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International Dialects of English Archive

Want to pick up a new English dialect for your voice over business?

Check out IDEA, which stands for International Dialects of English Archive, featuring audio samples of dialects for theatre and film artists.

International Dialects of English Archive

The International Dialects of English Archive, IDEA, was created in 1997 as a repository of primary source recordings for actors and other artists in the performing arts. Its home is the Department of Theatre and Film at the University Of Kansas, in Lawrence, KS, USA; while associate editors form a global network.

All recordings are in English, are of native speakers, and you will find both English language dialects and English spoken in the accents of other languages. The recordings are downloadable and playable for both PC and Macintosh computers.

Listen to and Research English Dialect Recordings From:

– Africa
– Asia
– Australia-Oceania
– Caribbean
– Central America
– Europe
– Middle-East
– North America
– South America
– Special Collections
These are further broken down into regional accents.

Usage

It is free to listen to and download these audio samples for personal use, however, there are certain restrictions on the usage of the files for other purposes as IDEA holds the copyright to the recordings and text files.

Also, stage and film producers take note:
It is fully expected that actors, writers, directors and others will make use of the archive for research in film and stage productions, though it is requested, as a courtesy, that such use of the archive be acknowledged in the play bill of a theatre production, or in the closing credits of a television or feature film as follows:
SPECIAL THANKS TO IDEA (International Dialects of English Archive)

Have you found IDEA to be useful to you?

Best wishes,
Stephanie

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Comments

  • Avatar for Maggie Reed
    Maggie Reed
    June 17, 2008, 10:10 am

    This is fantastic! I had no idea (no pun intended) that this existed. What a generous service. They really should have some way to contribute for its use. I’m sure people would be grateful enough to send some kind of donation.
    Wow, thanks!

    Reply
  • Avatar for James Clamp
    James Clamp
    June 17, 2008, 1:21 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    IDEA is invaluable.
    I do a lot of ESL programs where I’m required to speak in many different dialects and not just Scottish or Irish but particular parts of Scotland and Ireland. I get told about the accents about a week in advance that are required and I go straight to IDEA and start listening to the various nuances. It’s absolutely priceless in terms of a resource for VO actors.
    James
    James Clamp
    British Voice Talent

    Reply
  • Avatar for Connie Terwilliger
    Connie Terwilliger
    June 18, 2008, 4:52 pm

    Definitely agree about the subtle nuances. If you want to nail a “real” accent – one that is a natural blend of today’s global society, this is the place. It’s also fascinating to hear the different ages.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Mary McKitrick
    Mary McKitrick
    June 18, 2008, 7:22 pm

    I use IDEA at least a few times a week. Sometimes what I’m looking for is best found by listening to clips from films so I can “channel” an actor with the accent I need for work. Recently I needed an Italian accent for a commercial, listened at IDEA and to my CDs, but didn’t find exactly what I was looking for until I listened to Sophia Loren 🙂

    Reply