Category Archives: Languages

Language #325

Say hello to Luri, the newest language on Forvo. Luri is the language of the approximately 1.5 million inhabitants of Lorestan and its neighboring provinces in western and southwestern Iran. Luri’s reach as a language extends even further, since in some cities, parts of the Luri language are intermixed with Kurdish, and in other places Luri is mixed with Azeri.

A large part of the effort to add Luri to Forvo was undertaken by Sina, (loveiscoolandgood) who also helps edit Forvo’s Persian section. Sina, originally from Khorramabad, capital of the Lorestan province, moved from Khorramabad to a city outside of Tehran as a child. Though he grew up in an area that attracted immigrants from all over, he seldom heard Luri, the language of his paternal family, among the languages spoken.

Per Sina, his curiosity about his heritage and the “perhaps absurd urgency” to preserve it, made him take the action to have Luri added to Forvo. Sina has even created a community group on Facebook to connect Luri speakers around the world, with instructions on using Forvo to record pronunciations and words.

At Forvo we are grateful to cross paths with so many wonderful people that are passionate about languages. We hope to help play a part in preserving these languages, and to help others re-connect with their heritage. For more information on Luri, visit the new Luri page on Forvo and the Luri Community page on Facebook.Captura de pantalla 2015-05-11 a las 5.14.43 p.m.


Dear Readers,

Have you seen our numbers lately? Forvo is nearing an important milestone by closing in on 3 million pronunciations on its site, and we canğt wait to hear what the 3 millionth word will be. Will it be a wild card out of the Pashto section? Or perhaps another ”˜helloğ greeting us from afar? Here are our theories:

Theory 1: Merry Christmas — see our post from Most Pronounced Words of 2014. If statistics mean anything, our money is on some translation of yuletide well-wishing.

Theory 2: Happy New Year in Bengali — Holidays are always a strong contender, and the Bengali New Year is only a few weeks away. Plus, you have over 245 million people in Bengal- case in point.

Theory 3: Expletives — ”˜Mierdağ seems most likely since it hits close to home and there are already 31 ways to pronounce it in Forvo, but perhaps a user from a far off country we will enlighten us with their translation of poop in one of the other 323 languages we host on Forvo.

horse15 copyTheory 4: A horse with a weird name — Does anyone know why racing horses have such odd names?

Theory 5: (Something involving a current event) As so much of what we search for online is in the moment, this is probably the strongest theory out of the five. But what the future will bring, who knows.

Those are some of our guesses – what are yours?

The Editors Behind Forvo


Even though us at Forvo like to think of the site as a helpful reference in a time of need, we know that Forvo would be no help at all without its over 500 editors that generously volunteer their time to help share their native language with others. That said, we wanted to share an anecdote on one of our editors brought to us by a long-time Forvo user.

Alison came across Forvo four years ago while working as an audio book researcher in San Francisco — a place where “You can hear almost as many languages as you can find on Forvo”. Says Alison, “I can’t remember the first words I looked up on Forvo, but the first pronunciation I requested was ”˜Ballechinğ in Scots.“

Since 2010, Alison has logged an incredible 11,264 visits on Forvo. “In the course of my work on hundreds of projects Forvo has been my constant companion. Every one of those pronunciations has helped an audio book narrator make sense and beauty out of the author’s text and the language being spoken,” explains Alison. “I provide links to Forvo pronunciations in my research sheets so audio book narrators can hear audio examples of the non-English words they will be speaking during recording. Phonetic pronunciation instructions only go so far; with examples from Forvo, narrators can hear the sound of a word, its rhythms and tones. There’s no replacement for sound”

But one editor went above and beyond in helping Alison. While researching Japanese for James Clavell’s “Shogun”, Alison struck up a correspondence with editor usako_usagiclub, who had pronounced many of the words she requested. Even after Alison insisted she compensate her for her many contributions, usako_usagiclub refused. Instead, she suggested that Alison make a donation to Forvo, which Alison then did.

“Forvo’s editors are a tremendous fount of language expertise; many talented and interesting people contribute to the site; it’s been my great pleasure to meet some of them. Some of the wonderful editors who’ve provided me with assistance, education and interesting conversation over the years are Lilianuccia (Italian), silviaparisini (Italian), Pat91(French), spl0uf (French), Thonatas (German), Bartleby (German), Frankie (Hungarian), findelka (Hungarian), tasc (Russian), gorniak (Polish), mmieszko (Polish), BridEilis (Irish)….along with some dedicated users, as well — too numerous to mention!”

Fashion Week 2015, Pronounced

 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

Our journey to translate Forvo into 39 languages

With the recents releases of Croatian, Hebrew, Armenian, Latvian and Norwegian, Forvo is now translated into 39 languages. We are very proud of this achievement, and we wanted to thanks again the team of volunteers who is helping us to grow this way.

We sadly announced that we are going to stop translations as new languages are smaller and harder to find volunteers in, and in the end… how many websites in the word are translated into 39 languages? I guess not so many, if so a couple of hundreds and Forvo is quite small in resources compared with Microsoft or Wikipedia.

But this doesn’t mean we have finished Forvo. More fun very soon.

Iwaidja Inyman: Helping endangered languages

One of the things that we love in Forvo is helping endangered languages to create a database of recordings for the future generations.

Recently we have contacted Bruce Birch from the Iwaidja Inyman project and they are starting to record some words in Iwaidja. Iwaidja is a language from Australia with just a few hundreds of native speakers.

We are still focused on the development of Forvo but this kind of projects can fit with no effort in our daily work, so if you know more like this, please forward them to Forvo so we can help them.

Keep on the good work!