All you need to do is record yourself saying “This is how I say potato and I come from…” and post it to this website. The idea of the project is to map the different ways ‘potato’ is pronounced across the world, and it comes from the legendary David Crystal and his son Ben Crystal to accompany their book called You say potato. A book about accents. They’re hoping to collect recordings of as many different accents as possible, which you can hear by clicking on the interactive map on the site. They currently have 561 different accents. Can you help them add some more?
The blurb for You Say Potato stresses a point which we’ve often tried to put across in our presentations and seminars:
“Everyone has an accent, though many of us think we don’t.”
Although the ‘potato map’ is a bit of fun, the point it makes is a serious one for teachers of English. Variation is the reality facing most learners, and if we want them to use English outside the classroom in the real world, we need to prepare them to hear a huge range of accents. This book is definitely on our reading list! Thanks to Cecilia Lamos for bringing it to our attention by sharing on Facebook.