How can you practice your listening skills for foreign accents?  One idea I can offer to people who do business with Europeans, Australians, Russians, or any other non-native speakers who have a thick, exotic, or difficult accent is to watch movies or TV shows with people who have that accent.  This will at least give you some practice listening to someone with that accent.  When you are speaking to another non-native speaker, make sure to speak clearly, and try to “parrot” the person, by imitating their grammar, and using the same vocabulary that they use.

I did a quick scan of the Internet, and Youtube to find some helpful listening resources.  Here are some resources I found to help you pick up a foreign accent.

IDEA – International Dialects of English Archive
http://web.ku.edu/idea/index.htm

**These listening files come with a transcript so you can read along and try to figure it out!!
First, go to this website, and choose a continent location from the right side menu.  Then Choose a country location from the right-side menu.  Scroll down a bit until you get to the table that looks like this.

picture-1

Here you can use mp3 file on the right, and download the transcript on the left to read along!  This archive has EVERY accent on earth, with hours of audio for each accent, so you can use this to hone your listening for that particular accent!

The Speech Accent Archive
** Browse by native language, or by region by clicking on the map.
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_language.php
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

Youtube

**click on the links to get to one video, but be sure and look on the right side to find more video’s with the same person

German / Austrian

-WolfGang Puck – Cooking Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJd8_TYPu5Y

Australian

-Steve Irwin


British

The Naked Chef
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJJi8ROrvZE

Irish / Scottish

Liam Neelson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwjlYgu2ObU

Otago Sound Clips
http://www.otago.ac.nz/anthropology/Linguistic/Sounds/Sounds.html

** this website mainly has accents from the United Kingdom (British).  The transcript is on the main page.

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