The accent game

A website I found today has a game which shows you a series of short videos of people reading a few lines of a poem in English. Then they ask you to guess the where they’re from based on their accents. If you guess correctly, it also asks you to guess which city they’re from. Some of the people are native English speakers from various countries; the rest are non-native speakers from all over Europe. Visitors to the site can also submit their own videos.

I did better with the native speakers than the non-natives, but got quite a few of the former wrong as well. I’d probably do better if the videos were longer.

Do you know of any similar websites?

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This entry was posted in English, Language.

8 Responses to The accent game

  1. Ryan says:

    I did very poorly. I think this due, in part, to the fact that a lot of the non-native speakers learned English quite well and from a variety of places. This made their accents hard to pin-point. I also think that everyone in the different recordings was trying not to say anything in such a way as would betray their origin. I wonder if I wouldn’t do a lot better if I were simply have a casual conversation with them.

    As you can see, I’m quite disappointed and trying to make excuses :P Cool site. Thanks for sharing.

  2. AR says:

    Some were really easy. For instance, one can immediately tell the NZ accent from the vowel raising. I was really close for many, choosing French for the Belgian. Atlanta, USA for the Miami, USA.
    The Eastern Europeans really stumped me though.

  3. paul hunt says:

    the “aboot” gave away the Canadian!

  4. James says:

    I got all the natives right, and all the speakers of languages I know.. (actually no, I got the German wrong) but how I am meant to tell between Lithuanian and Estonian I am not sure. The texts were too short, and often it´s the larger intonation patterns which give accent away. And informal speach would be better. But I love these games ;)

  5. James says:

    to AR.. the accent in Miami is not like the accent in Atlanta. Florida, especially central and southern, does not have anything of the typical dixie pronunciation. It´s much closer to midwestern. And the english of hispanics (native english speakers, often to some extent biligual) has its own phonology
    I used to live in central florida and most of my friends were southern (including from Atlanta)

    ;)

  6. Ken says:

    That’s a great game! Thanks! I got 26, and was hoping for better. I blame the poor quality of my computer speakers, and as has been pointed out, longer clips would have been easier. Some of the accents I can only distinguish with key ‘shibboleths’ like the ‘i’ sound for Australian and New Zealand accents.

    People might also be interested in this site, which gives the international phonetic alphabet with sound files with pronunciations.

  7. Adam says:

    Wnes i’n wael dim ond nawr ar hugain ges i ,

  8. Adam says:

    Dim on Naw ar hugain, 29 erchyll a minnau’n meddwl fy mod i’n dda gyda acenion