Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Speech Accent Archive

(Non-legal post)

I frequently get e-mailed from doctors in India asking about migration to Australia.

One thing I always forget to mention is: don't underestimate the communication difficulties you are going to experience when you come to Australia.

The Indians doctors I have met here have vocabulary as fine as any university graduate in Australia. However, Australians have a hard time adjusting to the accent, and it takes a few years before you figure out how to make yourself easier to be understood.

There is an interesting free resource over here: The Speech Accent Archive.

This website allows users to compare the demographic and linguistic backgrounds of the speakers in order to determine which variables are key predictors of each accent. The speech accent archive demonstrates that accents are systematic rather than merely mistaken speech.

Have a listen and it may be helpful to help you identify which parts of your accent is hard on Australian ears.


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