Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I Say Potato, You Say Potarto

'You Say Potato' is a new book about English accents by David and Ben Crystal. As part of the promotion for the book's release the publishers have released The You Say Potato Accent Map.

The map is made up of sound recordings of people around the world pronouncing the word 'potato'. The map includes a few audio clips of famous people like Brian May and Stephen Fry, pronouncing the word 'potato' in their own accents. You can add your own voice to the map by simply recording your voice using the built-in sound recording app.

Back in 2010 the British Library also asked people to map their voices in order to create a Google Map of how English is spoken around the world.

The Map Your Voice project is a Google Map of recordings made by people while reading the children's story 'Mr. Tickle' by Roger Hargreaves. This particular story was chosen for the range of English sounds it contains when read out loud.

Phonemica is a really interesting map of Chinese spoken stories. The project was conceived as a way to preserve spoken stories in China as spoken in the local vernacular.

Anyone can record a story at home and submit it to the map. Different Chinese languages and dialects are differentiated on the map by different colored map markers. You can also filter the results shown on the map by location, keyword and language / dialect.

If you click on a map marker you can click through and listen to the submitted story recording.

The most popular interactive webpage on the New York Times website last year was How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk. This interactive feature asks you a series of questions about your pronunciation and use of certain words and, from the answers, creates a personal dialect map. The resulting heat-map shows you which areas of the US have dialects similar to you.

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