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I recently got stuck trying to discern whether a person in a video1 was saying 湯, 言う, or something else. I figured things out eventually, but it made me think about how I would ask about these situations on JL&U.

My suggestion: Allow audio clips to be uploaded from within the Stack Exchange post editor, just like images.

Pros

  • Posts could include exact pronunciations, without relying on "it-sounded-like" descriptions.
  • No link-rot; the uploaded audio files would remain available for future reference.
  • It could also be useful for other language-related SE sites, such as German or Russian.

Cons

  • JL&U is not Napster; perhaps uploads could be limited to a maximum of, say, 10 seconds?
  • HTML5 audio format support varies by browser, so post-upload conversion may be needed.
  • The files would need to be hosted somewhere; how much disk space would they take up?

1. Please note that this was an offline video, so linking to YouTube (and hoping that the video remained available) wasn't really an option.

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I just want to let your community know that the English Language & Usage and English Language Learners is trying to get some attention for a feature request on Meta to allow language sites to embed sound clips. If y'all are still interested in allowing audio uploads, please add your input.

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