Lately, for whatever reason, I’ve been talking to more and more of my Twitter friends on the phone. One of the first things people usually notice when they talk to me is that I have a very southern accent (gimme a break… geez, after all, I do live in Atlanta). For some reason, that surprises a lot of people.
Sometimes having a southern accent can bring with it stereotypes like implying a person isn’t as educated or intelligent. Since I’m very aware of this, when I’m talking to clients in other part of the country, I will often go out of my way to change my speech so I don’t give them any reason to question my abilities.
Different dialects are obviously not just present in this country, but all over the world. We all have our own ways of talking; it’s part of what makes us individuals. When I talk to @Minervity in Sweden, @Paul_Steele in the UK or even @mistygirlph who is originally from the Philippines, even though we are all speaking the same language, we all speak it in a different way.
Although dialects can be funny, and we love to giggle at the way other people say certain words, this chart below is no joke. It’s incredibly thorough, and it is not designed to be self-explanatory. This represents North American English dialects based on pronunciation patterns. Not only that, but there is much more than meets the eye with this chart. If you dig a little deeper into the links, you’ll find a YouTube video with an audio sample of many of these dialects.
Also, there are constantly new dialects being added to this map. The person who completed this over at Aschmann did an unbelievably detailed and comprehensive job, and my guess is, it is far from being completed. You could study this all day and barely scratch the surface. It really just goes to show us how complex the English language really is. It’s fascinating stuff, and I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.