How to turn audio dialogs into interactive roleplays

If you listen to language podcasts with dialogs or use language books with accompanying CDs or .mp3 files, you can turn your listening practice into active speaking practice by editing the audio files with a free audio editing program, such as Audacity or WavePad.

For this example, I’m using the most recent podcast from A Taste of Russian. Here below is the dialog text:Taste of Russian #165

This is a graphic representation of the audio from the entire podcast.
Taste of Russian Audacity complete

After I find the dialog section of the podcast, I copy and paste it into separate audio tracks, I then highlight the section of audio I want to delete and use the Effect menu, then Amplify, and apply the most negative number possible, which creates silence.
Audacity amplify effect

After I finish selecting and silencing sections from each track, I end up with two separate tracks. Then I mute or solo one track and then the other and try to read the missing lines as if I were an actor in a play. The fixed space of time in between lines forces me to work on the pacing and timing of my delivery.

Taste of Russian separate tracks

Lastly, make sure to save the edited tracks as separate audio files that you can listen to and interact with.

Here is a brief video of my interaction with this particular dialog. Please excuse my level of Russian, I’m still learning!

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