Category Archives: Media

How to pronounce Muguruza, Kruijswijk and Hiroshima

The month of May generally brings some nice weather to Europe, and with it the start of lots of sporting action.

Two recent big events catching the eye have been the French Open tennis tournament and the Italian Giro – one of cycling’s ‘Grand Tours’.

The expectation these competitions bring mean that many Forvo users have been taking advantage of our new events section to find out how to correctly pronounce the names of the competitors taking part.

In the case of the French Open, the pronunciation of the alternative title of the tournament, Roland Garros, trended on Forvo for several days.


But it was the pronunciation of the name of new French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza which provoked most debate. Which is the correct way to say it – the Basque or Spanish version?

Although she was born in Venezuela, Garbiñe represents Spain at international level. She has a Basque father and a Venezuelan mother and it’s generally accepted that both pronunciations are valid.

As for the Giro, for a while Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk looked like he was going to be the man taking the trophy home to the Netherlands. Despite a crash putting him out of contention a couple of days before the final stage, his name continued to trend on Forvo right up until the end of the competition.

Steven Kruijswijk

Meanwhile, away from the world of sport, US President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Hiroshima led to much debate over how to correctly pronounce the Japanese city where US forces dropped an atomic bomb during World War II. The word trended on Forvo for several days in May.

And it seems many of us have been pronouncing the name of this city wrongly for years. The Japanese language generally doesn’t have accented syllables – meaning each part of the word usually gets an equal weight in sound. Find out more about how to correctly pronounce Hiroshima in this Washington Post article.

Want to know how to pronounce the names of the footballers at Euro 2016? Interested in how to pronounce typical golfing terms? Look out for more upcoming events on Forvo at



We’re on Spanish TV!

It’s not every day we make it onto the national news, so we were very pleased when Forvo’s new iPhone app was featured on Spanish TV channel Antena 3.

As part of a segment on Antena 3 Noticias about apps for learning languages, #A3TECH reporter María Pérez Laya talked about how to get the best out of our iPhone app.

You can watch the full video below.

If you’d like to feature Forvo in your publication please get in touch at or on Twitter @forvo.

You can download our new iPhone app here and the Android app at this link.

Forvo pronunciations now available on

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 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.


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.


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 for more information.

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.


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 or tweeting us @forvo.

Check out the new section at

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.

Learn how to pronounce Scottish place names

We’re proud to announce that we’ve teamed up with our friends at the Scots Magazine in order to help you learn how to pronounce some of those tricky Scots and Gaelic place names.


The pronunciation guide is available across the whole of the website. in order to listen to how the words are pronounced 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.

The added bonus is that if the pronunciation of a word isn’t already in Forvo’s database a red record button will appear allowing you to record the word yourself. One for the expert Scots and Gaelic speakers amongst you ;-)


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.

You can find out more about the project here:

Do you have a language learning website or do you run a site focused on keeping minority languages alive? Would you like to implement the Forvo plug-in on your site to make those words come alive? Get in touch with us at for more information.



January’s most searched for words – Zika Virus, Revenant and Conchobar

Although there can be exceptions, the words people look for on Forvo tend to reflect news  stories that are currently making headlines around the world.


With the Zika virus now topping 1.5 million cases worldwide, in January 2016 users have been trying to find out how the disease is pronounced.

Meanwhile, we’re well into awards season with the Oscars just around the corner and this is reflected on Forvo too. Twelve-time nominee The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has been one of the most requested pronunciations this past month and the film’s director Alejandro González Iñárritu has also been a top requested name.


Also hitting the headlines in January was One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson after it was rumoured that he would be naming his baby son Conchobar. Requests on Forvo to hear how the Irish name is pronounced went through the roof. Despite this, the singer later released a statement to say he had finally opted for the easier-to-pronounce Freddie.

The weather is always a big talking point and making the news in January was the Welsh village of Eglwyswrw. As well as its less-than-easy-to-pronounce name, the village made headlines as it became the wettest place in the UK with rainfall detected for at least 83 days in a row.

Sometimes however, even the team at Forvo is at a loss as to why people want to know how to pronounce words. A couple of recent examples of this are the German word ‘Pickelsausen‘ and the Danish word ‘nørøxe‘. Calling all Danish and German speakers – we’d be really interested to know why these two words have been trending lately on Forvo. Any ideas?

Answers please to or tweet us @forvo.



Bowie, Snape and Saoirse trending on Forvo

Forvo is such a fantastic tool for language learners that it’s often easy to overlook its usefulness as a way of measuring the impact of breaking news as events unfurl across the globe.


The week started with the terrible news of David Bowie’s death at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer. David Bowie has since been amongst the top searched for terms on Forvo. This is likely to be because of the general lack of consensus over how the singer pronounced his surname. Indeed, it seems the man formerly known as David Jones wasn’t averse to speculation over how his name was pronounced either, judging by some of the interviews he gave over the course of his glittering career.

Another sad piece of news this week was the untimely death of British actor Alan Rickman. For many, he will always be known as the enigmatic Severus Snape from the Harry Potter films. Indeed, although Alan Rickman trended on Forvo for a while, it was the term Severus Snape which became one of the most searched for items on Forvo this week.


A week of devastating events was compounded with the news that singer Celine Dion’s husband René Angélil had lost his cancer battle. This led the former music manager’s name to become a top search term on Forvo.

Amongst all the sad news, there was time for frivolity with the hotly anticipated Oscar nominations being announced. Twelve-time nominee The Revenant has not only caught the imagination of the academy but it also seems to have forged a desire to know how it’s pronounced. The word ‘revenant‘ has featured among the top searched for terms on Forvo all week. The film’s director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, has caused many an awards presenter pronunciation woes as has his fellow Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan. The Irish actress has been hitting headlines following a string of chat show appearances during which she helped the hosts get to grips with the pronunciation of Irish names.

In politics, the Spanish media got into a fluster over how to pronounce Carles Puigdemont, the new President of the Generalitat of Catalonia. And special mention must go to the Welsh village of Eglwyswrw. Not only did its residents endure the longest stint of consecutive rainy days in almost a century, the locality also caused many a news presenter a pronunciation nightmare.



Forvo makes list of top 100 websites of 2016


We’re only a few days into 2016 but we were delighted to find out that Forvo has already been honoured with a place on Daily Tekk’s best websites of the year.

The accolade comes at a really exciting time for Forvo. Following a complete redesign in 2015, Forvo has begun to introduce lots of fantastic new features such as the ability for users to add phrases and a totally new messaging system.

We’re also pleased to announce that we will shortly be releasing a new app for Android phones followed by a brand new app for iOS devices in the coming months.

Every January, new technology site Daily Tekk lists the top 100 list of the best websites they  think you should consider visiting frequently over the next year.

We love that fact that the list looks to the future, especially as we believe 2016 is going to be Forvo’s best year yet.

Thanks to all our users who make Forvo such a great place for learning how to pronounce. Happy 2016 to you all!

Find out more about the top websites of 2016 here:

And the award goes to…

…All of you! That’s right folks, Forvo was presented with a special award last night and it’s thanks to each and every one of you who takes time to contribute to Forvo and help make it the great resource that it is.

The award was presented to us by our friends at the Diaro Vasco newspaper as they celebrated 20 years of their website


The ceremony was all about innovation, and we were given a special mention for innovation in the field of collaboration.


Felix, one of the founding partners of Forvo, was presented with the award by Spanish stand-up comedian Luis Piedrahita who raised many a laugh on the night.


Picking up the award, Felix said he wanted to thank each and every one of our collaborators and editors who help make Forvo great. Forvo wouldn’t exist without you and we are hugely indebted to all of you.

So raise a glass and here’s to many more years of making the place to pronounce.

Check out our presentation video below. With thanks to the guys at Diario Vasco and Teledonosti.