Using Forvo to improve your pronunciation

There’s a wonderful little gem of a website called www.Forvo.com and it’s basically a place where you can hear words in almost any language pronounced by native speakers! ¡Fantástico!

Kieran Ball
Nov 11, 2018 · 3 min read

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When you first arrive at the homepage, you simply type in a word in any language you can think of (they even have really random languages like Franco-Provençal, which is a very regional French/Italian/Swiss language spoken by about 140,000 people).

You just type in the word in any language and then click the little magnifying glass:

Let’s type in the word “internet”, which exists in the same form in many languages. What happens is you’re taken to a page that then allows you to select the language you want to hear the word pronounced in.

You can then pick the language you want to hear the word pronounced in. You can also see, for each language, variations of the word you typed in along with phrases that the word appears in. All you have to do, once you’ve selected the language, is click the little blue triangular play button to the left of the word or phrase, and a recording will start to play.

It doesn’t end there, however; each word has several different recordings made from people all over the world. For example, you can see in the picture above that the word “internet” has four different recordings for the French version. If you click on the word itself, rather than the play button, you’ll be taken to a page that lets you choose which recording to listen to.

As you can see, there are recordings done by two males from France, a female from Switzerland and a male from Switzerland. Every word tends to have multiple recordings, so you can hear it pronounced in various ways.

This tool is very good for when you learn a new word and you aren’t sure how best to pronounce it. Sometimes, by hearing more than one person say the word out loud, you begin to realise that there might be more than one pronunciation. Just pick the pronunciation you like best and then try your best to mimic it. For example, French speakers in France may sound a bit different to French speakers in Switzerland or Canada. It’s the same for English speakers in England, Australia or America.

Hope you enjoy

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The Happy Linguist

Hints and tips to make foreign language learning easier

Kieran Ball

Written by

Teacher and creator of 3 Minute Languages — a series of books and online courses that help you to learn a foreign language quickly and easily www.3minute.club

The Happy Linguist

Hints and tips to make foreign language learning easier

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