| | Flags indicate a place on the globe with a recorded speech sample. Courtesy Speech Accent Archive|
Last Friday was St. Patrick’s day, which means that many of us were subjected to friends who, after a pint or three, began to believe that they could speak in a charming and convincingly authentic Irish brogue. In actuality, these people were probably just repeating something along the lines of “They’re always after me Luck Charms!” while wearing a green plastic hat.
Thanks to the linguistics department at George Mason University, you can now show your friend how it’s really done. The Speech Accent Archive is a fascinating body of recordings that document English speakers from around the world reading the same non-sequiturish linguistic test paragraph.
Revelations so far: Scandanavians speak better English than most Americans, and no one says “six spoons of fresh snow peas” better than the Irish. —John Mahoney