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. 🙂
Wow, what a useful post! I really enjoy learning different languages and pride myself in trying to pronounce the words properly. At work, we have a lot of Vietnamese-speaking customers and they come in not speaking too much English.
I found that when I begin speaking Vietnamese to them, it breaks the ice. Suddenly, they get the courage to try to speak English. I think, they see I’m willing to speak their language, so, why not try it myself. When I started, they said I speak like a child trying to speak Vietnamese.
Now they think I’m a native speaker. I want to learn some more French next. I’m glad there’s a site I can use to help me.
Sounds great. I know the feeling that speaking someone’s native language breaks the ice. Usually, everyone likes when you speak their native language at least a little.
I can help you to learn French. Have a look at these 7 French-learning wonderful resources. I bet you will like them.
I will be checking out Forvo because I am in the process of learning Spanish and sometimes struggle to pronounce some of the words. I have trouble even understanding how to say some of the words because I cannot get a firm grasp on the sounds from my lessons.
I think this tool can be useful especially because it provides multiple native speakers to say the word. This has to help with better pronunciations.
I was please to read that the site is safe to be used by children because so many sites are suspect these days. i do not have a child of the age that can use the internet on his own but this is still a concern. Just one wrong click can lead to irreparable damage to my child.
Is MIMIC a paid language learning program? What is the cost? How does it compared to others such as the Pimsleur method?
I am sure that this tool will help you to pronounce Spanish words. Just type the word you need to know to their website and then you will hear the right pronunciation from native speakers.
Mimic Method is a paid language learning program like Pimsleur. I have written a full review of both of them so I believe they will give you a great picture of them.
You can read them here:
Now this is a great idea for a site. I have been embarrassed, often, when I have pronounced words incorrectly around people, and I think that it can really make one seem less intelligent. Even if you know the absolute meaning and usage of the words, saying them incorrectly can sometimes give the wrong impression and make you seem less credible.
This website is really helpful, and I plan on using it to improve my speaking skills with any language I need to use in my personal, academic, or professional lives.
I agree with you that it’s good to know how to pronounce words correctly. But in my opinion, it’s not a big problem if you make mistakes. We always learn by making mistakes so it’s actually a good thing. I am a native Finnish speaker but I talk it “incorrectly” because I talk it with my own dialect. The same goes for almost all people. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes 🙂
Still, Forvo is a great learning tool for learning the correct pronunciation. Another great tool is Mimic Method. It will help you to talk like a native in 5 different languages. Do you know it?
I think Forvo would come handy for me when I start learning German, that has been my dream foreign language to study, and the amazing feature of Forvo which is that it’s absolutely free to use makes it an exciting tool for someone like me to check out. I think it is important not only to learn foreign languages but to also be able to speak it fluently in a way that the native speakers of those languages would understand what you’re actually speaking.
I am going to install Forvo on my mobile device soon and see how it works. By reading your articles every day, I’ve come to realize that I would have learnt like 3 foreign language s in the last decade for you always make things look simple.
yeah, Forvo can be very helpful for learning long words in German. 😉
I’m so glad to hear that my posts have inspired you.
Talking about easy… It’s like Jim Rohn said, “It was Easy to get rich.” Then you may ask, “Well, why don’t everyone then become rich.” He just replies, “It’s also easy not to become rich.” Many things are easy to do but they are also easy not to do.
Studying a new language for 30 minutes per day to become a fluent speaker is very easy to do. On the other hand, it’s also easy not to do and that’s the reason why some people don’t learn languages.
I will check this Forvo website. Let’s see what will happen if I learn some French there. It looks helpful to me. Thanks for this wonderful article.
Forvo will help you if there are any complicated words in French that you don’t know how to pronounce well.
Other great resources for improving your French pronunciation (and to sound like a native) are Mimic Method and Speechling.
Also, Francais Authentique works well. I think it’s a tool that I have used the most when I was studying French.
I want to learn many languages that I can. If I can learn 5 languages a year, I am greatful to myself if I can do it. But at the same time, I questioned myself. “If I can learn 5 languages a year, how I can be able to pronounce it correctly?” Maybe I can learn how to write and understand languages but for me it’s useless if I can’t pronounce it correctly.
I have tried many method I found out. Mimic method is I used mostly. For me, it is easy to learn how to pronounce a word from different language if myself will follow this method. But for others, maybe they are more comfortable if they will use other method to correct their pronounciation.
But I think mimic method is not enough for me. So I plan to try Forvo. Based on the review I have read, Forvo is an amazing tool to correct your pronounciation of words in other language or the language you have learned. It’s great that Forvo is there for any assistance about pronounciation.
5 new languages in a year is a huge goal. You better go to work right away to achieve it! 😉 It’s completely possible to learn 5 languages in a year but not as a native level. Still, I believe you can learn to speak in those languages if you put enough effort for learning.
Mimic Method is great and another resource to help your pronunciation is an app called Speechling. Did you already check it out? You can start using it for completely free.