Creating or finding audio

There are two main ways in which we get audio content for Lingopolo:

  1. recording audio ourselves
  2. using already available copyright-free audio

Recording audio ourselves

This is the most obvious way to add content. You are are invited to record audio yourself if you are a native speaker of one of the languages we offer. Note that it is extremely important that you are a native speaker of the language, and not just someone with an extremely high level of the language; for people to mimic your accent, we want only the most accurate accent possible, which is why we insist on our recordings only being made by native speakers.

The next most important thing is that you are able to make quality recordings. You don't need a recording studio, but you do need to follow carefully some basic rules which are described on the Recordings pages.

Using already available copyright-free audio

There are many extremely good already available audio sources which we can use for Lingopolo. The most important thing to remember here is that if we use audio content from other websites then it must be copyright-free audio. We must not have any audio on Lingopolo for which we don't have the copyright, and to ensure this, wherever possible, we always link to the source of the material.

The following are some of the places where good-quality copyright-free audio can be found.

Foreign Service Institute (FSI)

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the United States federal government's primary training institution for employees of the U.S. foreign affairs community, preparing American diplomats as well as other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. These courses were developed by the United States government and are in the public domain (i.e. they are copyright-free, so Lingopolo may freely use them).

These are a fabulous resource, from which huge amount of great audio can be extracted and repackaged in the Lingopolo format. For example, each FSI chapter can be gone through and every single phrase extracted and added to Lingopolo. They also include many complete dialogues.

Examples of their use in Lingopolo:


The Shtooka Project is a multilingual database of audio recordings of words and sentences. Recordings are free! You can listen to them, you can download collections and reuse them!

The quality of the Shtooka recordings is a bit variable, but where you find a particular person who records well, generally all their recordings will be of great quality

Examples of Lingopolo use:

Audio Lingua

Audio Lingua is a great resource for short texts (all usable by Lingopolo, since they are released under a Creative Commons licence). One of the features I like is that you can specify quite detailed search criteria, for example, recordings in French, by adults, less than 30 seconds long, suitable for A1 level.


LibriVox has free public domain audiobooks, read by volunteers from around the world. In general, the material is too long for giving the complete breakdown treatment which Lingopolo uses, but nonetheless is worth mentioning.

Example of Lingopolo use:


In general we can not use audio from YouTube videos because the default YouTube licence doesn't grant us the right. We can of course embed the videos on the site as anybody does, but we cannot generally extract the audio and use it for the quizzes. There are however some videos which have the Licence "Creative Commons Attribution licence (reuse allowed)". Where that is the case, we are perfectly free to extract the audio from the video for use.

Example of Lingopolo use:

YouTube doesn't give an easy way to extract the audio from a video either so that's something that needs a little bit of extra software.

Overall, currently best to ignore YouTube as a Lingopolo resource.