IPA dictionaries on the web

Posted: September 1, 2012 in arias, art song, Czech, diction, English, French, German, IPA, Italian, lieder, Russian, studying, texts, translation, websites

I’ve been working on some song & aria translations lately and have needed to check the pronunciation for various words.  I own a modest collection of printed dictionaries with IPA at home, but was curious about whether this information is available online.  Here’s a roundup of online dictionaries I found that use IPA:







Note, of course, that the dictionaries above don’t take into account all of the rules of lyric diction (e.g. avoiding uvular R), but they do come in handy when checking things like open vs. closed vowels.  Also, with noted exceptions, the dictionaries listed have audio pronunciation examples for selected words.

Another FYI: WordReference.com has iOS/Android apps, but the IPA (for selected languages) is only on the full website, not the apps.  I’d like to do a survey of online/offline dictionary apps with IPA in a future blog post – if you’re aware of any, please let me know.

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  1. For Italian, check out the “Dizionario d’ortografia e di pronunzia” at http://www.dizionario.rai.it/ It’s sponsored by RAI, the Italian TV and radio industry, and each word includes an Italian pronouncing the word–they use their own pronunciation system rather than phonetics, but it’s simple to figure out and extremely useful.

    I know this is about free websites, but if you’re willing to pay for it, the Larousse French/English dictionary for iPad is FABULOUS and uses IPA.

    • Tech4Singers says:

      Thanks, Ellen – these are great suggestions and I can put them into use immediately 🙂 I’d like to compile a list of IPA dictionary apps/e-books too (free or paid) so please let me know if you have other recommendations in addition to the Larousse.

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