You can find over 2,900 videos, audio recordings and articles related to accent and language at our Pinterest page. Our Pinterest boards are arranged with general interest acting and accent boards at the top, and then alphabetically country by country (and within country by region). In addition, you will find boards featuring the most popularly requested dialects in film and television. (Need a Chicago accent sample or two? You'll find samples under 'C' for Chicago, and under 'A' for American Accents: Midwestern.) Use our contact form or write to us directly at email@example.com to let us know which accents you'd like to see more of!
The USA Library of Congress has a varied selection of recorded interviews taken throughout the USA dating back to the early 20th century.
The International Dialects of English Archive founded in 1997 by professor Paul Meier offers over 1,000 recordings (collected mostly by college professors throughout the USA), arranged geographically by continent.
DIALECT DIAGNOSTIC PASSAGES
When starting work with a DialectCoaches.com dialect coach, you can save time (and money) by sending your coach an audio sample of your every day accent as well as one of you giving your best attempt at the accent you are setting out to learn. Sometimes it may be appropriate to use a set of actor's sides for this, but most often it is best to use what is referred to as a Dialect Diagnostic Passage. Passages such as these incorporate every sound within a particular spoken language. In English, the most popular passages are The Rainbow Passage and Arthur the Rat, but there are others such as The Moose Passage and Comma Gets a Cure as well.
INTERNATIONAL PHONETIC ALPHABET (The IPA)
Here is a link to Wikipedia's explanation of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
You can find the full International Phonetic Alphabet chart here at the website for The International Phonetic Alphabet Association.
If the International Phonetic Alphabet chart makes you a little nervous, you can get a thorough, but accessible introduction to it (and more!) from this terrific book and CD set by Dudley Knight - Speaking With Skill.
Here is a link to a blank vowel chart which can come in very handy. Why? Because the shape of the chart itself is a map meant to represent the inside of the human mouth. The top of the trapezoid represents the roof of your mouth, the bottom of the trapezoid roughly approximates the floor of your mouth. The left hand side is meant to represent the front of your mouth, and the right hand side the back. The chart is sectioned off into nine areas. If you print out this chart and draw an X or a dot anywhere inside the trapezoid, you are indicated a specific tongue position. For instance, an X or dot placed in the uppermost left section would indicate that the front area of the tongue (not the tip) is arched high toward the hard palate of the mouth. An X or dot placed in the lowermost right hand quadrant would indicate that the back of the tongue is cupped very low in the mouth. Why is this useful information? Because by sending voice through any one of these positions, you are creating a vowel sound of some type. (You may add a lip shape to any given tongue position to create a different vowel sound.)