The Babbel Blog

Online Language Learning

Maps: 1,000 dialects and 6,912 living languages

Posted on October 17, 2008 by

Last week we had Mara interviewing the Dialect Doctor, who claims to cure accents and strengthen dialects. Well, now here is databank of roughly nearly 1,000 speech samples: Native and non-native speakers of English all read the same English paragraph; the recordings are collected and listenable over at the speech accent archive. They have the nice feature of a world map with a red flag from every region they’ve got a sample from. Click on the flag for an audiofile and a phonetic transcription.

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Of words, wudz, dialects and accents: The “man of a thousand voices” speaks in tongues

Posted on October 6, 2008 by

Actor/dialect coach Robert Easton as the Klingon Judge in Star Trek VI

Click here to hear the interview with the dialect coach Robert Easton (mp3 – right click to download)

Robert Easton has been working in Hollywood and all over the world for over 42 years “strengthening dialects” and “curing accents”. Ever wonder how Al Pacino got his Cuban on in “Scarface” or how Mel Gibson learned to “talk American”? He’s the man, and Babbel Blog caught up with him to talk to him about accents, regionalities, linguistic politics and … the Oscars. Listen here for just a smattering of the countless flawless accents and dialects Easton can reproduce, from Elizabethan to Punjabi to Sicilian to Philadelphian.

Babbel Blog: So they call you the “dialect doctor”. What’s the difference between an accent and a dialect?
Robert Easton: That’s a very interesting question. Some people use them almost interchangeably. If we’re going to be purists, which I tend to be, dialect tends to be a variety of a language which differs from the so-called standard language in three ways. One, obviously the pronunciation is different, but second of all, the vocabulary is different, and third of all the grammar is different.


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