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Speak up, it's a library

Cor blimey, the British Library has launched an online database of English accents and dialects from the past and present.

Sounds Familiar contains more than 600 audio clips of live English, to make a "sound map" of England. Click on the map to hear examples, from Yorkshire farmers in the late 1990s to elderly women in the 1950s.

Pupils can also upload files of their own speech to add to the regional cacophony. The project is designed to highlight issues about language change and culture.

* www.bl.ukcollectionssound-archiveaccents.html

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