The accents of European English

An online experiment

Over the last fifty years, there's been a linguistic revolution in Europe. Europeans are increasingly turning to English to communicate with one another. But just how efficient is this new means of communication?

While everyone will agree that European English is spoken with many different accents, as yet we don't know if some of these accents are more difficult to understand than others. Does this perhaps depend more on who's doing the speaking, or on who's doing the listening? This is what we're trying to find out through this investigation.

That's where you come in. You don't have to have any special linguistic training to do this experiment--all you have to do is listen to three sentences read by different speakers of European English, and comment on any errors you can hear. This will help us establish what European learners can do to become more intelligible to fellow Europeans.

The experiment should take approximately 30 minutes to complete. We will treat any personal information you pass on to us with the greatest possible discretion. If you give us your e-mail address, you can take part in a lottery, and possibly win a small prize as a token of our gratitude.

This is official research conducted under the auspices of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS in the Netherlands. If you want to contact Utrecht University about this experiment or any other aspect of this project, then e-mail Rias van den Doel at W dot Z dot vandenDoel at uu dot nl.

To take part in the experiment, click here.