The World Wide Web is an almost infinite source of helping tools for singers and conductors. Here are some to support your choir to sing in a foreign language – knowing what they are singing about, and helping them to get the right pronunciations!
Ipipapa generates phonetic transcriptions in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) in all languages for singers. The advantage is obvious: with IPA you can map every sound that exists in any world language. In order to facilitate easy use, Ipipapa also offers some audio recordings, translations, and introductory texts about IPA. The site is available in English and German.
proforá offers downloadable pronunciation recordings of songs, arias, folk songs, and choral works recorded by singers in their mother tongue. 300 works in 12 languages are already available, and further requests can be submitted. Prices start at EUR 0.99 for short pieces, and season prices are available for choirs. No subscription is necessary. The site is available in English, German, and French. Proforá is a business member of the IFCM.
Online since 1995, LiederNet Archive is the world’s largest public database of vocal texts and translations. The Archive holds information on over 186,000 classical vocal works, several thousand of these being choral, along with more than 39,000 translations (contributed mostly by volunteers) that span over a hundred languages.
In the Musica International database (with about 200,000 choral scores), conductors and singers will not only find detailed bibliographic information but will also have access to a video of an interpretation of the piece, find a translation of the text in several languages, listen to the pronunciation by a native speaker and much more. All IFCM members have full unrestricted access to the Musica International Database.
Translated by Clayton Parr, USA