Breaking Up an Audiobook to Learn Spanish


I have been studying Spanish nearly every day for the last few months. My goal is to be able to hold a conversation in one year. I use a variety of tools to learn (podcasts, duolingo, workbooks, audio lessions).

I am starting to work on my listening skills and have downloaded a couple of audiobooks to listen to. My Spanish is not strong enough to listen to a book straight-through and comprehend very much. I’ve found that I can listen to about a minute of audio at a time and work to translate it into English.

I wrote a Matlab script which breaks up an audiobook into ~1 minute chunks so that I can load them onto my phone and easily listen to a small segment at a time. It would be distracting if these pieces were split mid-word, so I added a simple way to detect silence and only split files during silence. I also added a 1 second pad to the beginning and end of each file and feathered the audio on and off slightly for smooth sound.

I am including the Matlab code and a couple of example clips.


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