Archive for the ‘Bilingualism’ Category

Hear Native and Non-native English Speakers from around the World and Improve your Accent

Monday, March 19th, 2007

The Speech Accent ArchiveThe speech accent archive is a collection of speech samples in English. A sample text is read by native and non-native speakers alike from all parts of the globe. This is a great resource for those of you who are learning English to hear sample speech and improve your own accent as a result.

Along with the recording of each speaker, there is a IPA transcription of their pronunciation as well as demographic information about the speaker.

To me it’s interesting to hear how English pronunciation varies from place to place, and depending on native language. For example, here’s some native Spanish speakers reading the sample text, or use the map to see how people from different areas speak.

From the about page:

Everyone who speaks a language, speaks it with an accent. A particular accent essentially reflects a person’s linguistic background. When people listen to someone speak with a different accent from their own, they notice the difference, and they may even make certain biased social judgments about the speaker.

The speech accent archive is established to uniformly exhibit a large set of speech accents from a variety of language backgrounds. Native and non-native speakers of English all read the same English paragraph and are carefully recorded.1 The archive is constructed as a teaching tool and as a research tool. It is meant to be used by linguists as well as other people who simply wish to listen to and compare the accents of different English speakers.

So go check out this site, and if you’re feeling brave, you can even record and upload your own speech sample.

Books on raising bilingual children

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Books on raising bilingual childrenAfter posting a couple of days ago about my daughter’s bilingual escapades, I thought I’d share some of the material I’ve read in my quest to learn about raising bilingual children.

I’ve been researching and looking for materials to help with raising our daughter bilingual in Spanish and English. If any of you are doing– or planning to do something similar, these books have helped us and they just might help you. Each book has the title, author and ISBN so you can easily find them or order them through your local bookstore. I’ve also put a link to buy them via Amazon, if you’re into that. Added benefit– you’re supporting Tomisimo if you buy them through the link to Amazon.

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Bilingual babyspeak in Spanish and English

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Baby girl’s dressWe have a 1.5 year-old baby and it’s very captivating to observe how she is learning Spanish and English simultaneously. For the most part I’m in charge of speaking English with her, and my wife takes care of speaking Spanish with her. And she’s learning. Right now she still does not use full sentences, but she uses many words to express herself.

One thing she does, that I find fascinating, is how she uses two words– one in English and one in Spanish– to describe the same thing. If we’re about to leave the house, and her mother says vámonos, the baby’s reply is ámono, but then if I reply yeah, let’s go, she responds again, in kind, ss go or go go go. The mouths of babes are interesting places. Indeed that was going to be the title of this post and, although intriguing, I don’t know if it conveys the same meaning as the current title.

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