Audacity as language tool

A. Students are to listen to a 20min foreign language podcast (mp3) in track 1
B. Pick a word or short phrase, mark it as a loop with a delay and listen to it.
C. Open track 2 and record the phrase, shift it till it aligns with track 1, visually compare. Repeat as necessary.
D. Go to next phrase.
None of this needs to be saved

This is it in essence, question is it possible in Audacity (which I downloaded specifically to check whether this could be done)
Screenshot 2020-12-18 at 21.00.43.png

spectrogram view, (rather than waveform view), may be more useful for comparison purposes.

Thanks for reply,

Leave aside for the moment which is preferable for comparison, spectral or waveform.

My question comes down to – can I add another track for microphone input independant of the the first track
( as indicated in the mockup pic of original post).

You can have both waveform and spectral view at the same time with “Multi-view” chosen from the track’s Track Dropdown menu
See this page in the Manual:


Yes, to record on a new track just use Shift + Record or Shift + R


Yes, you can have Audacity record on a new track, (rather than appending),
starting from where the cursor is.
record on a new track.png

Thanks all, I think I have got as far as I can with Audacity as it stands. It’s capable of doing all I wished for in the top post BUT at a time cost to set each word up and more importantly the distraction of the process.

My perfect solution would be to highlight a word from the mp3 file (typically 1 sec) and click the selection which opens in a popup like this. The selected piece in in green. The user now listens and repeats then presses record to capture the lower track.

(this image is from Mango, a language learning app)

Is this technically possible using a plug-in ?

(apologies if I’m the wrong forum for this)
Screenshot 2020-12-19 at 14.28.57.png

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but can’t you just:

  1. Select the word / phrase
  2. Press “Space” (play)
  3. Repeat step 2 as often as required
  4. Press “Shift + R” (record to new track)

but can’t you just:

yes, and that will do for now, I started looking at what making an add-on involved and balked at the work!