#1 Best Forvo Review: True Pronunciation Aid Or Not?

A photo of a male tourist using his phone beside the Forvo Review texts.

When diving into the world of language learning, I stumbled upon Forvo, and it felt like striking gold. Imagine a place where you can hear a word, any word, pronounced by real people worldwide. Sounds handy, right? 

In today’s technology, the best language learning tool is becoming essential. According to a study, 60% – 70% of language learners find pronunciation one of their biggest challenges. 

So, for all of you grappling with tricky sounds or unfamiliar accents, this Forvo review might be the solution you’ve been searching for. Let’s delve into the specifics of Forvo and see how it can revolutionize your language journey.

A photo of Forvo's logo.

What Is Forvo?

I came across Forvo a while back, and let me tell you; it’s quite the find. Israel Rondón started it in 2008, and now it’s run from San Sebastián in Spain. 

Forvo is a huge library, but instead of books, it’s filled with sounds. Over 7 million words, to be exact, from more than 430 languages. Nope, they’re not generated by AI. Normal people like you and I add these sounds.

Whenever someone adds a word, others can say if it sounds right. That’s how they keep things top-notch. 

There are 4 million folks like us on Forvo, and the site gets visited over 200 million times a year. That’s a lot of people wanting to get their pronunciation just right! 

And for those who are always on the move, Forvo has a phone app. But if you’re like me and sometimes prefer a bigger screen, just open your browser and visit their site. It’s that simple.

What is Forvo For:

  • It’s a website to hear words in different languages.

  • All the words are spoken by native speakers.

  • Known as a top online pronunciation dictionary.

Languages Offered:

  • They offer over 430 languages.

  • Big ones like English, Spanish, and Chinese are there.

  • They keep adding more languages, even the not-so-popular ones.

Learner’s Level:

  • Good for both new and experienced learners.

  • Helps beginners say words correctly.

  • Advanced users can learn different speaking styles.

Who is it For:

  • Perfect for people learning languages.

  • Great for travelers and business folks.

  • Also, for the curious ones who love languages.

Boasts pronunciations in over 430 languages, all by native speakers.Being crowdsourced, some pronunciations might not be accurate.
Anyone can contribute, offering a wide variety of dialects and accents.Not all languages have an extensive list of pronunciations.
Pronunciations are rated and reviewed by users, ensuring accuracy.Some entries might not reflect current or evolving pronunciations.
User-friendly interface with a mobile app for easy access on any device.With a vast database, finding specific pronunciations can be tricky.
The presence of ads can be a distraction for free users.

How Does Forvo Work?

Forvo is like a global classroom where you can both learn and teach. At its core, it’s a platform where users can listen to, contribute, and request pronunciations of words in various languages. 

But how does all this magic happen?

Registration And User Profile

First things first, to fully experience Forvo, you’ve got to be part of the community.

  • Starting on PC: Begin by visiting Forvo’s website. If you’re on a PC, you’ll find the “Register” button right at the top. Clicking on it will lead you to the registration page. You can sign in using your Facebook or Google account.

  • Mobile Users: Head over to the App Store or Google Play. Search for the Forvo app and download it. Once installed, open the app. You’ll find the registration option there too. If you’ve already registered on the PC, you can use the exact account details to log in to the app.

  • Filling the Form: Back to the registration process. A form will pop up, asking for some details. You’ll need a unique username, a verified email address, a birthdate, and a password.

  • Email Confirmation: After you’ve filled out the form, keep an eye on your inbox. Forvo will send you an email. Click on the link inside, and you’re almost set.

  • Your Personal Space: Once you’ve confirmed, welcome to your profile! This profile keeps tabs on everything you do. It’s all there, from the words you’re curious about and search for to the pronunciations you generously add.

Searching For Pronunciations

Now, say you come across a word, and you’re scratching your head, thinking, “How do folks in other countries pronounce this?” Just type that word into Forvo’s search bar. 

In no time, a list rolls out, showcasing sounds from different people, different places. You’ll see flags representing the countries, and you can even filter by gender or popularity. 

Each sound is a mini-lesson. Just hit play, and it’s like having a friendly local whispering the word right in your ear. And if you’re curious about how a word is used in a sentence, some entries even have examples.

Uploading And Contributing Pronunciations

Forvo isn’t just about listening. It’s about sharing too. If you’ve got the correct pronunciation for a word missing on Forvo, there’s a spot for you. 

A button labeled “Add pronunciation” is your cue. Click, record, and after a quick review, share it. You’ll need a good microphone, and Forvo even provides guidelines to ensure quality. 

It’s like adding your voice to a global chorus. Other users can rate your contribution, so you know you’re helping others effectively.

Requesting New Pronunciations

Sometimes, a word might play hard to get on Forvo. But there’s a workaround. If a certain pronunciation is playing hide and seek, there’s a handy “Request pronunciation” option. 

Pick your desired language, send out a little SOS, and the Forvo community will come to the rescue. You can even track the status of your request, and Forvo will notify you when it’s fulfilled.

How Is The Design And Interface Of Forvo?

Forvo has a user-friendly experience. Whether you’re browsing on your PC or tapping on your phone, the design is intuitive and welcoming. Let’s delve deeper into what makes Forvo’s design stand out.

The Web’s Clean And Crisp Look 

When you open Forvo on your browser, you’ll be greeted mainly with white and blue colors. It’s simple yet effective. 

The logo sits confidently on the top left, with the playful word “Forvo” inside a blue circle. Beside it, a menu bar waits, offering options like Languages and Categories. 

And if you’re curious about a word, the search bar on the top right is your best friend. Handy icons for notifications and messages? They’re right there too.

Organized Content, Just A Click Away 

The website’s content is neatly organized. Choose from the menu, and you’ll see sections showcasing popular languages or recent pronunciations. 

Each word comes with a blue play button, inviting you to listen. And the extras? They’re there, too: meanings, usage, and even categories. Feel like interacting? Drop a rating or leave a comment.

The Mobile App: Familiar Yet Fresh 

For those who are always on the move, Forvo’s mobile app is a gem. It feels like the website but is optimized for touch and swipe. 

The logo remains consistent, and the search bar is easily accessible. Icons for notifications and messages are intuitively placed, ensuring you never miss a beat.

Smooth Sailing On The App 

Navigating the app is a breeze. A bottom bar houses all you need: Home, Languages, and more. 

The content shines against a white background, with blue accents guiding your eyes. Everything is where you’d expect, making browsing enjoyable.

Contribute And Learn On The Go 

The app isn’t just for listening. If you’ve got a pronunciation to share, there’s a microphone icon ready for you. 

Can’t find a word? The app has your back with a request feature. And for those eager to learn more, the eLearning section is packed with courses and quizzes tailored just for you.

A photo of Forvo's web interface.

What Are The Features Of Forvo?

Forvo stands out and for good reasons. It’s packed with features that make language learning easy. Let’s explore more in this Forvo review on what’s under the hood.

A World Of Pronunciations 

Forvo stands as a towering library of sounds. With pronunciations spanning over 430 languages, it’s a treasure trove for language enthusiasts. Each pronunciation is a genuine voice of someone from a corner of our world. 

And the beauty of it? You have the freedom to listen, pause, and replay. It ensures that every nuance, every accent, and every tone is captured and understood.

Everyone Contributes

The magic of Forvo lies in its community. It’s a platform where anyone can contribute equally. This means you’re not just hearing a language. You’re experiencing its rich tapestry of dialects and regional accents. 

So, if you’ve ever been curious about how ‘Impermeabilizante’ is pronounced in different Spanish-speaking regions, Forvo has got you covered. 

And oh, if you’re mainly looking for a Spanish language learning tool, don’t miss out on my detailed Baselang review. It’s packed with insights!

Trust The Crowd 

Every sound on Forvo gets rated and reviewed. It’s the community’s way of saying, “Hey, this one’s spot on!” or “Hmm, maybe listen to another one.” 

Each pronunciation uploaded is under the community’s watchful eyes (or ears). They rate, they review words, and they ensure quality. It’s a system of checks and balances, ensuring your hearing is authentic and accurate.

Flashcards? Yes, Please! 

Forvo’s flashcards are more than just a study tool. They’re a personalized learning experience. 

Tailor them to your needs, choose the words, and decide how you want to be quizzed. It’s an engaging way to reinforce your learning and challenge yourself further.

Your Personal Phrasebook 

The phrasebook feature in Forvo is like a trusted friend. It remembers the words and phrases that matter to you. Organize them, revisit them, and use them as your reference. 

Whether you’re gearing up for a presentation or trying to impress someone with your pronunciation skills, your phrasebook is your secret weapon.

Chat, Ask, Share 

Beyond the sounds and word pronunciations, Forvo is a community forum where users from different backgrounds converge. 

Share a funny language anecdote, seek advice on tricky pronunciation, or just read through the vibrant discussions. It’s a space that celebrates the love for languages.

Plug Forvo In 

For those who love to tinker and customize, Forvo’s API is a gem. It allows you to integrate Forvo’s vast pronunciation database into your projects seamlessly. Whether you’re building an app or designing a website, Forvo’s sounds can be a part of it, enriching the user experience.

A photo of Forvo's feature which may be used when traveling Cantonese-speaking regions.

Who Is Forvo For?

Unlike what I found out in my Lingokids review that it’s mainly for children and parents, Forvo caters to many to help bridge those language gaps. 

But who stands to gain the most from this platform? Let’s see the individuals who find Forvo to be an invaluable tool and understand why:

  • Language Enthusiasts: These individuals have an insatiable hunger for languages. It offers authentic pronunciations, helping them grasp the true essence of a language, ensuring they don’t just learn words but also the culture embedded in its sounds.

  • Educators and Teachers: The classroom is a dynamic space, and educators constantly seek ways to make lessons lively. Forvo provides them with real-world pronunciations, enriching their teaching material. It’s not just about teaching a foreign language but also about imparting the confidence to use it.

  • Globe Trotters and Travelers: Every journey is a story, and communication is its heartbeat. Travelers use Forvo as a bridge to connect with locals, order food, ask for directions, and more. It’s their pocket-sized tool to ensure they’re understood, no matter where they are.

  • Storytellers and Writers: Authenticity is the soul of a good story. Writers aiming to craft realistic narratives turn to Forvo to ensure they represent languages accurately. It adds layers to their characters and settings, making their tales more relatable.

  • Voice-Over Artists: Precision is key in their profession. Whether it’s an advertisement, movie, or animation, getting the pronunciation right can make or break a performance. Forvo is their go-to guide, ensuring they nail every word every time.

How Much Does Forvo Cost?

Regarding Forvo’s pricing, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re just browsing or diving deep into languages. Let’s see how the costs stack up for each service they offer.

Pricing On The Forvo Website

  • Standard Access: If you’re on Forvo’s website to search or listen to pronunciations, good news! It’s free. And if you’re feeling generous, you can even contribute by recording or suggesting pronunciations.

  • The Premium Touch: For those who want more from their Forvo experience, there’s the premium plan. It lets you save favorite words, explore different accents, tap into eLearning courses, and enjoy the site without ads. All this for $2.99 a month or, if you’re thinking long-term, $29.99 for the year.

Forvo’s Mobile App Details

Want Forvo on the go? Their mobile app is available on the App Store and Google Play for a one-time fee of $2.99

It packs in all the website features, and there’s a special eLearning service tailored for mobile. And the cherry on top? No ads or hidden costs.

All About Forvo’s API Plans

Subscription TypeDaily Access LimitCan Use for Business?AttributionService AgreementMonthly Cost
Non-ProfitUp to 500 requestsNoForvoNone$2.00
Small Biz PackageUp to 10,000 requestsYesForvoNone$28.95
Enterprise OfferUp to 100,000 requestsYesNot neededYesContact Forvo

Which Option Is Best?

If you’re someone who’s casually exploring languages or occasionally needs a pronunciation check, the standard access on Forvo’s website will serve you well. It’s free, and it covers a lot of ground.

However, if you’re a writer like me and you’re serious about languages, the Premium Subscription is a game-changer. The ability to save favorite words, delve into different accents, and access eLearning courses without ads interrupting your flow? Totally worth the $2.99 a month.

As for the mobile app, if you’re always on the move and prefer having everything at your fingertips, the $2.99 one-time fee is a no-brainer. It’s essentially the website in your pocket, with some added mobile-friendly features.

Lastly, if you’re running a platform or service where pronunciation plays a key role, investing in Forvo’s API is the way to go. It’s a robust tool that can elevate the user experience on your platform.

How I Used Forvo To Review It

Now, let me share a bit of my journey and come up with this comprehensive Forvo review. 

Over a week ago, I decided to give Forvo a spin, especially for my article on Lao homonyms. I thought, “Why not?” After all, getting the pronunciation right is crucial for such a topic.

So, I started with the sign-up on Forvo’s website. It was quick, and in no time, I was exploring their vast database. 

I went for the premium, thinking it might offer a richer experience. And it did! Favoriting words became my favorite feature. It was like having a little pocketbook of sounds.

Every day, I’d log in, search for the Lao words I needed, and listen. Most times, it was smooth sailing. 

But sometimes, I’d stumble upon a pronunciation that sounded slightly off. And with so many words, finding the exact one I needed felt like a mini-adventure. Oh, and I can’t forget when I came across some swear words that gave me a good chuckle!

What I Loved About Forvo

  • Extensive Database: Every time I logged in, I was amazed. The sheer number of words across many languages was like having a global library at my fingertips.

  • The Premium Perks: Oh, the joy of favoriting words! It felt like marking pages in a book. Whenever I stumbled upon a tricky pronunciation or the same word I’d want to revisit, I’d favorite it. It became my go-to list.

  • Ease of Use: I’ve tried many platforms; trust me, some can be confusing. But with Forvo, even if you’re just starting your language journey, it’s a breeze.

Areas Forvo Could Polish Up

  • Some Pronunciations: While most were spot-on, I did come across a few that made me raise an eyebrow. They didn’t sound as authentic as I’d hoped.

  • Searching: With such a vast collection, finding a specific word sometimes felt like looking for a needle in a haystack. A more refined search could be a game-changer.

  • More Dialects: Languages are rich, and dialects add to that richness. I’d love it more if Forvo could add, for example, more regional accents of English. It’d be like tasting different flavors of the same dish.
A photo of a serious looking man in front of his computer wrapping-up the Forvo review article.

Wrapping Up Forvo Review

After spending considerable time with Forvo, I’ve gathered a mix of impressions. The platform has its merits, no doubt. 

The database is quite extensive and impressive. As someone who writes about languages, I find the ease of use commendable. The mobile app is a convenient touch, allowing for on-the-go learning.

However, I encountered a few pronunciation inconsistencies and felt the search functionality could be more intuitive. The ads, while understandable for a free platform, did occasionally disrupt the flow of my learning.

In summing up this Forvo review, yes, it’s a tool with potential. It offers a lot, to be honest, but as always, there’s room for improvement. 

As someone who’s always on the lookout for different language tools, I believe other platforms might cater better to specific needs. It’s all about finding the right fit for your language journey.

The Ling App: A Great Alternative To Forvo

Alright, let me introduce you to another tool that will surely benefit any language learner: the Ling app. If you’re on the hunt for a fresh language learning experience, the Ling app might be your next stop.

First, the Ling app isn’t just another language app. It’s got courses for over 60 languages. And guess what? It’s not just the usual suspects. We’re talking about unique languages like Khmer, Nepali, and even Lao.

But here’s where it gets fun. The Ling app doesn’t make you sit and memorize. Nope. It turns lessons into games. You get to match words, play games, and even record your voice. It’s like learning while playing.

And if you’re the type who likes to track how you’re doing, the Ling app’s got you. It keeps an eye on your progress and even nudges you with reminders. No more falling off the language-learning wagon.

Oh, and for those who love to read, Ling has daily language articles. Dive in, and you’ll find grammar tips and cool cultural facts for each language.

So, if you’re thinking of mixing up your language learning, give the Ling app a try. It’s up on Google Play and the App Store, waiting for you.

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