your proxy server settings.

- If you have made some important changes to your computer, such as adding or removing programs, you might need to restart your computer.

For further assistance, please refer to our User Guide.

I did not get a verification email, what should I do?

After you create your Saundz account, you should receive a verification email in a matter of minutes.

Before you resend your request, make sure your verification email did not end up in your Spam or Trash folder.

If you still have not received your verification email, please try to log in and we will provide you with an option to resend your verification.  Click Resend verification email and check your inbox.

For further reference, please browse through our User Manual.

Can I add another email address to my account?

To add another email address to your account choose the Profile tab from a drop-down menu that opens when you hover over the profile box in the upper right corner.

You can add another email address by entering it into the field Add another email address.

How do I change my login email address?

To change your login email address choose the “profile” option from a drop-down menu that opens when you hover over the profile box in the upper right corner.

Enter the new email address into “Add another email” field and check the green field next to it to set it as default (optional).

To change your login email address, choose the “profile” option from the drop-down menu that opens when you hover over the profile box in the upper right corner.

Enter the new email address into the “Add another email” field and check the green field next to it to set it as your default (optional).

You can add several email addresses to your account but only one can be set as your default.  This one will be used for sending notification emails.

You can log in with any of the email addresses you added to your account at any time.

 

For further reference, please browse through our User Guide.

 

How do I delete my email address?

To delete your login email address choose the Profile tab from the drop-down menu that opens when you hover over the profile box in the upper right corner.

You can delete your email address by clicking the “x” sign next to it.  Note that you cannot delete the email address that you set as default.

For further reference, please browse through our User Guide.

If I buy Saundz on the web, will I be able to use it on my iPad as well?

No.  Due to certain Apple’s policies, if you buy Saundz on our official website you won’t be able to use it on your iPad.

However, if you buy the iPad app on iTunes, you’ll be able to use it on both your iPad and your desktop computer.

What payment methods do you accept?

Saundz accepts the following payment methods:

Paypal

MasterCard
Visa
American Express
Switch
Solo
Discover
Giro Pay
Bank transfer

More options

Alipay
Union Pay
Ukash
Qiwi
Safety Pay
ELV
Sofort
Moneta.ru
Giropay
Bank transfer

Is it safe to use my credit card?

Saundz doesn’t store any of the data you provide during purchase. Our online sales are managed by a reliable external provider that takes professional care of your data security. All credit card transfers are secured by SSL encryption, which is the most secure technology available for electronic transactions.

In which currency can I make payments?
  • EUR – Euro
  • USD – American Dollar
  • GBP – British Pound
  • AUD – Australian Dollar
  • CAD – Canadian Dollar
  • JPY – Japanese Yen
  • HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
  • CHF – Swiss Franc
  • CHY – Chinese Yuan
  • THB – Thai Baht
  • TWD – New Taiwan Dollar
  • MXN – Mexican Peso
  • PHP – Philippine Peso
I cannot make the purchase because the payment has failed. What should I do?

Credit card payment may fail because of bank authorization and prevention systems.  If you have problems paying for Saundz, you should contact your bank.

My credit card number was declined, what should I do?
  1. Make sure you enter the card number correctly, without spaces or dashes.
  2. Make sure that the credit card hasn’t expired.
  3. Make sure that you have sufficient funds on your account.
  4. If your card has a security code, enter it correctly on the payment screen.
  5. Ensure that the computers at either end of the transaction do not have technical problems.

If you still have problems submitting your credit card payment, contact our support team.  

Is the information I give you safe?

All the information you share with Saundz is completely safe.
For more information see Saundz Terms of Service.

I was charged double for purchasing Saundz. What should I do?

If there is a problem with your account, please contact your card bank to see if there was a misdirection of the bill.

For any additional assistance, please contact our support team.

Is my data secure in Saundz?

We value your privacy and store all of your recordings and personal data on our secure servers.  No third-party websites are authorized to access your account, and, without your consent, we will never disclose it to anyone, nor use it for any purpose other than that for which you are using Saundz.

If you want to know more about this, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

Do I need a microphone to use Saundz?

Although you can practice your pronunciation without using a microphone, we strongly recommend that you record your voice and compare it to the recording of your virtual instructor.  That is the most effective way to learn American English pronunciation.

How do I use a headset, microphone or speakers with Saundz?

You can use Saundz with either a microphone and speakers, or a computer headset.  Regardless of the type of sound system you use, you should make sure that it is properly connected to your computer.

For the best possible performance, you should use a computer headset.  Most computer headsets have two separate mini-jack connectors – one for headphones and the other for the microphone – and are easy to set up.  Some headsets can be connected to your computer via the USB port.

Mini-jack headset plugs come with separate connectors for the microphone and the headphones.  The plugs are either colored (usually pink and green) or marked with the matching color or symbol.  The same applies to speakers and microphones – speaker plugs go in green jacks, and mics in pink.  USB plugs have a single port.

How do I adjust sound volume in Saundz?

You can adjust the sound volume by clicking on a volume slider located in the lower right corner of the screen.

Adjusting Sound volume

If you have problems with your headsets, please refer to our User Guide.

How do I know if my headset works?

If you are already using your headset or external microphone and speakers for other applications on your computer, your headset should start working as soon as you enter Saundz.  The first screen of the program is meant to check if everything is running smoothly, so follow the instructions and make sure that everything is working fine before you start the course.

If you encounter any problems, please refer to our User Guide.

Why am I having trouble with sound quality?

Sound problems in Saundz can result from several possible causes:

1.  Inappropriate microphone and headset settings
2.  Connection problems
3.  Firewall settings
4.  Running bandwidth-consuming programs (downloading large files)

Make sure your network connection is good and all the bandwidth-consuming programs are turned off.  You should also check your browser firewall settings and properly adjust microphone and headset.

Why can’t I sign in to Saundz?

If you have trouble logging in, make sure you have entered the correct password.  Make sure your „Caps Lock“ function is off, and always change your keyboard settings to English.

If you can still not log in, try resetting your password.

- Please make sure that you are using the correct username and password.

If you still have troubles please make sure your network connection is working properly.

- Make sure your computer supports system requirements for running Saundz.

- Check your firewall settings.

- Check your proxy server settings.

- If you have made some important changes to your computer such as adding or removing programs you might need to restart your computer.

Why do we have an accent?

An accent is a way of pronouncing the sounds of a language.  It is impossible to speak without an accent.  Many people may think they do not have an accent.  Or you may think that it is other people who have an accent.  Everyone has an accent.

Your accent results from how, where, and when you learned the language you speak, and it gives impressions about you to other people.  People do not have a single, fixed accent.

We can control the way we speak, and we do, both consciously and unconsciously.  Most people vary their accent depending on whom they are speaking to.

We subtly change our accents, often without noticing, as we have new life experiences.

Can I change my accent?

Yes.  Accents are not fixed.  Our accents change over time as our needs change (the need to learn a new language, for example) and as our sense of who we are changes and develops.  Accents are easier to change before we reach our early twenties.  But even after that, if you want to change your accent, you can.

Saundz is an effective way to help you change or reduce your accent, and we believe that within just the first month you will notice a significant improvement in your pronunciation skills.

We look forward to seeing you get started on the Saundz curriculum.

Do you know why Pronunciation and Accent Reduction Training is so vital to business communication?

When an employee is difficult to understand because of underdeveloped English speaking abilities (usually pronunciation), the communication (or lack of communication) can be very frustrating.  Customers are generally not patient and do not want to spend their time having to struggle to figure out what your employee is trying to say.  The focus shifts to the way the employee speaks, rather than staying on the content of what is being said.  Communication breaks down, which can be costly to your company.

Saundz is easy to use, and is a fun curriculum-based software solution. It is an efficient resource that will enable users to significantly improve their pronunciation skills.

What are the four basic skills needed to speak a new language?

When we learn a language, there are four skills that we need in order to achieve effective communication.

When we learn our native language, we usually learn to listen first, then to speak, then to read, and finally to write.  These are called the four “language skills”:

  • ·Skill 1: Listening
  • ·Skill 2: Speaking
  • ·Skill 3: Reading
  • ·Skill 4: Writing

As you can see, speaking is the second language skill, and probably the one that most language learners wish to perfect as soon as possible.

Saundz covers all of the four skills, with the main focus being on speaking and listening.  A typical Saundz student has already received formal English language instruction and the Saundz curriculum is primarily designed to help students practice spoken English in order to improve their pronunciation.  Pronunciation is often one of the most difficult skills to practice because of difficulties regarding access to, and the cost of, hiring native English speakers as instructors.  Saundz gives you access to four virtual assistants.  Don’t worry, though; it is easy and you can do it in the privacy of your own home.

Why does Saundz contain 40 phonemes?

Saundz curriculum teaches 40 sounds of General American English which are the basis for learning proper American English pronunciation.  Though some dictionaries and language learning applications may include more than these basic sounds, these 40 are considered to be essential for learning pronunciation, at least as far as American English is concerned.

Saundz curriculum does not include phonemes that are specific to British English.  However, besides the basic 40 phonemes, Saundz also deals with some of the most problematic consonant groups such as word initial -sp, -sk, -st, etc.  There are 23 lesson units in Saundz that deal with consonant groups that are considered to be problematic for ESL learners.

By teaching only the practical and useful things, Saundz enables ESL learners to improve their American English accent in a simple and effective way.

Am I too young/too old to use Saundz?

Saundz has no age limit set for our users – if you are old enough to speak and read, you are old enough to use Saundz pronunciation learning software.

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