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When we launched Extempore, in the summer of 2016, we chose the name as a way to highlight that our app allows instructors to obtain spontaneous speech from their students. Extempore, after all, is Latin for “said without preparation”. As you know, we were trying to solve the problem of students writing down their answers in recordings before responding orally.
As time has gone on, and more and more schools have started using the app, we’ve come to realize two things:
A) There is much more to Extempore than spontaneous speech. It is, after all, the only purpose-speaking practice app in the market right now.
B) Nobody knows how to pronounce Extempore!
Since I’m a native Spanish speaker, the pronunciation was pretty obvious. In Spanish, after all, an “e” is an “/e/” and it’s always pronounced an “/e/”!… so /eksˈtem.po.ɾe/ it is for me!
It’s not that clear in English, though:
- Per Wikipedia, Extempore is pronounced ikˈstempərē.
- Per Dictionary.com it’s pronounced ik-stem-puh-ree.
- Per Oxford, in American English using the International Phonetic Alphabet it’s /ekˈstem.pər.i/.
Users with different first languages will find other ways to pronounce it, but you know what? We don’t really care!
What we care about is that you enjoy using it and that it helps transform the way foreign languages are taught. On that front, everybody agrees, no matter the name.