Site/Text with English dialect divergencies?
September 20, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

There was a site of speakers around the world speaking a specific phrase in English. This was to show how regional dialects of English sounded. You could click on a map and it would pull up video of these speakers. Does anyone know what that site is? If not, perhaps a good response would include a concise phrase that can show different regional variations (cot/caught, don/dawn, pin/pen).

I ask this due to a friend and I talking and she asking me if she had an accent to me. I noticed a slight Northern City Vowel Shift at times from her, and that got me wondering about this... I would like to post me speaking a phrase that has these pronunciations on my LJ, and have friends do the same. An interesting project, but I don't know a good source for such a text.

posted by symbioid to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
posted by holgate at 12:57 PM on September 20, 2008

Previously on MeFi.
posted by el_lupino at 12:58 PM on September 20, 2008

Best answer: Actually, IDEA doesn't have videos, and it's based upon longer passages. But the test passages, especially 'Comma Gets A Cure', really are very good at exposing variations in regional accents.
posted by holgate at 1:00 PM on September 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Are you thinking of this BBC site?
posted by Beardman at 1:01 PM on September 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It sounds a lot like GMU's Accent project, except they don't do video.

FWIW, the phrase they use is: "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."
posted by fogster at 1:04 PM on September 20, 2008 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: All these replies are excellent. In fact, I was thinking of the Stella quote (though I was pretty certain there was video... guess not) But I have seen the Comma Gets a Cure as well. I couldn't find the MeFi link, even though I'm pretty sure that's where I first saw it.
posted by symbioid at 1:18 PM on September 20, 2008

It sounds like a combo of the el_lupino and fogster's answers. That is, the GMU Accent project is probably the most useful and maybe you're remember the videos from the 'previously on mefi.'
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:19 PM on September 20, 2008

Harvard Dialect Survey also.
posted by rhizome at 3:15 PM on September 20, 2008

Way back in my undergraduate Linguistics class I remember hearing an audio compilation of regional pronunciations of the phrase "When Mary got married, we all made merry." For a short line it revealed a lot. No video, alas.
posted by Kachina_Motel at 10:21 AM on September 25, 2008

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