Today I came across an interesting-looking site called Xtranormal that use text-to-speech and other clever stuff – they call it ‘text-to-movie’ – to make animated films.

You just choose your characters and setting, and then type in the dialogue. You can also play with the cameras, animate the characters, and add other effects.

What interests me particularly about this program is that you can choose voices in a variety of languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Dutch, and I think this could be a useful language learning and teaching tool.

Here’s a short bilingual (English and Mandarin) film I put together:

[Update] It didn’t accept quite a few of the Chinese characters I tried to use, so you can only use very simple phrases. Here’s another short film in French and English:

This entry was posted in Chinese, English, French, Language, Language learning.

6 Responses to Xtranormal

  1. Andrew says:

    Oohhhhh boy, THAT site…

    Yeah, that’s gotten pretty popular lately, people have been having all sorts of fun with it, there are some pretty funny clips on YouTube if you’ll search for “xtranormal”. This is one of the most popular ones, I thought it was pretty funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVcfURpwrtg


  2. Simon says:

    There are other bilingual ones here (in French and Spanish) and here (English, Japanese and Spanish).

  3. I use these for teaching English. Short conversations that interest the students. I haven’t explored it’s bilingual capabilities though.

  4. Florestan says:

    A very pedantic point, but “ils se sont envolés” would be better to say “they’ve flown off” – “ils ont volé” just means “they flew”.

  5. Jennifer says:

    hey, I want to make a video with characters talking in Chinese too, but I can’t find the “Chinese” option in the scroll for languages. Can you tell me how you made this video?

  6. Simon says:

    Jennifer – when I made this video there was an option for Chinese. Maybe that option has been removed for some reason.

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