Diction Help - Deciphering the IPA
Translations and IPA on your computer:
One of the best single word translation dictionaries for all the singing languages are the IFinger popup dictionaries. Each dictionary contains tens of thousands of words from such publishers as Oxford, Pons, Zanichelli, and Webster.
Machine translations: For full text translations, Google Translate does this best and it is free. With all machine translations, you must be careful. At one time, Google translated Si mes vers avaient des ailes (If my verses had wings) as If my worms had wings. It has deffinately improved over the years. Recently they have added computer voice output.
Italian: the best resource for Italian pronunciation is Lo Zingarelli published by Zanichelli. This is an IT only dictionary but the CD-Rom version has an easy search engine which will find all word forms including verb conjugations. Online you can find an IT only dictionary with authoritative dictionary indicating the open and closed -e and -o at Il Grande Italiano by Aldo Gabrielli. For IT/EN try the Collins dictionary.
French: The source for the French language is the Robert - either the petit or grand. The smaller, Le Petit Robert, comes in CD-Rom and contains IPA - although not for all word forms. The French dictionaries at Larousse and Collins are a great for English translations and IPA. For old FR go to Ancien français and Dictionnaire du Moyen Français, both are FR only.
German: Although nothing will replace Das Aussprachewörterbuch published by Duden with its 180,000 GR words in IPA, Langenscheidt publishes several computer based dictionaries--some with IPA and others without. IPA Source uses the Langenscheidts Euro-Set with English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German. All have IPA but the translations from FR, IT, and SP are to GR only. Online translation dictionaries: Dict.cc this is a user created dictionary but the GR/EN is quite good. For an "authoritative" translation dictionary, go to Reverso. For old GR try the Deutsches Wörterbuch by the Grimm brothers.
There are thousands of pages offering pronunciation help on the web. The problem is finding resources with accurate information from a reliable authority with just the information you need. Here are a few helpful sites I have found.
iLoveLanguages: Go no further, this site brings it altogether. Skip the Google search and check out the collections of links for 226 languages.
About.com: the language section can give you basic tips and exercises that can be useful as a low impact introduction to the five major singing languages. FR GR IT SP ENG
Finnish: Here is a good place to start on this difficult language; with IPA.