Category Archives: Words

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.



Forvo launches new video section

Now there are even more ways to learn how to pronounce on Forvo! With the launch of our new video section we aim to provide a complimentary service to our already extensive database of audio pronunciations.


Initially available in English, the videos are designed to help learners of that language pronounce better. We have concentrated especially on words that learners find difficult due to some of the peculiarities of English spelling and pronunciation. We will adding more videos in English and other languages in the coming weeks.

The videos focus on the pronunciation of words that are frequently requested on Forvo by our users. There are also links out to audio pronunciations of the words that feature in the videos so you can learn to pronounce just like in the video.

Watch video!

Check out all the videos at and as always, let us know what you think at by emailing us at or contacting us on Twitter @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.



Most pronounced words of 2015 on Forvo

most-pronounced-banner’s annual list of the most requested pronunciations of the year is now out and it provides a fascinating insight into how we lived in 2015.

Amongst the online pronunciation guide’s lists this year we can see the global influence of BBC TV series Dr Who (the word Raxacoricofallapatorian) as well as a reflection of political and world events. Words such as the acronym for Islamic group Daesh, French publication Charlie Hebdo or the Greek political party Syriza are also present.

Technology features heavily with words like Chrome, Whatsapp and Airbnb being frequently requested. Other words in high demand were Emoji and Selfie.

As well as the curiosity factor, Forvo’s lists tell us much about the year 2015’s place in history. The words users search for usually tend to lie outside their own cultural and linguistic territory and display a human desire not only to understand, but to 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 a good deal about international influence — who’s influencing who, and how.

Most Pronounced Words of 2015

1. Chrome; English — Google internet browser

2. Sprout; English — A newly grown bud

3. 鬼島; Mandarin Chinese — “Ghost Island”. Refers to Hashima Island, an abandoned island off the coast of southern Japan. The island was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2015

4. Audio; English — A recording of acoustic signals

5. Raxacoricofallapatorian — Pertaining to a fictitious alien species which features in the BBC TV series Dr Who

6. Google — American technology company specializing in internet-related services

7. Apple — American multinational technology company

8. Schedule; English — “A plan for matters to be attended to”

9. Sláinte; Gaelic — “Good health” Common toast

10. Dysania; English — A state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning

11. Whatsapp — cross-platform instant messaging service owned by Facebook

12. Airbnb — A online service for people to list, find, and rent lodging

13. Charlie Hebdo; French — A French satirical magazine

14. Daesh — Acronym for Islamic fundamentalist militant group

15. Squirrel; English — A rodent

Most Pronounced Names

1. Michael Kors — New York-based fashion designer

2. Simon Kjær — Danish professional footballer

3. Wojciech Szczęsny — Polish professional footballer

4. Friedrich Nietzsche — German philosopher

5. Tommy Hilfiger — American fashion designer

6. Ricky van Wolfswinkel — Dutch professional footballer

7. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry — French writer and pioneering aviator

8. Paulo Coelho — Brazilian novelist

9. G-Dragon — South Korean music artist

10. Maroon 5 — American rock band

Most Pronounced Expressions

1. Je t’aime; French — “I love you”

2. Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani; Hebrew “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Biblical expression

3. Alba Gu Bràth; Scottish Gaelic — “Scotland Forever” Slogan used in Scottish campaign for independence

4. Awesome; English — “Something which inspires awe”, and a common slang expression in English, originally from America

5. Saudade; Portuguese — “nostalgia or yearning”

Most Pronounced Places

1. Leicester — English city

2. Camp Nou — Football stadium in Barcelona which is home to Barcelona FC

3. Edinburgh — Capital city of Scotland

4. Reims — French city

5. Hiroshima — Japanese city

Most Pronounced Brands

Michael Kors — New York-based fashion designer

2. Whatsapp — Cross-platform instant messaging service owned by Facebook

3. Airbnb — A online service for people to list, find, and rent lodging

4. Viber — Instant messaging and Voice over IP app for smartphones

5. Ikea — Swedish furniture retailer

6. Roshe Run — Nike trainer model

7. Tommy Hilfiger — American fashion designer

8. YouTube — Video-sharing website

9. LinkedIn — Business-oriented social networking service

10. Instagram — Online photo-and-video-sharing and social networking service

Most Pronounced Food and Drink

1. Chia Seed — Trending health food

2. Chorizo — A type of pork sausage originating in the Iberian Peninsula

3. Gnocchi — Soft dough dumplings originating from Italy

4. Cucumber — A vegetable originally from Southern Asia

5. Cabernet Sauvignon — A variety of grape used to make red wine

Phrases and Facebook

Hi Forvo fans,

Some of you may have already noticed that we’ve added phrases to Forvo. We wanted to help put into context all the words you record on Forvo and improve the learning experience.

In order to record a phrase you first have to record a word.

1-pronounce word

Once you’ve recorded the word you’ll be given an option to record a phrase in order to put the word into context.

2-Pronunciation complete

Simply write your phrase and then record it! Don’t forget to add an intonation to the phrase (Happy, neutral, sad or angry). Remember, you have 5 seconds to record the phrase.

3-Pronounce My left sock is cleaner than my right sock in English

Once you’ve recorded your phrase you’ll be able to listen to it on the specific word pages.

4-example in a phrase

We’re constantly updating this new feature and we welcome all feedback, so please keep checking back for updates and improvements.


We’d also like to inform all our users about our new Facebook page. You can like us and keep up to date with all the latest Forvo news at

Remember, you can also stay tuned to these developments and others by following us on Twitter: @forvo.

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