Weekend Distraction: Use Technology to Take a Language Survey

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 9.57.54 PMPreviously I shared with you one of my all time favorite podcasts, A Way With Words. I find the talk about language fascinating, and the conversation between the hosts and their callers keeps me hooked for the entire show …. each and every time.

Because I enjoy A Way With Words so much, when I recently learned of a language survey online, I was immediately drawn to it.

Linguists often find themselves the center of attention at parties when they demonstrate how they can pinpoint the area a person lives just by listening to the way a variety of words are pronounced.

Now, here comes the fun: 🙂 This online survey will do the same for you! Just answer 25 questions, and a map will be generated to show you where the language spoken is most like yours.

I completed the survey, along with a few family members, and it was quite accurate for each and every one of us. I’ve pasted my “result map” here. Although I currently live in Pennsylvania, I grew up in New Jersey and so I’m not surprised to see the skewing toward the Garden State.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 7.44.33 AM

The survey, a research project North Carolina State University, consists of 25 questions. Think about your answers, and try to answer as true to your speech as possible.

When you are done, you will be asked where where you live and where you grew up as a validity check for the researchers. You do not give your name or other identifiers. Just city and state. (apologies to readers outside the US for this US-only survey.)

So, this weekend, if you have a little time to kill, you might enjoy taking this survey, and learning how accurately they can pinpoint you.

To take the survey, just click here: Dialect Quiz and Survey

Have fun! and… please let us know how it worked for you!

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 7.27.02 PM

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16 thoughts on “Weekend Distraction: Use Technology to Take a Language Survey

    • I felt badly about that, too. At first I thought that if someone spoke English…. regardless of where they lived ….. they could learn what the English they speak is most like ‘where’ in the US. But the researchers ask for the validity check, and the only choices they offer are where are you living now and where did you grow up … in the US. So to use it otherwise would mess with their research. Sorry! 😦

    • I think it is fascinating that in spite of TV, and travel, and people being so much more mobile than they used to be … in spite of all that, our dialects are still so strong.

  1. I finally for in and tok the survey. Apparently, I’ve been out of Texas for 23 years, but it lives on in my language. Colorado, my current home, has had only a small impact. So the accent can fade, but the dialect remains.😊

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