Frequently Asked Questions about Forvo, the pronunciation guide


Maybe you have some of these questions too.

1. What is Forvo?

Forvo is an online pronouncing dictionary. We want to have all the words that exist in the world pronounced and recorded, including names. Forvo is the greatest pronunciation database in the world.

2. What isn´t Forvo?

Forvo isn´t for large audio files or documents. Audio clips are limited to 2.5 seconds, long enough for any word.

3. What do you mean with "all the words in the world"?

We mean that almost every word is allowed, including bad words. We think that it´s not the word that is wrong but the way of saying it or its context that makes a word removable. Anyway, words are limited to 40 characters. Onomatopoeias, shouting and so are not allowed.

Bad words are not forbidden as long as they are politely pronounced and appear in well-known dictionaries. Please, don´t add made-up words because they will be removed.

Forvo is not intended for sentences, but in certain cases they are allowed. For example, short idioms or known titles, such as "The Lord of the Rings" is allowed but "I have two rings" is not. It´s quite simple to understand.

More info about adding words.

4. There is something wrong with a word. What can I do?

If a word does not really exist or is offensive, you can send us a report from the Word page. Please be specific about the problem and we'll try to resolve it. If you are not a registered user, you can report it by tagging it as "wrong" or something similar so that other users will be notified.

5. There is something wrong with a pronunciation. What can I do?

Read number 4.

6. A word or pronunciation I´ve added has been removed. Why?

Forvo´s purpose is to maintain the guide quality. There is a great team of volunteer editors who review most of the activity of the users. Incorrect language or not fulfilling Forvo´s policy are some of the reasons to remove any content. Anyway, Forvo´s right is to remove any inappropriate content.

7. In my country "that word" is pronounced differently

We know there are completely different pronunciations depending on the country or region, even in the same language. So, why don´t you pronounce yourself that word with your accent? Forvo support multiple pronunciations for the same word. That way users learning a language can hear pronunciation from different places.

8. What about words with more than one pronunciation?

Forvo recommends the following solution. Add that word with an explanation between brackets. For example: live (adjective) or live (verb). Then ignore the brackets when pronouncing.

9. Who can add words to Forvo?

Everyone. You can do it anonymously or with your username. If you add words with your username you will get more features at, like tracking your words or notifications.
Exceptions: In certain cases, depending on the language, some of them are not allowed for anonymous users.
Update 07/21/2009: Only registered users can add words.

10. Who can record pronunciations?

Everyone. You can do it anonymously or with your username. We recommend the latter option to improve the quality of the site. You may, for example, want to hear only female pronunciations to learn from a woman. We can´t offer this feature if you are anonymous! The same goes for accents. Don´t forget to tell what is your accent by clicking on the map when registering.
Exceptions: In certain cases, depending on the language, some of them are not allowed for anonymous users.
Update 07/21/2009: Only registered users can record pronunciations.

11. Is there a guide for recordings?

Yes. You can read it here.

12. What about uploading MP3 with my own pronunciation?

Although the quality of pronunciations would be higher, we can´t offer this feature due to legal requirements. We don´t really know who is the owner of the MP3. For example, some users might upload pronunciations from a language learning CDROM.

13. Please add "that language"

Sure, it would be great but we don´t want to add languages for quantity but for quality. So, if you can speak one of them, we´ll happily add it! Also, the language needs to be in this ISO codes list.

Anyway, please check if Forvo already supports that language.

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