robertogreco + accents   39

The UX design case of closed captions for everyone // Sebastian Greger
"Are video subtitles really chiefly for users who cannot hear or lack an audio device? A recent Twitter thread on “closed captions for the hearing” triggered a brief qualitative exploration and thought experiment – there may well be a growing group of users being forgotten in the design of closed captions.

Most commonly perceived as an auxiliary means for the hearing impaired, video subtitles, a.k.a. closed captions (CC), have only recently started to be widely considered as an affordance for users in situations with no audio available/possible (think mobile devices in public settings, libraries, shared office spaces); the latter to the extend that contemporary “social media marketing guidelines” strongly recommend subtitling video clips uploaded to Facebook, Twitter et al.

So: subtitles are for those who cannot hear, or with muted devices?

Who else uses closed captions?

I’m personally a great fan of closed captions, for various reasons unrelated to either of the above, and have often noticed certain limitations in their design. Hence, the user researcher inside me just did a somersault as I randomly encountered a Twitter thread [https://twitter.com/jkottke/status/1091338252475396097 ] following Jason Kottke asking his 247.000 followers:
After seeing several photos my (English-speaking, non-deaf) friends have taken of their TV screens over the past week, I’m realizing that many of you watch TV with closed captions (or subtitles) on?! Is this a thing? And if so, why?

The 150+ replies (I guess this qualifies as a reasonable sample for a qualitative analysis of sorts?) are a wonderful example of “accessibility features” benefiting everybody (I wrote about another instance recently [https://sebastiangreger.net/2018/11/twitter-alt-texts-on-db-trains/ ]). The reasons why people watch TV with closed captions on, despite having good hearing abilities and not being constrained by having to watch muted video, are manifold and go far beyond those two most commonly anticipated use cases.

[image: Close-up image of a video with subtitles (caption: "Closed captions are used by people with good hearing and audio playback turned on. An overseen use case?")]

Even applying a rather shallow, ex-tempore categorisation exercise based on the replies on Twitter, I end up with an impressive list to start with:

• Permanent difficulties with audio content
◦ audio processing disorders
◦ short attention span (incl., but not limited to clinical conditions)
◦ hard of hearing, irrespective of age
• Temporary impairments of hearing or perception
◦ watching under the influence of alcohol
◦ noise from eating chips while watching
• Environmental/contextual factors
◦ environment noise from others in the room (or a snoring dog)
◦ distractions and multitasking (working out, child care, web browsing, working, phone calls)
• Reasons related to the media itself
◦ bad audio levels of voice vs. music
• Enabler for improved understanding
◦ easier to follow dialogue
◦ annoyance with missing dialogue
◦ avoidance of misinterpretations
◦ better appreciation of dialogue
• Better access to details
◦ able to take note of titles of songs played
◦ ability to understand song lyrics
◦ re-watching to catch missed details
• Language-related reasons
◦ strong accents
◦ fast talking, mumbling
◦ unable to understand foreign language
◦ insecurity with non-native language
• Educational goals, learning and understanding
◦ language learning
◦ literacy development for children
◦ seeing the spelling of unknown words/names
◦ easier memorability of content read (retainability)
• Social reasons
◦ courtesy to others, either in need for silence or with a need/preference for subtitles
◦ presence of pets or sleeping children
◦ avoiding social conflict over sound level or distractions (“CC = family peace”)
• Media habits
◦ ability to share screen photos with text online
• Personal preferences
◦ preference for reading
◦ acquired habit
• Limitations of technology skills
◦ lack of knowledge of how to turn them off

An attempt at designerly analysis

The reasons range from common sense to surprising, such as the examples of closed captions used to avoid family conflict or the two respondents explicitly mentioning “eating chips” as a source of disturbing noise. Motivations mentioned repeatedly refer to learning and/or understanding, but also such apparently banal reasons like not knowing how to turn them off (a usability issue?). Most importantly, though, it becomes apparent that using CC is more often than not related to choice/preference, rather than to impairment or restraints from using audio.

At the same time, it becomes very clear that not everybody likes them, especially when forced to watch with subtitles by another person. The desire/need of some may negatively affect the experience of others present. A repeat complaint that, particularly with comedy, CC can kill the jokes may also hint at the fact that subtitles and their timing could perhaps be improved by considering them as more than an accessibility aid for those who would not hear the audio? (It appears as if the scenario of audio and CC consumed simultaneously is not something considered when subtitles are created and implemented; are we looking at another case for “exclusive design”?)

And while perceived as distracting when new – this was the starting point of Kottke’s Tweet – many of the comments share the view that it becomes less obtrusive over time; people from countries where TV is not dubbed in particular are so used to it they barely notice it (“becomes second nature”). Yet, there are even such interesting behaviours like people skipping back to re-read a dialogue they only listened to at first, as well as that of skipping back to be able to pay better attention to the picture at second view (e.g. details of expression) after reading the subtitles initially.

Last but not least, it is interesting how people may even feel shame over using CC. Only a conversation like the cited Twitter thread may help them realise that it is much more common than they thought. And most importantly that it has nothing to do with a perceived stigmatisation of being “hard of hearing”.

CC as part of video content design

The phenomenon is obviously not new. Some articles on the topic suggest that it is a generational habit [https://medium.com/s/the-upgrade/why-gen-z-loves-closed-captioning-ec4e44b8d02f ] of generation Z (though Kottke’s little survey proves the contrary), or even sees [https://www.wired.com/story/closed-captions-everywhere/ ] it as paranoid and obsessive-compulsive behaviour of “postmodern completists” as facilitated by new technological possibilities. Research on the benefits of CC for language learning, on the other hand, reaches back [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19388078909557984 ] several decades.

No matter what – the phenomenon in itself is interesting enough to make this a theme for deeper consideration in any design project that contains video material. Because, after all, one thing is for sure: closed captions are not for those with hearing impairments or with muted devices alone – and to deliver great UX, these users should be considered as well."

[See also: https://kottke.org/19/04/why-everyone-is-watching-tv-with-closed-captioning-on-these-days ]
closedcaptioning  subtitles  closedcaptions  text  reading  genz  generationz  audio  video  tv  film  dialogue  listening  howweread  2019  sebastiangreger  literacy  language  languages  ux  ui  television  ocd  attention  adhd  languagelearning  learning  howwelearn  processing  hearing  sound  environment  parenting  media  multimedia  clarity  accents  memory  memorization  children  distractions  technology  classideas 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Why the Spanish Dialogue in 'Spider-Verse' Doesn't Have Subtitles
"While watching the new animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – featuring Miles Morales’ big screen debut as the arachnid superhero – it’s reassuring to notice the subtle, yet transcendent details through which the creators ensured both parts of his cultural identity are present.

Miles (voiced by Shameik Moore), an Afro-Latino teen who lives in Brooklyn and first appeared in Marvel’s comics back in 2011, is the son of a Puerto Rican mother and an African-American father. The protagonist’s significance – when it comes to representation – cannot be overstated, making the fact that he and his mother (Rio Morales who’s voiced by Nuyorican actress Luna Lauren Velez) speak Spanish throughout the action-packed narrative truly momentous.

Although brief, the Spanish phrases and words we hear connote the genuine colloquialisms that arise in bilingual homes as opposed to the artificiality that sometimes peppers US-produced movies and feels like the result of lines being fed through Google Translate. It might come as a surprise for some that Phil Lord, known for writing and directing The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street with his close collaborator Christopher Miller, was not only one of the main scribes and a producer on Spider-Verse, but also the person in charge of the Spanish-language dialogue.

“I grew up in a bilingual household in the bilingual city of Miami where you hear Spanish all over the place, and it’s not particularly remarkable,” he told Remezcla at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. Lord’s mother is from Cuba and his father is from the States. As part of a Cuban-American family, the filmmaker empathized with Miles’ duality: “I certainly understand what it’s like to feel like you’re half one thing and half something else,” he noted.

[image]

Despite the massive success of Pixar’s Coco, including Spanish-language dialogue in a major studio’s animated release is still rare – doing so without adding subtitles, even for some of the longer lines, is outright daring. “It was important for us to hear Spanish and not necessarily have it subtitled,” said Lord. “It’s just part of the fabric of Miles’ community and family life.”

For Luna Lauren Velez, whose character speaks mostly in Spanish to Miles, Lord and the directors’ decision to not translate her text in any way helped validate the Latino experience on screen. “That was really bold, because if you use subtitles all of a sudden we are outside, and we are not part of this world anymore. It was brilliant that they just allowed for it to exist,” she told Remezcla. Her role as Rio Morales also benefited from the production’s adherence to specificity in the source material, she is not portrayed as just generically Latina but as a Puerto Rican woman from Brooklyn.

With the help of a dialect coach, Velez and Lord were also partially responsible for getting Shameik Moore (who has roots in Jamaica) to learn the handful of Spanish-language expressions Miles uses during the opening sequence were he walks around his neighborhood. “[Luna] has been getting on me! I need to go to Puerto Rico, and really learn Spanish for real,” Moore candidly told Remezcla on the red carpet.

Aside from Rio and Miles, the only other Spanish-speaking character is a villain named Scorpion. The insect-like bad guy who speaks only in Spanish is voiced by famed Mexican performer Joaquín Cosio. “He is an actor from Mexico City who was using slang that we had to look up because we didn’t understand it! I had never heard some of the words he used,” explained Lord.

[video: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - "Gotta Go" Clip"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q9foLtQidk ]

For Lord, having different Spanish accents represented is one of the parts of Into the Spider-Verse he’s the most proud of. He wanted to make sure Miles and Rio didn’t sound alike to indicate how language changes through different generations. Being himself the child of a Cuban immigrant, the parallels were very direct. “Miles is second-generation, so he speaks different than his mother.”

Velez, who like Miles is born in New York, identifies with what it’s like to communicate in both tongues. “Growing my parents spoke to us in Spanish and we responded in English. Now this happens with my nieces and nephews,” she said. “You want to make sure kids remember their culture and where they come from.” In playing Rio, she thought of her mother who instilled in her not only the language but appreciation for her Latinidad.

Clearly, casting Velez was essential to upholding the diversity and authenticity embedded into Miles Morales’ heroic adventure since not doing so would have been a disservice to an iteration of an iconic figure that is so meaningful for many. “If Spider-Man’s Puerto Rican mom had been played by somebody who isn’t Latino I’d have a problem with that,” Velez stated emphatically."
language  translation  spanish  español  bilingualism  bilingual  srg  edg  glvo  carlosaguilar  2018  spider-verse  spiderman  miami  losangeles  nyc  coco  subtitles  specificity  puertorico  cuba  immigration  via:tealtan  accents  change  adaptation  latinidad 
february 2019 by robertogreco
How many Bay Area place names have you been mispronouncing? | KALW
"Accent marks are missing all over the Bay Area. Many neighborhoods and streets are named after Spanish explorers. Some of those names once had accent marks. But now, without them, we don’t know if we’re saying them right. Listen to the different ways these residents pronounce the name of their neighborhood in San Francisco.

“The Portola,” said one person who placed the stress on the POR. “I call it Portola district,” said another, who placed the stress on the TO. “Portola,” said another who stressed the POR. “The Portola district,” said another woman who stressed the TO.

This name once had an accent mark. Once it disappeared, the original pronunciation went with it. And so did its history.

“I guess that’s the traditional Italian name?” suggested one resident. “Um, Portola, what's his, I forget his first name?” wondered another. “I didn't know it was named after a person?” mused another resident.

“The people in the 1920s that came to this neighborhood pronounced it Portola,” said Rayna Garibaldi, putting the stress on the POR.

Garibaldi is a San Francisco native, born and raised here. You know the slim history book with the old photo on the cover that you see in a lot of neighborhoods? She wrote it and it’s called, San Francisco’s Portola.

According to the book, immigrants from Italy and Malta and Jews from Europe settled here in the 1920s. Their pronunciation, Portola, with the stress on the POR, caught on. That’s what Garibaldi grew up with. She says that in her lifetime she’s seen the neighborhood change. That pronunciation is now fading away.

“Now people who come here new from other parts of the city or other countries say Portola,” with stress on the TO, she said.

Garibaldi is talking about people like me. I stress the TO in Portola. That’s how I’ve always heard it pronounced. But after talking to Garibaldi, I started to wonder about Portola and how it should be pronounced. To find out, we need to look into our California history.

Don Gaspar de Portola was a Spanish explorer. Historians believe he discovered the San Francisco Bay in the 1700s. He was also the first Governor of Spanish-ruled California, before it was a state. After the miners struck gold and San Francisco rapidly grew, most people living here didn’t know about Portola. And those that did, forgot about him.

“This piece of California history was a little bit obscure. The back pages in the history books, so to speak,” explained local historian John Freeman.

Freeman said that in 1909, San Francisco quickly rebuilt itself after the big earthquake and fires. It wanted to throw a 5-day carnival to relaunch the city as a destination for business and tourism.

“They were searching around for a theme, a set of colors, and something to hang their festival on,” he said. They settled on the 140th anniversary of Portola’s discovery of the San Francisco Bay and called it the Portola Festival.

Suddenly, San Francisco was enamored with Portola. In postcards advertising the event, he looked rugged, with wavy hair spilling out from under a plumed hat, a sash over his shoulder and a long sword by his side. But as talk of the festival spread, a vexing question emerged. According to Freeman, the chair of the festival committee was giving a speech when he pronounced Portola three different ways.

“One of the principals of this particular meeting says, `excuse me sir, how do we pronounce the name?’” Freeman said, “`We need to officially decide how we should pronounce the name.’”

The organizers began an extensive search for Portola’s signature. Dispatches were sent to Spain and Mexico. They wanted to know if, and where, he put the accent mark in his name, so they could pronounce it right. In the meantime, how to say Portola went viral, in a 1909 way. Letters poured into the The San Francisco Call. One of them suggested that the pronunciation be decided by a game of dice. Another newspaper joked that it should be pronounced “Porthole.” Then there was the verse, like this excerpt from Lost Accent, published in the San Francisco Chronicle:
For my nerves were racked to pieces

and I felt an awful jar

When I heard the Mispronouncer

Say my name was Portola.

Oh, but there was more. Like this selection from What’s In a Name?
We’ll sing his blows ‘gainst craven foes,

His parry, thrust and sortie;

And when we come to speak his name,

Oh, well — let’s call him Porty!

Only days before the festival was to officially open, a Stanford academic discovered a cache of Portola’s letters in Mexico City. He said, I have looked at the documents, there is an accent on the end of his name, it should be pronounced Portolà.

Finally, how he would have pronounced it. The long, lost accent! Portolahhh. But just as quickly as it was discovered, it was gone. Newspapers couldn’t print the accent mark.

“You would sometimes see it accented. A lot of it had to do with the printer and the type of font they were using. Having a font with the "a" accented was a rarity in anybody's print box,” said Freeman.

In a short time, the correct pronunciation of Portolà disappeared. Today, in the Bay Area, there’s no accent mark on any of the signs that bear his name. Not on neighborhoods, streets, schools or even the city named after him, Portola Valley.

Today’s young explorers can speak their names into voice recorders. But unlike Portolà, they will never have official papers to show where their accent marks should be. So, if we can learn anything from Portolà, it’s to put your accent mark wherever you can. You just don’t know if you’ll wind up in the history books.

A note on the accent on Portolà: Gaspar de Portolà was Catalan, so we are using the Catalan closed accent, not the Spanish accent grave."
names  naming  california  sanfrancisco  accents  pronunciation  spanish  español  portola  neighborhoods  italian  accentmarks  history 
january 2019 by robertogreco
BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth, Intonation: The Music of Speaking
"Michael Rosen and Laura Wright explore the tunes we sing when we are speaking - without even realising it. Sound artist John Wynne extracts the melodies to play in the studio and Sam Hellmuth explains what we use intonation for."
intonation  sound  music  language  2017  accents  english  johnwynne  samhellmuth  sounds 
february 2017 by robertogreco
When Did Americans Lose Their British Accents? | Mental Floss
"There are many, many evolving regional British and American accents, so the terms “British accent” and “American accent” are gross oversimplifications. What a lot of Americans think of as the typical "British accent” is what's called standardized Received Pronunciation (RP), also known as Public School English or BBC English. What most people think of as an "American accent," or most Americans think of as "no accent," is the General American (GenAm) accent, sometimes called a "newscaster accent" or "Network English." Because this is a blog post and not a book, we'll focus on these two general sounds for now and leave the regional accents for another time.

English colonists established their first permanent settlement in the New World at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, sounding very much like their countrymen back home. By the time we had recordings of both Americans and Brits some three centuries later (the first audio recording of a human voice was made in 1860), the sounds of English as spoken in the Old World and New World were very different. We're looking at a silent gap of some 300 years, so we can't say exactly when Americans first started to sound noticeably different from the British.

As for the "why," though, one big factor in the divergence of the accents is rhotacism. The General American accent is rhotic and speakers pronounce the r in words such as hard. The BBC-type British accent is non-rhotic, and speakers don't pronounce the r, leaving hard sounding more like hahd. Before and during the American Revolution, the English, both in England and in the colonies, mostly spoke with a rhotic accent. We don't know much more about said accent, though. Various claims about the accents of the Appalachian Mountains, the Outer Banks, the Tidewater region and Virginia's Tangier Island sounding like an uncorrupted Elizabethan-era English accent have been busted as myths by linguists.

TALK THIS WAY

Around the turn of the 18th 19th century, not long after the revolution, non-rhotic speech took off in southern England, especially among the upper and upper-middle classes. It was a signifier of class and status. This posh accent was standardized as Received Pronunciation and taught widely by pronunciation tutors to people who wanted to learn to speak fashionably. Because the Received Pronunciation accent was regionally "neutral" and easy to understand, it spread across England and the empire through the armed forces, the civil service and, later, the BBC.

Across the pond, many former colonists also adopted and imitated Received Pronunciation to show off their status. This happened especially in the port cities that still had close trading ties with England — Boston, Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah. From the Southeastern coast, the RP sound spread through much of the South along with plantation culture and wealth.

After industrialization and the Civil War and well into the 20th century, political and economic power largely passed from the port cities and cotton regions to the manufacturing hubs of the Mid Atlantic and Midwest — New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, etc. The British elite had much less cultural and linguistic influence in these places, which were mostly populated by the Scots-Irish and other settlers from Northern Britain, and rhotic English was still spoken there. As industrialists in these cities became the self-made economic and political elites of the Industrial Era, Received Pronunciation lost its status and fizzled out in the U.S. The prevalent accent in the Rust Belt, though, got dubbed General American and spread across the states just as RP had in Britain.

Of course, with the speed that language changes, a General American accent is now hard to find in much of this region, with New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Chicago developing their own unique accents, and GenAm now considered generally confined to a small section of the Midwest.

As mentioned above, there are regional exceptions to both these general American and British sounds. Some of the accents of southeastern England, plus the accents of Scotland and Ireland, are rhotic. Some areas of the American Southeast, plus Boston, are non-rhotic."
us  uk  england  britain  history  language  accents  2016  english  networkenglish  bbcenglish  receivedpronunciation 
july 2016 by robertogreco
A conversation with President David Skorton and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz MFA '95 - CornellCast
"Each year, the Olin Lecture brings to campus an internationally prominent speaker to address a topic relevant to higher education and the current world situation. Junot Díaz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)."

[Great chat with Junot Díaz (is there any other kind?) and I especially love the part towards the end in response to a prompt from the audience about social action.

“There is no more important mandate to anyone living in a society than civic engagement. Civic engagement is just what's owed. There is no person, poor or rich, who does not take more out of this country than what they put back in. No one. There is no one so afflicted that doesn't owe this nation a debt. Civic engagement is how we begin to pay the interest on that debt. And, part of civic engagement is looking for places that we think that we can improve and trying to improve it. It is just something that has been lost for a long time, something that I think isn't valued enough. I think that what you are doing is incredibly important under the most fundamental level of what it means to be alive in a civic society. To give back, to attempt to engage yourself in that way is absolutely essential.

The thing is that we live in a society that has spent the last thirty or forty years promulgating, convincing people that the only thing that matters is you and how much money you have made. A perverse neoliberal individualism that has collapsed a lot of what we would call our civic communities. People aren't just bowling alone, gang. People are also not engaged in civic society the way they used to. They've got us all mad at each other, whether we're Republican or Democrats because that is a way to convince people that this is civic engagement. Partisan politics is not civic engagement. We think it's civic engagement, but it's not. And I think the nature of civic engagement is that in a country like ours, in a moment like ours, it is going to be very hard to convince people to go against the pied piper music of individualism and neoliberal profit-making and to think more seriously about what our community requires and what is owed of all of us. And I think that the nature of this work, is that you are going to find that it is going to be difficult to engage large movements of people. And that despite this, what you do is utterly invaluable.

My sense of this is that you've got to constantly model, you've got to constantly reach out, and you've got to everything you cant that when you're home, or wherever you settle, to go to every damn school and get every teacher who is an ally and let you make a presentation. And try to get allied teachers to come and visit your project so that at least the young people are exposed and given some modeling. And it is the same thing. How many people are at home looking for things to do? And, again, I don't know what community you are in or what kind of space, but if you can sort of figure out a place where there is a lot of traffic that you could present and model your work, you can begin to slowly pull people in. Will it be a lot? No. Will it be as much as you need? Perhaps. Will it be transformational and save individual lives through that engagement and through that reaffirmation of the most important values of our civic society? Absolutely. Being an artist in some ways is no different than being someone who wants to make this country better. there is very little money in it, especially if done correctly.

You know, there is little acclaim and respect. And in fact, there is very few signs that what you're doing is working. And yet, without your presence, what remains is not worth calling a society. Nothing is more a faith-based initiative than the kind of work you're doing. But I would argue, trying to get into the schools, trying to get into the places where a lot of adults flow through who don't have that kind of training or don't have that kind of literacy, and tying to kind of increase the exposure, that is what tends to work best in this battle. And I leave you with this: whether you're someone who is trying to do the work this young sister is doing or you're a teacher trying to convince their students that reading is good, in this battle, it is hand to hand. If you can transform one life, you've given more than most of us can dream. And, that life may do the work the future needs to make the future that we all dreamed possible. And therefore you must stick with it.”

See 1:02:29 for that.]
junotdíaz  art  activism  writing  race  2015  via:javierarbona  howwewrite  whywewrite  experience  socialjustice  us  education  highered  highereducation  inclusion  inclusivity  diversity  immigrants  immigration  elitism  politics  struggle  mfas  hardship  gratitude  civics  citizenship  engagement  migration  bilingualism  language  accents  rutgers  cornell  stigma  latinos  patriarchy  capitalism  publicadministration  socialaction  society  movements  storytelling  neoliberalism  individualism  money  wealth  inequality  transformation  modeling  lcproject  openstudioproject  inlcusivity 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Blog - by Allen Tan - An accent marks the lag between two cultures, two...
"An accent marks the lag between two cultures, two languages, the space where you let go of one identity, invent another, and end up being more than one person though never quite two." —André Aciman in Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language, and Loss
andréaciman  language  accents  identity  languages  speech  exile  connection  betweenness  migration  immigration  belonging  culture  seams  interstitial  thirdculture  liminality  liminalspaces  liminalstates  between 
march 2015 by robertogreco
25 maps that explain the English language - Vox
"English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It's spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today."
english  maps  mapping  language  history  change  accents  migration  immigration  colonization  international  australia  us  india  europe  wikipedia  words  vocabulary  dialects  regionalisms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Conversation in Truro about accent, dialect and attitudes to language. - BBC Voices - Accents and dialects | British Library - Sounds
[via: “Chacking to hear some Cornish dialects?”
http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/sound-and-vision/2015/03/chacking-to-hear-some-cornish-dialects.html ]

[See also:
"The BBC Voices Recordings is an audio archive of group conversations made in 303 locations across the UK by BBC Local and Nations Radio in 2004 and 2005. The recordings involve 1,293 speakers discussing their words for 40 prompt terms (e.g. 'mother', 'tired' and 'to play truant') and exploring the language they use and encounter in their daily lives."
http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/bldept/socsci/research/voicesuk/voices.html ]

"Abstract
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that her hairdressing voice is very polite. Mention multiple meanings of hanging and minging. Discussion about speaking differently when talking to different people: friends/clients/parents, use of slang. Description of fathers Cornish accent, swear words he uses. Things that make them jumping (annoyed). Comment that she has picked up the Cornish phrase cheers my lover, used to address boyfriend, since moving to Cornwall.[00:07:38] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Anecdote about playing truant from school, playing truant from college during second year. Discussion about meaning, use and offensiveness of twatted.[00:11:44] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Description of clothes they wear when clubbing. Discussion about attitudes towards cheap, trendy clothes, designer labels and fakes; different fashion expectations for boys/girls, their shopping habits. Discussion of words used to mean lacking money/rich. Description of plimsolls, compulsory footwear for physical education when they were at school, comment that her six-year old cousin now wears Nike trainers for physical education at school.[00:17:58] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that as hairdressers they have to get used to using both right and left hands. Description of person who is hanging/munting/minging meaning extremely unattractive; clothes skaters wear which she thinks look awful. Discussion about subtle differences in meaning between pretty/attractive/stunning/gorgeous used to describe females, examples of women who fit each category. Description of how she reacts to rude customers.[00:28:00] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Comment that peoples speech reveals their age. Discussion about words they would/wouldnt use to describe different types of relationships with men, words used to describe promiscuous woman, words used to mean male partner. Discussion about what they would say to each other on seeing a man they really like in a nightclub, euphemisms used when working behind bar in nightclub; words used by men to describe women they like, how they would feel if these words were used to describe them; words used by males/females to describe wanting to have sex with someone, comment that females arent more reserved but they describe it more politely than males who use more boastful language, possibly because male/female sexual activity is judged differently by other people. Mention words used to describe being desperate to go to the toilet.[00:40:55] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean father. Use and meaning of Cornish word dreckly.[00:49:25] Discussion about their attitudes towards the way they speak and the words they use, changing speech in different situations/when talking to different people. Attitudes towards regional accents, description of their own accents, attitudes towards Cornish accent, difference between accent of old/young Cornish people, Cornish language, accents that sound educated, how language relates to class. Comment that David Beckhams voice doesnt match his appearance. Discussion about other peoples attitudes towards and assumptions about Cornish accent, changing/losing accent over generations/when moving across country, future of Cornish accent/regional accents, regional accents on television, how accent changes across Cornwall, pride in their accents, pride in being Cornish.

Description
All three interviewees are hairdressers who are also keen clubbers and very good friends. BBC warning: this interview contains strong or offensive language. Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language."
truro  language  accents  dialects  english  cornish  2004  linguistics  slang  words  uk  cornwall  voices 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Quotes and Accents
"We all need to use them but hardly any of us know how to type them. Here is a brief guide of how to type smart quotes and accented characters (and dashes) on a Mac. If you have the latest OS you probably discovered that you can also find accented characters by holding down a letter to reveal its spicier cousins (I discovered this myself many times when attempting to type “heeeeeyyyyy” in an iChat window.). If you’re on a Windows computer or some nerdy space machine, I’d recommend googling “keyboard commands for accented characters”. If you use a non-English keyboard, you probably already know how to find all the accented characters you need. Made by Jessica Hische for your enjoyment and enlightenment."

[The new to me:

"An en dash: –
option + -

Used in dates to replace “to” or “and”. It can also be used to illustrate the relationship between two different words.

I was in jail from 1976–1978.
Mother–daughter beauty pageants make me uncomfortable.
I have a love–hate relationship with stretchy denim."

]
design  keyboard  typography  quotes  reference  howto  endashes  emdashes  quotationmarks  hyphens  accents  jessicahische 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Northern Cities Vowel Shift: How Americans in the Great Lakes region are revolutionizing English. - Slate Magazine
"In any case, fears that TV and the Internet are funneling us toward a standard dialect don’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Dialect formation occurs long before we become ensnared in the web of modern communications technology. Children acquire language from face-to-face interaction with their parents and peers, and this learning is shaped profoundly by our desire to fit in. People wring their hands about the supposed disappearance of dialectic diversity for the same reason that such diversity is not, in fact, going anywhere: We cling to our specific identities and peer groups, and we defend our individual and regional idiosyncrasies when and where we can. Our dialects are often the weapon readiest to hand in that fight.

Which doesn’t mean that aspects of our dialects won’t evolve—and even, in some cases, blend with others over time. But years from now you’ll still learn a lot about a person’s identity just by listening closely."
via:litherland  dialects  media  robmifsud  northerncitiesshift  vowels  greatvowelshift  english  buffalo  canada  speech  linguistics  greatlakes  change  2012  pronunciation  language  us  accents  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
What American English sounds like to non-English speakers - YouTube
"Prisecolinensinenciousol, a parody by Adriano Celentano for the Italian TV programme Mileluci is sung entirely in gibberish designed to sound like American English."

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisencolinensinainciusol ]
pronunciation  accents  adrianocelentano  foreignears  perception  sound  parody  gibberish  italy  italian  us  english  americanenglish  language  prisencolinensinainciusol  2018  music  songs  nonsense  mimicry  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns
[Somehow I never bookmarked this amazing personal project before.]

"This is just a hobby of mine, that I thought might be interesting to a lot of people. Some people collect stamps. Others collect coins. I collect dialects. Please let me know what you think of this page. - Rick Aschmann (Last updated: July 21, 2012.)"

"There are 8 major English dialect areas in North America, listed below the map at left. These are shown in blue, each with its number, on the map and in the Dialect Description Chart below, and are also outlined with blue lines on the map. The first 6 of these begin at the eastern seaboard and proceed west, reflecting western settlement patterns.

The many subdialects are shown in red on the map and in the chart, and are outlined with red lines on the map. All of these are listed in the margins of the map as well.

In the Dialect Description Chart additional features not shown on the map are provided for distinguishing the dialects."
rickaschmann  canada  us  northamerica  mapping  pronunciation  accents  dialects  english  maps  linguistics  language  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
California English - Wikipedia
"California English (or Californian, Californian English) is a dialect of the English language spoken in California.[1] California is home to a highly diverse population, which is reflected in the historical and continuing development of California English."

[Of particular interest is "freeway nomenclature" of Northern and Southern California: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_English#Freeway_nomenclature

[via: http://latimes.tumblr.com/post/4102291799/10-freeway ]
language  english  california  linguistics  dialects  accents  vocabulary  usage  phonology  nocal  socal  losangeles  sanfrancisco  sandiego  orangecounty  inlandempire  freeways  carculture  cars  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices :: Map your voice - about
"We need your voice. By adding your voice you can help with research into how language works. We hold recordings that capture the sounds of spoken English all over the world.

We are asking people all over the world to read a children's story: Mr. Tickle by Roger Hargreaves. It's been chosen for the range of English sounds it contains when read out loud. Read more about why we chose it.

Alternatively, you can just read out a list of six words. If you are keen, you may read both."
language  english  accents  mapping  maps  reading  classideas  regional  via:thelibrarianedge  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Chile - Population
"To traveler arriving in Santiago from Lima, Chileans will in general seem more Latin European-looking than Peruvians. By contrast, to visitor arriving from Buenos Aires, certain native American features will seem apparent in large numbers of Chileans in contrast to Argentines. These differing perspectives can be explained by tracing distinctive historical roots of Chilean people.

…Chilean population perceives itself as essentially homogeneous. Despite configuration of national territory, regional differences & sentiments are remarkably muted…accent of Chileans varies only very slightly from north to south; more noticeable are small differences in accent based on social class or whether one lives in city or country…fact that Chilean population essentially was formed in relatively small section of center of country & migrated in modest numbers to north & south helps explain this relative lack of differentiation…now maintained by national reach of radio & especially television."
chile  population  demographics  ethnicity  language  accents  history  class  homogeneity  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Why don't we believe non-native speakers? The influence of accent on credibility [.pdf]
"Non-native speech is harder to understand than native speech. We demonstrate that this “processing difficulty” causes non-native speakers to sound less credible. People judged trivia statements such as “Ants don't sleep” as less true when spoken by a non-native than a native speaker. When people were made aware of the source of their difficulty they were able to correct when the accent was mild but not when it was heavy. This effect was not due to stereotypes of prejudice against foreigners because it occurred even though speakers were merely reciting statements provided by a native speaker. Such reduction of credibility may have an insidious impact on millions of people, who routinely communicate in a language which is not their native tongue."
psychology  language  credibility  accents  communication  xenophobia  confidence  prejudice  processingdifficulty  comprehension  via:cervus  filetype:pdf  media:document  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education | Video on TED.com
"Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching."
holeinthewall  outdoctrination  sugatamitra  unschooling  deschooling  education  teaching  learning  engagement  ted  technology  computers  india  africa  italy  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  interestdriven  interests  collaboration  internet  hyderabad  curiosity  speech  english  accents  speech2text  arthurcclarke  computing  cambodia  southafrica  games  play  gaming  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Easily type accented characters | Mac OS X | Mac OS X Hints | Macworld
"An easier solution—and one that will look familiar to Windows users who use the US International keyboard layout—is built right into Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). Launch System Preferences, open the Language & Text pane, and then click the Input Sources tab. In the list of input methods on the left, scroll down and enable U.S. International - PC. Then switch to this input method. (The easiest way to do so is to enable, in the same Input Sources tab, the option to Show Input Menu In Menu Bar, and then choose from that menu the U.S. International - PC layout.)

Now creating diacritical characters is as simple as typing a standard punctuation character and then the desired letter:"
via:preoccupations  macosx  osx  accents  typing  input  mac 
march 2010 by robertogreco
getting yelled at by British people - a grammar
"I’m not sure how many of us would admit it, but we Americans still lug around the mindset of a colonized people...strangely clear is on reality television...Any American attempting the British mode risks getting hit with a classic American question: Who the hell does she think she is?...We tend not to know enough about them to undermine their authority on grounds of familiarity with their type or their class...Outside of really wide vocal disparities — a donnish voice versus a swearing Cockney or a ripe Scots — most of us don’t follow too many nuances of accent. If you are English and can string words together with any confidence, you will strike many people as somewhat professorial. We have an innate pedagogical response to the very accents themselves. All of which is totally not-new and just so transparently colonial. For a plucky swaggering live-free-or-die upstart of a nation, we remain oddly cowed by the British in matters of intellect and propriety."
language  culture  accents  us  british  realitytv  pedagogy  society  tcsnmy  chandler  intellect  colonialism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Archival Sound Recordings
"Explore 44,500 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments: accents and dialects; arts, literature and performance; classical music; environment and nature; jazz and popular music; oral history; sound recording history; world and traditional music"
art  history  music  uk  britishlibrary  library  sounds  recordings  samples  ethnography  multimedia  database  free  audio  sound  online  world  jazz  classical  environment  nature  arts  literature  poetry  accents  spokenword  media  archives  repository  tcsnmy  libraries 
september 2009 by robertogreco
NYPL: Zadie Smith | ART.CULT
"Last night at the New York Public Library, author Zadie Smith asked what it means when we speak in different ways to different people. Is it a sign of duplicity or the mark of a complex sensibility? In this lecture, Zadie Smith takes a look at register and tone, from the academy to the streets, through black and white, with examples such as Eliza Doolittle, Shakespeare, and Obama. Here’s her lecture, live from the NYPL."

[audio here: http://audio.wnyc.org/culture/culture20081205_nypl.mp3 ]

[See also: http://whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.com/2009/02/if-youve-got-hour-this-could-cheer-you.html AND http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22334 ]
zadiesmith  barackobama  communication  literature  identity  race  speech  class  experience  accents  dialects  authenticity  culture  books  language  shakespeare  voice  uk  us  writing  politics  audio  recordings  poetry  cv  glvo  self  equivocation 
february 2009 by robertogreco
And Another Thing: If you've got an hour, this could cheer you up
"Today I heard a wonderful thing. It was a lecture called "Speaking In Tongues" given by Zadie Smith in New York. I'm too stupid to be able to capture any more than ten per cent of what she has to say but I found even that percentage inspiringly sane."

[See also: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22334 AND http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/2008/12/06/speaking-in-tongues-live-at-the-nypl/ ]
zadiesmith  via:russelldavies  barackobama  communication  literature  identity  race  speech  class  experience  accents  dialects  authenticity  culture  books  language  shakespeare  voice  uk  us  writing  politics  audio  recordings  poetry  self  equivocation 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Speaking in Tongues - The New York Review of Books
"It's my audacious hope that a man born and raised between opposing dogmas, between cultures, between voices, could not help but be aware of the extreme contingency of culture. I further audaciously hope that such a man will not mistake the happy accident of his own cultural sensibilities for a set of natural laws, suitable for general application. I even hope that he will find himself in agreement with George Bernard Shaw when he declared, "Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it." But that may be an audacious hope too far. We'll see if Obama's lifelong vocal flexibility will enable him to say proudly with one voice "I love my country" while saying with another voice "It is a country, like other countries." I hope so. He seems just the man to demonstrate that between those two voices there exists no contradiction and no equivocation but rather a proper and decent human harmony."

[see also: http://whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.com/2009/02/if-youve-got-hour-this-could-cheer-you.html AND http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/2008/12/06/speaking-in-tongues-live-at-the-nypl/ ]
zadiesmith  barackobama  communication  literature  identity  race  speech  class  experience  accents  dialects  authenticity  culture  books  language  shakespeare  voice  uk  us  writing  politics  audio  recordings  poetry  self  equivocation 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Why we 'R' the way we 'R' | csmonitor.com
"His thesis is this: In the early years of radio, the powers that be within the nascent broadcast media chose "Midwestern" as the standard pronunciation for announcers, rather than the accent of New York City, which was, after all, where they were located. Their motivation was to avoid an accent that, at a time of what he calls "government-sponsored xenophobia," had been stigmatized as the speech of "foreigners.""
us  english  language  history  accents  2008 
june 2008 by robertogreco
How The Edwardians Spoke
"Hundreds of recordings have come to light which reveal the accents and dialects of British prisoners-of-war held in German camps and recorded during WWI.This archive presents a unique glimpse into the way ordinary men spoke at the time."
documentary  english  language  linguistics  accents  speech 
october 2007 by robertogreco
idiolect: Definition and Much More from Answers.com
"The speech of an individual, considered as a linguistic pattern unique among speakers of his or her language or dialect... the particular variety of a language used by an individual speaker or writer, which may be marked by peculiarities of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation."
words  language  linguistics  speech  dialects  grammar  pronunciation  accents  time  age  identity 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Southern drawl – is it spreading? | csmonitor.com
"Some linguists say yes, as more Northerners move south, but others see stiff resistance to 'y'all.'"
language  english  us  accents  regional  geography 
september 2007 by robertogreco
ELPAIS.com - Geografía sonora del español - Cultura y Espectáculos - Agenda Ocio
"Directores y miembros de las 22 academias de la lengua explican cuáles son las singularidades del habla en sus respectivos países. Un solo idioma en el que se aprecia la unidad en la diversidad, como dice el lema del IV Congreso Internacional de la Lengua."
language  linguistics  pronunciation  español  spanish  latinamerica  spain  argentina  chile  geography  accents  españa 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society » Foreign Accent Syndrome
"Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare and bizarre disorder that sometimes follows strokes or other severe brain injuries... Listen to George Reynolds, a Brit who has never been to Italy but came out of a stroke with a distinctly Italian accent."
language  accents  linguistics  medicine  oddities  strange  speech 
december 2006 by robertogreco
La vida es bella: Primer mundo ... casi llegamos.
"Recuerdo que una vez Menem dijo, para la gracia de unos pocos y la creencia de muchos, "Argentina está en el primer mundo". No se porqué, se me ocurrió compararlo con estos dos videos ... uno del primer mundo y por supuesto, la versión argentina de ese "primer mundo"."
argentina  music  video  commentary  economics  humor  development  language  english  spanish  español  accents 
october 2006 by robertogreco
YouTube - The State of Accents
commentary on brits and Americans imitating each other
language  accents  linguistics  acting  impersonations  dialect  uk  us  english 
october 2006 by robertogreco
IDEA - The International Dialects Of English Archive
"a repository of primary source recordings for actors and other artists in the performing arts."
english  speech  linguistics  accents 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Speech Accent Archive
"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."
english  language  linguistics  maps  media  reference  speech  audio  world  travel  research  accents 
april 2006 by robertogreco

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