The motto of Forvo is, “All the words in the world. Pronounced.” Forvo is doing great work on helping language students to improve their pronunciation skills. You can learn tens of different languages, probably millions of different words and it’s all the time growing bigger.
And if you just need to check the pronunciation for one word. You can quickly do it in Forvo. In this article, I’ll explain what is Forvo all about and how does it work. I will also give a few other tips to help your speaking and pronunciation in foreign skills.
Overall Rank: 90 out of 100
What Is Forvo?
Have you ever wondered how some words are pronounced correctly in a foreign language?
Forvo is a website where you can learn pronunciation for almost any language in the world. They have also a mobile app that you can download to your smartphone in a few seconds.
The idea of Forvo is fascinating. Members all around the world add pronunciations for words in Forvo so you can learn them. There are a huge number of members in the community who are contributing to the common good. If you want to help others, you can also pronounce a few words in your native language correctly. It can help another language learner.
How Does Forvo Work?
You can start easily by writing a word you want to pronounce in a box. Then they will show you how native a native speaker pronounces it correctly. Usually, there are more than one different recordings from native speakers so you really learn a new word well.
As I mentioned, in the beginning, there are many languages available in Forvo. You can even practice my native language Finnish and some rare African or Asian languages that are not so popular. Then, of course, they have also all big languages like Chinese, English, Spanish, French, German and so on.
Let’s take an example. I wanted to check how to pronounce “Monsieur” (mister/sir) correctly by French native speakers. I wrote in on the search box and here are the results. There are more than 14 pronunciations for the word monsieur in Forvo.
Then I just click the “play button” next to the word Monsieur and I hear how it sounds by a native speaker. This was, of course, a very simple example but you can look for more complicated and longer words also.
Another great way to practice pronunciation with foreign languages is to find a language partner in Italki or in other social media for language learners. Have you already found language partner through the Internet?
Didn’t Find a Word in Forvo?
If you don’t find a pronunciation for some word in Forvo (which is quite rare) you have a few options.
1.Make a search in Google, “Pronunciation for YOURWORD”. Most likely you will find it quickly.
2.Ask a question in an application called in Italki or in HiNative. => A native speaker will help you out.
3.Leave a comment below and I will find an answer for you 🙂
Is Forvo a Safe Site?
I saw that people were Googling and asking on the Internet, “Is Forvo a safe site?” Probably some parents were wondering if they can let their children use this site or are there something violent.
Forvo is completely safe site also for children and teenagers. It works just like a dictionary. If you would your children to read a dictionary, you can also let them use Forvo. Of course, there are some “negative words” in every language like cursing etc. but if you don’t look them on purpose, they will not pop up on Forvo for sure.
Scamadviser.com gives Forvo high trust rating and says it’s 100% safe. So all in all there I don’t see a single reason why Forvo wouldn’t be a safe site.
Pros & Cons:
- Forvo is completely free
- They provide also a smartphone application
- The community of language learners adds new words and pronunciations constantly
- Excellent tool for language teachers
- If you write the word incorrectly, Forvo doesn’t automatically correct it like some other translation apps
- There are some Google ads on the website. (However, it’s not annoying to me and it’s quite normal for a free website)
What Other Ways Can I Recommend for Improving Your Pronunciation?
Forvo is for sure a great tool to improve your pronunciation with some sentences and words. However, I think it’s “only a tool” and you need also other methods for improving your speaking skills.
Benny Lewis (the guy who speaks +13 languages) always emphasizes that you need to start speaking from day 1. Speaking is for sure one of the fastest ways to mastering your pronunciation, especially if you are talking with native speakers.
Another interesting resource is Mimic Method. It’s created by a language expert called Idahossa Ness. He has studied languages and made a research how we could learn to speak like a native.
Many people have been thought that Idahossa is a native speaker of German, French, Spanish, English and so on because his pronunciation is so accurate and fluent. In Mimic Method, he teaches his secrets and a way how you can sound like a native as well.
How do you like to improve your pronunciation skills with new languages?
Share your experiences in the comments below and I will be more than happy to reply you personally. 🙂