July 27, 2015 7:49 AM   Subscribe

The International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA) is a free, online archive of primary-source dialect and accent recordings of the English language. Founded in 1997 at the University of Kansas, it includes hundreds of recordings of English speakers by natives of nearly 100 different countries. To find an example of an accent or dialect, use the Global Map, or select a continent or region at the Dialects and Accents page.

Wikipedia: "The Archive is used primarily by students of accents and dialects, researchers, linguists, actors and those wishing to either study English pronunciation or learn a new dialect or accent.

It is fully searchable, not just by country, state, and province, but also by characteristics of each speaker, such as ethnicity, age, and occupation; even single phrases from transcriptions and phonetics can be searched online. All IDEA’s recordings are in English, are of native speakers, and include both English-language dialects and English spoken in the accents of other languages. (Many include brief demonstrations of the speaker’s native language, too.) The archive also includes extensive Special Collections:
* General American
* Holocaust Survivors
* Native Americans
* Oral Histories
* Phonetic Transcriptions
* Play Names & Terms
* Received Pronunciation
* Speech and Voice Disorders

Related Site
*The Speech Accent Archive, which was "established to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English all read the same English paragraph and are carefully recorded." Browse by language/ speakers, atlas/ regions or native phonetic inventory.
posted by zarq (15 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
This was interesting--I tracked down and clicked on all the places I have lived or spent considerable time, and listened to the voices. Mixed impressions--some of them sound very familiar and "right", others not at all.
Naturally, I didn't think that the person of the nearly exact age, gender, and location sounded like me at all.
posted by librosegretti at 8:09 AM on July 27, 2015

posted by Doc Ezra at 9:09 AM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Great post, thanks!
posted by languagehat at 9:24 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Great post, thanks!


This post brought to you by the hour-long rabbit hole I fell into this weekend with my daughter, who rewatched Brave this weekend and then asked the seemingly-innocent question "Why does Merida speak that way?"
posted by zarq at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

meff-ee goddamn you
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:53 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:48 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by blue_beetle at 10:55 AM on July 27, 2015

MEE-FII (not meef-eye, sheesh)
posted by Lexica at 11:07 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

it's wrong no matter where you put the hyphen
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:15 AM on July 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Can't be wrong. The pronunciations are a difference in dialect. :)
posted by zarq at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

no YOU'RE wrong!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:28 AM on July 27, 2015

The one sample they have for Vermont doesn't sound at all like the Vermont accents I've heard from native old-timers.
posted by beagle at 11:48 AM on July 27, 2015

[Newfoundland Pedant] In the scholarly commentary on one of the Newfoundland samples they translated "whaddya at" and "where ya to?" to both mean "what are you doing?" BUT "where ya to?" only ever means "where are you?," just as it does in some parts of SW England. [/Newfoundland Pedant]
posted by erlking at 12:00 PM on July 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Have I missed something, does it indicate whether the recordings are of an accent rather than a dialect? Because the handful of African recordings I've listened to are all in standard English spoken with various accents.
posted by glasseyes at 12:44 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

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