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VOA Pronunciation Guide Gets Innovative Makeover

Mastering hard-to-say names from around the world is now easier and faster than ever with Voice of America’s newly updated online pronunciation guide.

VOA Pro•nounce gives you access to nearly 7,000 hard-to-say newsmaker names and locations, and it puts them at your fingertips on mobile devices, tablets or desktops.

Choose the “What’s Hot” category, or go country by country and look through the list of world leaders and places. Audio clips tell you exactly how the names should sound.

“For more than a decade, journalists at Voice of America and elsewhere have relied on our pronunciation guide to help them prepare radio and TV programs. This innovative upgrade makes the program more versatile and provides a much better look and feel than the old version,” says VOA Production Specialist James Tedder, who keeps the database up-to-date.

“Using the correct pronunciation of a name shows that the speaker cares about his audience,” Tedder says. “It also builds credibility, which is very important for a news organization.”

VOA’s original online Pronunciation Guide was the first of its kind on the Internet when it was released in 2000. The site has been featured in the Washington Post, mentioned in the Columbia Journalism Review, and used on the quiz show Jeopardy.

“The primary aim of the upgrade is to make the guide more user-friendly and universal, with a responsive design that is accessible on the mobile devices that are in use today,” says Steve Fuchs of the Broadcasting Board of Governor’s Office of Digital Design and Innovation, which led the project. “We think we’ve done that,” says Fuchs.

In addition to the re-launched pronunciation guide, VOA has many handy online tools for English learners, including the interactive English Wordbook, which helps students to find the right word, the Business Wordbook, and many others (here). To explore the VOA Pronunciation Guide further, visit

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write For more information about VOA visit our Public Relations website at, or the main VOA news site at

(This release published originally on