Identifying regional accents in our library

In some of the languages at LingQ we have identified the regional accents of the speakers. This information is not available for all languages because it has not been set up yet for all languages. If you notice that the regional accent field is not available, or not satisfactory to you, in the language you are studying please let us know here. Then we can collectively decide which regional accents to include in each language.

Obviously we need to strike a balance between listing every slight variation in the language and having a useful list.

Here is a list from Michele for Italian. Any comments from Italians? What about the other languages?

"Well, I think there should be at least: Venetian, Northern Italian, Tuscan, Roman, Southern Italian, Sardinian, even if this list is too short for me, but I do understand your point. "

Theres a bunch in Korea. I prefer studying the standard Seoul Dialect… I dont know how accents / dialects work in korea. If its by province or what. But having been in korea in a bunch of difference cities You start noticing local dialects. Like in Busan , Jeju-do , Kwang-ju , Gangwon , Andong. Dont think well get any North korean on here =p. BUt i dont know how to catagorise them.

It might be necessary to distinguish accent/origin from dialect.

A person from Osaka may present a lesson in Standard Japanese, but may have a Kansai accent. Yet that same person may decide to introduce a lesson entirely in Kansai-ben. I may introduce a lesson in Québec French or in Standard French, but in both cases, I will have a Québec accent.

My guess is that probably very few lessons are in non-standard dialects. Speakers should thus be able to identity both the dialect and their place of origin, preferably according to a limited set of predetermined regions that the speakers feel need be distinguished.

As a learner of Japanese, I would like to know that the lesson is in Standard Japanese, and whether the person is from Kansai or Kanto. Speakers that feel they do not belong to those groups may add another region.

May sound complicated, but that only 2 fields: what dialect is it in, and where are you from.

We have one field. Accent. For Japanese I would put, Standard Japanese, Kansai and Toohoku. I suspect that almost all of our content is in Standard Japanese.

But let’s keep the discussion going and arrive at a collective consensus.

I would say standard spoken Italian doesn’t exist. We have a lots of dialects and thus a huge variety of Italian accents. My previous list is very reduced and would need to be broadened to be accurate.

In the english library maybe Newzealander accent would be great. Òscar and I are adding the daily english show which is in an accent from New Zealand, I think it’s quite different from the australian, isn’t it?. Since we’re adding lots of lessons there maybe it is appropriate to add it. Or not and it’s ok if it’s in the australian accent, what do you think?

When you open a collection from “open the collection” from a lesson (not the new pop-up window)… you go to that collection but there is no way to tell what are the accents of each lesson.

One last thing, I thought you couldn’t save a lesson if you didn’t put the accent info, but I see lots of new uploaded content which has “NONE” on the accent. (spanish library)

Mark has the keys to the regional accent area and he will be back tomorrow. Berta, thanks for the input and we will get back to you.

Often the provider does not know the accent of the content and therefore “none” is the default.

“Often the provider does not know the accent of the content and therefore “none” is the default.”. That’s terrible! I would never upload something in a language I wouldn’t know which accent it is. At least people could ask in the forum for help :slight_smile:

berta, we do not want to discourage providers, and sometimes the providers are not native speakers themselves. I am not so concerned about accents since I do not believe that most learners can even distinguish them.

I will find out from Mark if we can enable our editors to adjust the accent field.

it’s ok I guess if most people don’t really care. I care for french and english and they usually put it. cheers!

The editors are able to adjust the accent field. But I feel not able to go over the complete German library to do so! You have to open each lesson. I did it for 90 Percent of my content. It would be easier if you could change the accent for all items of a collection.

It would be nice to change the accent for a whole collection all at once, however, it is not always the case that all lessons in a collection have the same accent.

I think the accent field needs to be optional. It is not such an important field, and people can add them when they create content or later if they want. There is no urgency in my view. If we have it fine, if we don’t it does not really matter. Those people who can hear the difference will notice, the majority won’t. I think many things about the language should be left to the learner to discover.

I am with Very in this, it would be good to change the accent for a whole collection at once. A collection usually has the same accent or at least most of the lessons have a particular accent and then you only have to go one by one with just a few lessons.

For me the accent matters a lot! I guess I’m a minority in this?. And of course at the beginning you can’t tell the difference but maybe you want to get a particular accent and you only want to expose yourself to that accent.

I’m with you, Berta. I like being aware of what accent I’m listening to. I think it’s useful, too, particularly if you know you’re going to be living/working/studying in a certain region and want to learn that accent.

So far we have had the following suggestions.

English: add New Zealand
Korean: Busan , Jeju-do , Kwang-ju , Gangwon , Andong
Japanese: Kanto, Kansai, Toohoku
Italian:Venetian, Northern Italian, Tuscan, Roman, Southern Italian, Sardinian

Here is the present number of accents in each language, other than 'all accents", followed by what I would suggest.

English:4 add New Zealand
French: 2 add Southern France
Spanish: 6
Russian: 0 please let me know what you would like to see here
German: 2
Portuguese: 2
Chinese: 1 I would like to add North China, East China, and maybe more
Japanese: 0 would like to add Kanto, Kansai, Toohoku
Italian: 0 see list above and please comment
Korean: 0 see list above and please comment

Note that in many countries of the world accents vary from village to village. Note also that we are not talking about dialects, just accents in the standard language. Furthermore having these fields means that someone has to fill in these fields, for it to work. Therefore we should not have too many fine distinctions.

We need to think about how this would be used. In may own case for example, I might occasionally search for Portuguese from Portugal, or Brazil, perhaps if I was about to go those countries. On the other hand in my Korean and Russian studies I use all content regardless of regional accent, but would be interested in knowing the origin of the speaker.

In German we have hunderts of dialects. Like Steve wrote it could differ from city to city, from village to village. Irene’s recordings sound different from mine. She has a slight swabian accent even if she speaks standard German but she doesn’t speak Swabian. I think I speak quite neutral but sometimes I cannot avoid to sound a bit Hessian. The problem is that we could add more German accents but there is no content with other accents. So we decided to add only German, Austrian and Suisse German as more general accents. There are some grammatical differences that could be important between these accents. The accent of German spoken in southern parts of Germany is quite different from northern German.

Website with Information about Swiss-german dialects and with sound-samples
www.dialekt.ch / www.schweizerdeutsch.ch

In the podcast I speak Hochdeutsch = Schriftsprache. :wink:

@I use all content regardless of regional accent, but would be interested in knowing the origin of the speaker…

My thoughts exactly.

That’s what I do too. I like to know the accent but I enjoy American English as well as British English.