Find words and phrases


Getting Started

To get started finding language content, first pick a language site to browse. Start by visiting any FirstVoices language site homepage, starting from the Explore Languages page.

Example FirstVoices language site homepage
FirstVoices language site homepage

From the language site homepage, use the site-wide search bar to the right of the site logo to search across words, phrases, song titles, or story titles. You can search in English or in the site language. This is a fast and easy way to find language content right from the homepage.

Site-wide search bar
Site-wide search bar (“Search c̕išaaʔatḥ”)


Tutorial video

Finding words and phrases

You can find words and phrases of interest by searching with the site-wide search bar. For more detailed information about words and phrases, you can search and browse within the language site dictionary.

To get started, go to the navigation bar at the top and click “Dictionary”. Then select “Words” or “Phrases”.

Browsing the dictionary

The dictionary list has three areas: a search bar at the top, a sidebar on the left, and the main list of entries on the majority of the page.

From this page, you can browse all the words or phrases on the site. The dictionary list shows the word or phrase in the language, buttons to play audio recordings, and translations for the entry. The buttons on the right edge provide quick actions (for example: Copy Word, Get QR Code, etc.) Entries are listed in alphabetical order based on the language’s alphabet. More entries are loaded when you scroll down the page.

You can click any entry to view more details in a panel without leaving this list. From the panel, you can view additional details such as images, notes, part of speech, categories, acknowledgements, and names of speakers and other contributors.

To choose a different browse mode, you can click one of the elements under “Browse by:” on the left hand side. For example, you can quickly switch from browsing words to browsing phrases.


From the dictionary list view, you can use the search bar at the top to search for an entry or for a translation. You can use the dropdown menu to search the entry, the translation, or both (default).

Press enter or click the button to perform the search. This will give you a view of the dictionary list containing only results that are relevant to your search. Click any entry to view its details in the right-side panel. Click the audio buttons to listen to a recording of the entry.

The search results will display the closest matches at the top of the list. Lower down, it will display other possible matches with similar spelling.

Example: Searching for “house” will also display “houses”. It may also show “mouse” and “horse” farther down the list, as other close options.

Browsing by alphabet or categories

To browse alphabetical or thematic groups of words and phrases, go to the navigation bar and click “Dictionary”. Then select “Categories” or “Alphabet”. If you are already on a Dictionary page, you can go to the left hand side of the page under “Browse by” and choose these options.

This will take you to an explore page where you can view all letters or categories on the language site.

On the alphabet page, you can click any letter to see more details. There may be an audio clip with pronunciation help, or example words.

To browse the dictionary, click any Category, or click an Alphabet letter and choose “See all words starting with …”. This will take you to a page listing all words and phrases for that theme. You can use this list to interact with entries, play audio, and view their details.