Some things you learn too late in life.
The word “forte” is actually two words, but we generally pronounce it the wrong way. You probably hear it pronounced ˈfȯr-tē (or “for-tay”). Unless you’re talking about a piano, you should pronounce it just like “fort”.
When you mean your strong point
When you mean something is someone’s “strong point”, you’re actually using a word from French, and it’s one syllable. So, say it “fort”.
When you mean something loud
When you mean something loud or you’re actually using the full name of a piano, you say “fȯr-ˌtā” (or “for-tay”). That particular usage is Italian.
I can’t believe I didn’t know this. How many people will think I’m an idiot when I say it the “right” way, though?
Don’t believe me — check the dictionary.