Kurzweil 3000 is an educational program that is primarily designed to help the students studying the English language improve their reading skills. To start learning, we need to open a text file. It is also possible to copy-paste a PDF, HTML, TEXT document from an external source, or scan the document. After we have the text in front of us, we can choose to learn the meaning of the words, and their synonyms (if available). We can also learn how a defined word is translated into Spanish, German, French, or Italian. We can set the program to read the whole text, a paragraph, or a word. In addition, we can opt to listen to how a word is spelled, and view its phonetic transcription. The phonetic symbols used are not IPA symbols but those belonging to the American Heritage dictionary.
A big disadvantage of the program is that the quality of the audio is not good, making it very difficult to hear the text. There are many female and male voices to choose from, but none of them is up to standard. When reading a text or a sentence, the robotic sounds are made with no intonation of any kind. Because of this, I think this program cannot help students (native or not) studying the English language, nor it is suitable for children with learning problems. This program is available for evaluation-purposes free of charge for 30 days.
- Free trial for 30 days
- Trial version takes a long time to download
- The robotic voices that read the text are not of much help as they do not read with any stress or intonation
- Quite expensive
- The sound quality is very poor