Tag Archives: languages

Join Forvo at Atlantikaldia 2016!

We’re delighted to announce our participation at the Atlantikaldia Festival in the Basque town of Errenteria on the 24th and 25th of September this year.

We will be running a series of workshops which will allow you to discover all 339 languages on Forvo as well as giving you the opportunity to contribute to the world’s largest online pronunciation guide.

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Join us from 11am to 13pm on Saturday and Sunday to take part, with prizes on offer for those who help contribute to Forvo.

We’ll also be using the festival to present our minority language guides in Welsh, Basque, Frisian, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Cornish and Galician. These mini audio dictionaries have been created in collaboration with Tosta, a project which aims to promote the minority languages of Europe’s Atlantic coast.

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We hope these guides will help you to discover and learn the rich cultural and linguistic heritages of these languages.

Atlantikaldia was first held in 2014 with the aim of becoming a meeting point for the peoples of the Atlantic, with a particular focus on music and culture. This third edition comes with a more ambitious goal: to turn a town of the Atlantic, Errenteria, into a meeting place for cultures around the world. Check out the full programme of activities and performances  here.

We look forward to seeing you!

Most pronounced words of 2015 on Forvo

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Forvo.com’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


1.
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

The Editors Behind Forvo

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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!”