Fashion Week 2015, Pronounced

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 Photo: Peter Duhon

At Forvo, we think everyone should be able to understand and be understood. As part of Forvo’s redesign, we will soon be debuting a new feature that will allow users to create and share lists. So not only will users be able to hear and pronounce names like a native speaker, but be able to easily share their own created lists among whomever they wish.

As a preview of what’s to come, we’ve put together native speaker pronunciations of some of the designers showing at NY Fashion week this week. Stay tuned for developments on this feature and others at Forvo.com

2014 in Pronunciations

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Well readers, our annual list of most pronounced words is now out a month overdue, but better late than never.

Besides being a curiosity to look at, the following lists tell us something about our time and place. What we wonder how to pronounce usually lies outside our cultural and linguistic territory and requires a desire not only to understand, but be understood. Whereas a list of most searched words ranks the importance placed on certain events, people, and things, a list of most searched pronunciations ranks what events, people, and things are being most talked about across borders. Therefore pronunciations tell us something about foreign influence – who’s influencing who, and how. Considering all this, one thing is certain: the way we communicate will never stay the same.

Most Pronounced Words
1. 야동; Korean – “erotic movie”
2. Philae; Greek – Former island in Nile River, ESA comet lander
3. Sláinte, slàinte, sláinte mhaith; Irish Gaelic – “good health.” Common toast
4. Backpfeifengesicht; German ¬– “a face badly in need of a fist”
5. Hygge; Danish – “cozy, well being”
6. Massacre; English
7. Reign; English
8. Skål; Swedish – “cheers”
9. Hiraeth; Welsh – “home sickness”
10. Phoque; French – “seal” (and homophone of the f-word in English)
11. Y’all’d’ve; English – “you would have all”
12. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia; English – “fear of the number 666”
13. Saudade; Portuguese – “nostalgia or yearning”

Most Pronounced Expressions
1. Invictus Maneo; Latin – “remain unvanquished.” Heard on American television series, “Person of Interest”
2.Μολὼν λαβέ; Greek – “come and take them.” Slogan of campaign against gun control in the United States.
3. Eppur si muove; Italian – “and yet it moves.” Allegedly uttered by Galileo before the inquisition.
4. Alba Gu Bràth; Scottish Gaelic – “Scotland Forever.” Slogan in Scottish campaign for independence.

Most Pronounced Places
1. Port Láirge; Irish Gaelic – Irish city known for Waterford Crystal
2. Bethlehem Ephrathah; Hebrew – biblical place and personal name
3. Conshohocken; Unami – “pleasant valley.” American city and brewery
4. Basel; German – Swiss city and seat of Basel Committee on Banking Supervision

Most Pronounced Brands
1. Roshe Run; English – from “roshi” title given to a Zen master. Nike sneaker model
2. Tous Les Jours; French – “everyday.” South Korean bakery chain
3. Veuve Clicquot; French – “Widow Clicquot.” French champagne brand
4. Keurig; Dutch – “neat, elegant.” American coffee machine brand
5. Peugeot; French – French automotive company
6. Arc’teryx; English – from “archaeopteryx,” earliest bird. American clothing company
7. Au Bon Pain; “good bread here.” American café and bakery chain
8. Audi; Latin – from “listen.” German automotive company

Most Pronounced Food
1. Sufganiyot; Hebrew – from word “sponge.” Pastry eaten during Chanukah
2. Chia Seed; English – trending health food
3. Pizzelle; Italian – from “pizze” meaning round and flat
4. La Bûche de Noël; French – “yule log.” Christmas cake
5. Gruyère; French – type of cheese
6. Glühwein; German – “glow wine.” Traditional Christmas beverage

Most Pronounced Translations of “Merry Christmas”
1. Swedish – “God Jul
2. Finnish – “Hyvää Joulua
3. Romanian – “Crăciun Fericit
4. Welsh – “Nadolig Llawen
5. German – “Fröhliche Weihnachten
6. French – “Joyeux Noël
7. Italian – “Buon Natale
8. Icelandic – “Gleðileg Jól
9. Croatian – “Sretan Božić
10. Danish – “Glædelig Jul
11. Afrikaans – “Gesëende Kersfees
12. Scottish Gaelic – “Nollaig Chridheil
13. Polish – “Wesołych Świąt
14. Spanish – “Feliz Navidad

Most Pronounced Names
1. Josué; Portuguese – “Joshua” (likely refers to football player Josué Pesqueira)
2. Quirinius; Latin – Governor of Syria in biblical times
3. Hughes; English – (your guess is as good as ours)
4. James Hozier; English – Scottish diplomat and politician (1851-1929)
5. Deirfiúr Bheag; Irish Gaelic – “little sister.” Appears in books by author Nora Roberts.

Forvo’s New Years Resolutions

This week’s blog is dedicated to everyone who took time out of their day to tell us what we were doing right and what we can improve on. From all of your thoughts and comments, we have a lot to keep us busy in 2015:

1. Redesign Forvo
2. Create a better way to organize and search for words
3. Make Forvo more fun

I’m excited to share that we have a few projects in the pipeline that will tackle these points and will change the way you currently use Forvo. First we are incorporating your comments about Forvo’s look and feel to roll out a new version of Forvo. Like you, we think Forvo should be straightforward and easy to use. Second, we are working on a new “lists” feature where users will be able to create lists of words, and share them publicly or with selected users. This will go a step beyond the “Category” feature, which doesn’t allow you to filter words by language, or create lists to share or use later. Third, we are brainstorming and using your suggestions to visualize how Forvo can realize its potential as the foreign language community it was created to be. We want to enable users to be able to connect with one another all over the globe through language.

We have a lot of work to do, but we can’t wait for what 2015 will bring.

Oh yeah, 4. Stop eating all the gominolas at work

Captura de pantalla 2015-01-21 a las 6.06.14 p.m.

A Better Mobile Experience

Forvo is a project born in the age of desktop computers so we have always lacked of a true mobile navigation. Furthermore, some features, as the recorder, are not really useful in the mobile environment due to background noise, abuses, etc. so we filled those gaps thanks to our mobile apps.

Last year, we finally made the audio player compatible with mobile devices and now we are releasing a better navigation and adapted content for them too.

There is still much work to do in the mobile space but we will keep improving it so you can use Forvo wherever you are.

mobile forvo rwd

Better search results

Along with improvements in search results for both words and pronunciations we have added more ways to find the words you want.

First, maybe one of them most requested features: search for translations. When you search for a simple word like ‘house‘, ‘fish‘, ‘love‘, etc. we will show in the sidebar a new tab called ‘Translations’. There you can find that word translated into more than 40 languages, in the appropiate script of the language and with a Forvo pronunciation.

See an example: House translations.

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Second, search in categories. Now you can search in the categories gathered in Forvo, almost 100,000 at this moment, so you could easily words related to ‘music‘, ‘cities‘, etc. Ideal to learn to pronounce words grouped by topics.

New projects powered by Forvo API

As a great ending to this terrific year in Forvo HQ, we are happy to announce two big new partners who are using Forvo pronunciations. Both are leaders in their languages:

Youdao Dictionary is the largest dictionary in China with more than 300 million people using their Apps.

youdao

Hiztegiak Elhuyar is the number one Basque dictionary and translator.

elhuyar

Welcome on board and thanks for counting on us.

Top pronunciations of 2013

Following ACGBueno’s tweet, here is the 2013 list.

1. denigrated
2. Chag Sameach
3. 把手拿回
4. djävligt
5. Karadayı
6. مهذبة
7. præstekonen
8. ムーン香奈
9. Geschke
10. Guillaume

Forvo covered in Spanish media

We are being overwhelmed these days with all the coverage in Spanish media. Here are a bunch of examples:

Informativos TVE

El PaísLa donostiarra Forvo, entre las 50 mejores webs, según ‘Time’
EitbLa revista ‘Time’ sitúa a la web ‘Forvo’ entre las 50 mejores del mundo
Diario VascoUna web donostiarra se sitúa entre las cincuenta mejores del mundo
El confidencialLa desconocida web española que ‘Time’ incluye entre las 50 mejores del mundo
NaizPara ‘Time’, la vasca Forvo está entre las 50 mejores web
Berria - Ahoskatzeen wikipedia
RTVECarta abierta 2.0
ABCForvo, la ‘Wikipedia’ de las pronunciaciones