May 17, 2022

"10,000 Voices Added to British Library Map of Spoken English"

From the British Library:

Over 10,000 English-speakers have contributed to an audio map of the many ways in which the language is spoken today. The recordings, which will enter the permanent collections of the British Library, were made as part of the Library’s acclaimed exhibition Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices, which runs until 3 April.


Contributors to the map can choose to read an extract from the Mr Men story of Mr Tickle (chosen to capture how different people pronounce the same words and phrases) or a list of six words that highlight the ways in which pronunciation is changing. So far some 9,000 people have contributed via the on-site booths and a further 1,100 online.

“UK, North American and European voices are well represented in the contributions made so far, but there are a number of regions that are currently under-represented and from which we’re very keen to receive more examples,” added Jonnie Robinson. “In particular we’d love to hear from English-speakers in the Caribbean, India, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Australasia. The more different voices we have in the map, the more valuable the resource will be for researchers in the future – and people can listen to the recordings already donated by visiting the website: which will remain available after the exhibition closes in April.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.