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Most pronounced words of 2016

December 16, 2016

Forvo, the world's largest pronunciation dictionary, has released its list of the most pronounced words of 2016 and it's a double celebration for the city of Leicester. Not only did their team win the English Premier League for the first time in their history, but they also taught more than a few people round the world how to correctly say the name of the East Midlands city.

There was a huge peak in searches for Leicester and Leicester City in May, although the terms were consistently the top searched for pronunciations on Forvo throughout 2016. (For the record, it's pronounced 'Lester').

With Euro 2016 taking place in France over the summer, other footballing terms also featured highly. Antoine Griezmann and Jakub Błaszczykowski were just two of the names our users looked up en masse, but it was diminutive West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet who made the final cut. As well as scoring a slew of cracking goals, the pronunciation of his surname provoked debate over whether that final 't' is silent or not.

Sticking with the French theme and bringing some romance to the list this year was the term 'Je t'aime'. It's lovely to see that romance is not dead, despite some fairly traumatic world events taking place in 2016, including many in France.

As in previous years, tech terms featured highly with 'Google' and 'Airbnb' receiving a lot of traffic, as well as the word 'online'.

2016 was also the year of 'hygge' and this was reflected on Forvo with many people searching to find out how to say this Danish term. The word is said to have no direct translation in English although it can be defined as “cosiness" or "a feeling of contentment or well-being”.

Other terms, such as 'Brexit' (is it 'breksit' or 'bregzit'?) reflect the turmoil of world politics and tragic events such as the Chapecoense plane crash were also present in this year's most requested pronunciations.

Although he didn't make the final list, special mention must go to NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo who caused many a pronunciation nightmare to commentators - and a US President. Garbiñe Muguruza, Steven Kruijswijk, Nigel Farage ("Farridge" or "Farrahge"?), Johan Cruyff and Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan were just some of the other names receiving thousands of requests in 2016. Brands such as South Korean car maker Hyundai or Icelandic dairy product Skyr also featured highly.

In a year which has seen Forvo's database grow to over 4 million word pronunciations in 340 different languages, it seems that correct pronunciation remains as important as ever.

Here's the list in full:

1. Leicester

2. Je t'aime

3. Google

4. slàinte

5. croissant

6. online

7. Airbnb

8. Michael Kors

9. Dimitri Payet

10. thought

11. through

12. hygge

13. G-Dragon

14. Brexit

15. Revenant

16. Chapecoense

17. Zika

18. Skyr

Forvo is the largest on-line reference for pronunciations in the world with a database of over 4 million words and phrases pronounced in 340 languages – all created and maintained by a community of native speakers. In 2016 Forvo surpassed 15 billion requested word pronunciations.