Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Accenting Stella

Snow peas, blue cheese, a toy snake and a toy frog
"Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station."

Nonsense, you say? No -- this is a text created to reveal regional and national accents on George Mason University's Speech Accent Archive. It's fun to listen to the many ways English can sound around the world.

Although I wish there were a lot more samples from places where English is the native language. It seems like only a small percentage of the American accents I've heard are represented, for instance.

And while I'm wishing, perhaps it could have a better interface. Clicking flags on of a tiny map is not my idea of a good way to sample recordings. But oh, well. It's fun anyway.

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