7 of the Best Dialect Quizzes

A Blog About Language
July 7 2014 12:19 PM

7 of the Best Dialect Quizzes

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If you're feeling particularly nationalistic, or just want to see how consistently you speak like your friends and neighbors, here are all the dialect quizzes that I could find. Find out what your dialect most resembles, and, in many cases, help science at the same time!

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Definitely the best-known recent dialect survey, it's from the New York Times and based on visualizations by Joshua Katz of a survey from linguists Bert Vaux and Scott Golder that's actually about a decade old. The results are based mostly on words and pronunciations, although there are a few questions about sentences, and are confined to the lower 48 United States.

This is the more up-to-date version of the Vaux survey that the heat map above was based on. It's also more international, and the survey results go back into creating more advanced maps, although the visualizations are admittedly less pretty. If you already did the previous survey, check this one out to see what's changed since the early aughts.

“Which English” determines your dialect based entirely on your rating of particular sentences, not on words or pronunciations like the two above. You'll see two results: your top three potential native English dialects (such as American English or New Zealand English) as well as your top three potential first languages that aren't English, such as Norwegian or Spanish.

This isn't a dialect quiz per se, but it will estimate how many words you know. If you want to know how they get the estimates or how you compare to other people with your age or reading habits or SAT score, also check out the results on their blog. These researchers are especially interested in getting more results from children at the moment, so try it a second time with any kids you have in your life!

5. Specific accent quizzes

Have you always wondered whether your accent was more similar to a Southerner or a Yankee? How well do you know words associated with British English, Scottish English, Northern Irish English, Canadian English, Montreal English, Australian English, or New Zealand English? If you're wondering what someone from these places sounds like, here's a list of hundreds of YouTube videos, sorted by location, of people recording their accents as part of the "Regional Dialect Meme."

Now it's your turn to be quizzed: This quiz based on the PBS documentary of the same name plays you 12 audio files to match with the approximate region that the speaker is from. Even if you just end up guessing, it'll tell you the answers and what to listen for after you click "submit." For another challenge, try matching these British speakers to where they're from on a map.

A quiz list isn't complete without a BuzzFeed quiz. I can't promise this one is backed by science, and it seems that the only results are types of British English, but if you've always wondered which British accent yours is least dissimilar to, it might be fun.

Know of any language quizzes that we've missed? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments. 

Gretchen McCulloch is a linguist and the contributing editor of Slate's Lexicon Valley blog. She has a master's in linguistics from McGill University and blogs daily at All Things Linguistic.

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