Speech Accent Archive

1200+ speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds


The speech accent archive uniformly presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. The archive is used by people who wish to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers.


The Elicitation Paragraph

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.





Everyone who speaks a language, speaks it with an accent. A particular accent essentially reflects a person’s linguistic background. When people listen to someone speak with a different accent from their own, they notice the difference, and they may even make certain biased social judgments about the speaker.

The speech accent archive is established to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English all read the same English paragraph and are carefully recorded.1 The archive is constructed as a teaching tool and as a research tool. It is meant to be used by linguists as well as other people who simply wish to listen to and compare the accents of different English speakers.

This website allows users to compare the demographic and linguistic backgrounds of the speakers in order to determine which variables are key predictors of each accent. The speech accent archive demonstrates that accents are systematic rather than merely mistaken speech.

All of the linguistic analyses of the accents are available for public scrutiny. We welcome comments on the accuracy of our transcriptions and analyses.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


Who uses the archive?

  • ESL teachers who instruct non-native speakers of English
  • Actors who need to learn an accent
  • Engineers who train speech recognition machines
  • Linguists who do research on foreign accent
  • Phoneticians who teach phonetic transcription
  • Speech pathologists
  • Anyone who finds foreign accent to be interesting



Steven H. Weinberger
Program in Linguistics
Department of English
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030



Steven H. Weinberger, the administrator of the speech accent archive thanks the following groups and individuals:

  • George Mason University
  • College of Arts and Sciences, Technology Across the Curriculum
  • Information Technology Unit
  • Department of English
  • Program in Linguistics
  • Center for History & New Media

(A full list of credits may be found on the site)

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