Forvo reaches the half-million mark!

Yep folks, we’ve done it. Forvo officially has over 500,000 registered users… and counting.

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We’d like to celebrate this fantastic achievement with all of our users as it’s thanks to each and every one of you who make Forvo such a special place for language learners and those who want to improve their pronunciation.

The news comes at a great time for Forvo as we continue to grow and improve thanks to all the feedback from our community. 2016 is a momentous year for Forvo, with the release of two great new apps for iPhone and Android as well as the arrival on the site of new features such as our brilliant events section or the addition of phrases.

We’re also nearing the landmark of 4 million pronounced words, now in 337 languages. More on that later this year.

We continue to add new features and make enhancements to Forvo based on your recommendations. Watch out for more in the coming months.

If you have any suggestions for us please Tweet us @forvo or email us at info@forvo.com.

 

What’s app-ening at Forvo?

We’ve gone app crazy at Forvo these past few weeks. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Forvo for iPhone

We’ve released a major new version of of Forvo’s app for iPhone with a completely updated interface. You can now record pronunciations and exchange instant messages with other users amongst a host of other features. For those of you who already have the app you will be able to download the latest version as an update from the App Store with no additional cost.

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We think it’s a massive improvement on the previous app. Download the new version of Forvo for iPhone here: forvo.com/iphone

Instant messaging now available on Android

Following the release of our app for Android devices back in February, we’ve now added instant messaging to the app which you can download from Google Play. Chat with other Forvo users in real time and get help with your pronunciation.

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Find out more about our Android app here: forvo.com/android

As always, your feedback is hugely appreciated. Email us at info@forvo.com or tweet us @forvo with your comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Forvo at the Language Technology Summit in Brussels

The Forvo team is looking forward to the LT Industry Summit in Brussels next week. Even more so as we will be featuring as one of the presenters!

Taking place between the 17th and 18th of May in Brussels, the LT Industry Summit is the yearly point of convergence between the Language Technology Industry, its clients, research partners and policy makers.

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The topic of Forvo’s presentation is ‘Pronouncing all the Words in the World’ and we hope to make more people in the language technology sector aware of Forvo as we think it’s a really useful tool!

You can find out more about the summit and see the programme here.

For those of you in the area if you’d like to come along and find out more about Forvo we are presenting on Tuesday May 17 as part of the Technology Spotlight talks. The event is taking place at the the International Auditorium, Boulevard du Roi Albert II, Brussels.

Also, if you’d like to attend as a guest of Forvo please let us know and we can provide you with a 15% discount on the entry fee. Get in touch with us at info@forvo.com if you’d like more information.

 

Forvo pronunciations now available on Ikusle.com

We’re proud to announce that we’ve teamed up with our friends at Ikusle to offer Forvo pronunciations on their newly-launched website.

The pronunciation guide is available across the whole of ikusle.com. To listen to word pronunciations simply double click on any word and you will see a blue “play” button appear beside it. Click the button to hear how the word is pronounced.

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The functionality is a simple piece of JavaScript that is inserted into the site which allows the pronunciations to be called up from Forvo’s giant database of words.

Although the site is predominantly in Spanish, Ikusle also features many words and expressions in Basque which you will be able to hear on the site. Ikusle is a general interest news site aimed at people who live in the Spanish-speaking Basque Country. You can find out more about Ikusle and the Forvo plugin here.

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Would you like to have this functionality on your website? We can generate a piece of code for you so you can implement the Forvo plug-in on your site. Get in touch with us at info@forvo.com for more information.

Is it a noun or a verb? You decide!

Can you tell the difference in pronunciation between nouns and verbs in English?

 

 

Is it a noun, is it a verb? Test your English pronunciation

Some nouns and verbs have the same form in English. For example:  The runner set an Olympic record. (noun) I record music in my garage. (verb)  However, the pronunciation (or syllable stress) is different. Where “record” is used as a noun, the stress is on the first syllable: RE-cord (where “re” is the same sound as the “re” in “relative”).  But when “record” is used as a verb, the stress is on the second syllable: re-CORD, and the “re” sounds like “ri”, as in “remember”.)
Try our fun quiz to see if you can you tell the difference between nouns and verbs with the same spelling in English!

‘Conflict’ is being pronounced here as…?

A noun

A verb

The word is ‘permit’. Is it being used as a noun or a verb in this pronunciation?

Noun

Verb

Is this the noun or the verb version of ‘export’?

Noun

Verb

Is the speaker saying this word as a noun or a verb?

Definitely a verb

Get outta here! It’s a noun

Noun or verb? You decide. It’s all in the detail.

It’s a noun silly!

No way man, that’s a verb

Is this the way escort is said when it’s a verb or a noun?

Verb

Noun

What about this one? It’s a noun right?

I reject that. It’s definitely a verb

You’re the reject. It’s clearly a noun

You’re contracted to answer this question…

Noun

Verb

Put the needle on the record and record your answer…

Noun

Verb

May we permit you to have one last chance to redeem yourself?

Verb

Noun

You need to brush up on your pronunciation. Go to forvo.com and start listening!

Not bad. But if you do a bit more listening on forvo.com it’ll help you become an expert

Well done! You certainly know your nouns from your verbs in English!

Ad free version of Forvo’s Android app available

Hot on the heels of Forvo’s recent first foray into the wonderful world of Android, we’ve  launched a new version of our app which is free from advertising.

The app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, now has an option to remove ads which you can find in the side menu as an in-app product.

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By purchasing the ad free option you will be helping to sustain the Forvo community and make sure we can continue to make Forvo the go to place for pronunciations in over 335 languages.

Those who prefer using the version containing ads may continue to do so.

The new version is also based on your feedback. When we released the original ad- supported version of the app we were contacted by a number of users who told us they would prefer to pay for an ad free app.

So here it is! The app, which has a rating of 4.7 on the Google Play Store, has already been downloaded by over 17,000 users. And nearly 25,000 pronunciations have been recorded through the app already.

Android users – what are you waiting for? Download the app today at forvo.com/android.

 

New events section!

Summer time is just around the corner and with it there’s a whole host of events to look forward to.

This year is a particularly good one for sports fans with the European Football Championships taking place in June followed by Rio’s Olympic Games in August.

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Film buffs meanwhile will be looking forward to the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals while Europop lovers will be lapping up this year’s Eurovision song contest in Sweden.

So many events, so many new names and expressions to learn. But how to pronounce them all? To help our users, we’ve launched a new events section on Forvo which we hope will inform on how to pronounce names, places, words and expressions associated with all these top events.

And as Forvo is a language learning site, we’ve also included language days, such as the International Day of Portuguese Language or International Francophonie Day.

As the year goes on we’ll be adding to the section, but if there’s an event you would like to see featured, or if you have any other suggestions for our new section please get in touch by emailing info@forvo.com or tweeting us @forvo.

Check out the new section at forvo.com/events.

When politicians pronounce

Donald Trump is not the first politician to make headlines over his pronunciation, but the way he said the word ‘Tanzania‘ in a recent speech probably tells more about his international policy credentials than poor pronunciation skills.

The Republican presidential frontrunner made the unusual pronunciation of the name of the East African country while making a major policy speech on US foreign policy. Ironic?

Earlier on in the US presidential campaign, candidate Ben Carson dented his hopes of making it to the White House by mispronouncing Hamas – warning instead about the “hummus” terror threat. And back in 2012, presidential candidate Herman Cain infamously mispronounced “Uzbekistan“. Perhaps advisers to these politicians need to get themselves onto Forvo once in a while to help out their struggling bosses?

Meanwhile, in the UK there was also a stooshie over pronunciation this week. Prime minister David Cameron poked fun at Ukip leader Nigel Farage in a House of Commons debate. Praising Labour MP Ben Bradshaw for referring to the Ukip leader’s name to rhyme with “Farridge”, rather than “Farrahge” he said:  “I’m glad he takes the English pronunciation of Farage rather than the rather poncey foreign-sounding one that he seems to prefer.”

Farage, who has intimated in the past that his name rhymes with the the word ‘garage’, asked in a tweet what “Eton-educated David Cameron” parks his car in.

Perhaps if the party leaders took some time to listen to how garage is pronounced around the English speaking world on Forvo, they’d see that both pronunciations are accepted.

As is often the case in the world of politics, a little bit of thought and research wouldn’t hurt before politicians pronounce.

Can you tell the difference between US and UK pronunciation?

Do you know how to tell the difference between British and American pronunciation? Test your knowledge in our fun quiz!

Test your knowledge of the accents of English

Can you tell the difference between US and UK accents? Try this quiz to find out.

What country is the speaker from?

UK

US

Where is the speaker from in this example?

US

UK

The word is ‘mobile’, but is the speaker American or British?

British

American

This is how you pronounce ‘garage’, but in which country?

US

UK

Is this pronunciation of ‘schedule’ made by a British or an American speaker?

American

British

You drink it every day, but is this the way you say it in the UK or the US?

UK

US

It’s a word that’s in the news a lot lately. But where is the speaker from?

US

UK

You might use this to make your food more tasty, but is the speaker American or British?

British

American

Which country does this pronunciation come from?

UK

US

Is this how the past participle of eat is pronounced in Britain or in the USA?

USA

Britain

Keep going!

You still need to practise a bit more to improve your English pronunciation

Well done!

You’re able to differentiate between the different accents of English

Johan Cruyff, Sláinte and Leicester most pronounced in March

The sad passing of Dutch footballing legend Johan Cruyff was reflected on Forvo during the month of March. His name was one of the top searched for terms on the site over the past  week. As tributes poured in for the former Barcelona and Ajax player who died on March 24th, many of you were searching Forvo for the correct pronunciation of his name.

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Sticking with the football theme, also making the list was the English city of Leicester. Leicester City FC have surprised everyone with their incredible rise to the top of the English Premier League. But it’s no surprise to see them top our list of most searched for words. The contracted British pronunciation of place names like Worcester, Gloucester, and Leicester have given many non-British English speakers a headache over the years. You can read more about how these pronunciations might have come about on this fascinating blog post.

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March means St. Patrick’s Day and Forvo favourite ‘sláinte’ – it always features highly in our polls – trended throughout the month. ‘Sláinte Mhaith‘ was also a top search term on the list.

Cheers!

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