Communication is one of the most important aspects of our lives. As of today, the world has become a much smaller place, thanks to the advancements of information technology. As a result, you can meet plenty of new individuals from various parts of the world. Needless to say, these individuals speak various different languages. However, under practical conditions, people cannot learn each and every language in the world. In that case, you may have to seek the assistance of some tools. Forvo is such an online tool that comes for free. The purpose of this article is to explain what is Forvo and how to use it to improve your linguistic skills.
What exactly Forvo is?
In simplest terms, Forvo is a free service available online which helps you to learn pronunciation. The beauty of this free tool is that it is not limited to a single or couple of languages. Instead, it supports more than 330 languages. That means you can learn how to pronounce words in over 330 languages.
This special online tool comes as a community-powered resource. This specific tool links individuals across the globe to use the site and learn from it. Any individual can use this tool and learn how to pronounce phrases and words. The best thing about this tool is that it lets you know how the words are pronounced by natives. As per the claims made by the developers, this website has the largest online pronunciation database. They say their database comprises of more than 4 million audible words (with the pronunciation of natives). Also, these words are related to more than 330 different languages used across the globe.
In fact, the top five languages of Forvo has a massive database of words. The size of this database (the number of words) is surprising for many of the users of this platform. English, German, Russian, Japanese and Tatar are considered to be the top file languages of Forvo at the moment. And, Forvo is loaded with a massive number of words on these languages so you can learn them easily.
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The pronunciation database of Forvo
If you are trying to learn a new language, knowing the pronunciation of words is exceptionally important. Thankfully, Forvo does exactly what you are looking for, and it makes things easier than you expect. With Forvo, you can learn how to pronounce a word as you type it in the given platform. There is a special search form on the page for you to do this. After activating the search button, the results will be displayed.
In the search results page, you will find a list of languages related to the word you have just typed. Depending on the availability, the results page will then display the phrases that comprise of the respective word. In addition to that, you may get translations and a map view as well. Moreover, if you intend to provide your own pronunciation as well, you can do it. If you need to request a better pronunciation for the same word, you can do it on this page. That is on top of suggesting modifications to add languages and categories.
When it comes to hearing the pronunciation, you get it in the voice of a native speaker. To hear the pronunciation, you should click on the play button. Then, you will see that the users who have already logged in cast their votes. These votes may appear in favor of good or bad. The best thing is that it allows you to download the pronunciation as an MP3 audio clip.
In order to find out more about the language system, you can explore the languages on Forvo. Then, you can get the lust of the pronunciations with better popularity. If not, you can explore words that are related to certain categories, such as traveling, greetings, colors, numbers, etc.
The category pages list in Forvo lists down the most popular and important words as well as phrases. This is a great way to learn about everyday phrases, as well. For instance, think that you choose a daily phrase. ‘Where are you going?‘ ‘how are you?‘ ‘what do you like to eat?‘ etc. are some examples of that. When those phrases are listed, foreign language translation will come up. Then, an option with the play button will be activated. By pressing this button, you can play the pronunciation of the respective phrase in different languages in native voice.
The users who prefer to obtain this service can check all the words that are pending. Then, they can consider improving it even further. In order to provide pronunciation, however, you are required to have an account. But, still, you can use the recording tools on-site.
Users who like the service can check out words pending pronunciations to improve it further. An account is needed to provide pronunciations, but the recording tools needed are available on-site.
Bonus: Importance of learning pronunciation of a language
It is scientifically proven that children born in any country can master any language used on the planet. For instance, assume a child from the USA has come to live in China when she is very young. She can learn Chinese very well even without using a little bit of western accent. It can happen the other way around as well. A child can learn whatever she hears. However, as you grow old, learning a new language becomes pretty tricky as opposed to the younger ages. Even if you learn a language at older ages, it will be difficult to catch up with pronunciation. When you learn a new language, you must know the bond between pronunciation and clear understanding of a language. In other words, if you know how to pronounce the phrases and words accurately, you can understand the language clearly. Proper intonation is another important aspect that can be developed with the presentation.
So, learning pronunciation is exceptionally important as a part of your foreign language learning process. If you mispronounce words, those who hear you will not understand what you say. And, as a result, you will find it difficult to learn the language. You may even give up learning the language if you don’t know how to pronounce the words properly.
With that said, here are some tips to consider when learning pronunciation.
- Listen to the others and learn from what they say. If you listen to more words and phrases, you can learn easily. However, when listening to a foreign language, it is important to choose a native speaker. You can choose songs, films, TV series, YouTube, videos, etc. Thanks to modern-day technology, you can use a tool like Forvo to make this process even easier. That is because Forvo pronounces the words and phrases of more than 330 languages in native voice.
- Practice always. As you might have already heard, practice makes perfect. So, even if you have learned up to a certain level, keep practicing. If you don’t use a foreign language for some time, you are likely to lose it. You can consider reading out louder or even whisper alone. Repeat the words constantly until you are perfectly familiar with it. You can listen to Forvo and repeat its pronunciation as it is. Also, it is a wise approach to recite poems, songs, etc.
- If you don’t have the perfect pronunciation, don’t try to speak faster as natives do. Instead, make it a habit to pronounce the words clearly and slowly. The preference should be given to the clarity of what you speak. The key is to speak in a manner which others will understand clearly.
In a nutshell, Forvo is a superb online tool that offers a great service for foreign language learners. Anyone who is interested in learning a foreign language can make use of Forvo and master the language. In addition to that, the same tool can be used to improve the language skills you already have. In fact, the knowledge this tool offers is totally built on native speakers. That means it is a more natural way to learn a language other than listening to robotic voices. Such an approach helps you to feel more realistic, and it lets you get an accurate accent and pronunciation.
When it comes to listening to the pronunciation, you don’t need to have an account to do it. For a student, that is a convenient and generous offer. Forvo, in fact, is a great asset for any person who speaks a foreign language. Pronunciation is one of the most important parts of learning a language. So, if you are a beginner to a specific language and catching up with the words, Forvo is excellent. Also, if you are curious about some of the popular words used in other languages, Forvo has answers for it.
That’s it about Forvo. We hope this article provides some useful information for new language learners. If you have any questions, please let us know.