Just ran into a Web site called the Asian Pacific Islanders
Name Pronunciation Guide from Susan Kullmann. Originally developed at Cal Poly Pomona, the site features lots of typical names from Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese), Cambodian, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indonesian with spoken versions
You know that neighbor across the street you meet at the mailbox? He’s as sweet as can be and just plain “good people”, but boy does he talk a lot.
If you don’t know that neighbor…you can meet him at http://www.americanaccent.com/.
Click the button doo-hickey for “Mr Thingamajig” and he will tell about how all the brouhaha and shenanigans that can happen in just one morning. It’s just chock-full of down-home sayings and idioms you know but had totally forgotten about.
Aren’t these new-fangled gadgets gosh darned great?
P.S. I know some foreigners complain that Americans talk too much, but the fact is…it’s sort of true.
UCLA has a journal of heritage language learning at
Heritage Language learners often refer to students whose parents are either immigrants from another culture or are members of a minority language community. These students may know how to speak their heritage language (or perhaps familiar with only a few phrases), but have never been formally trained in educated “grammar” (including spelling or writing).
Heritage learners usually don’t need to start from zero, but typically do need information on what the educated standards, information on technical vocabulary and exposure to the culture’s literary classics (in the actual language).
Depending on the situation, a heritage learner may be stigmatized by the educated speakers of the language as “not really speaking correctly”.
Note, there may also be learners whose ethnic background is associated with a certain language, but are at the same stage as true beginners.
I just found this blog which reports cognition studies at
If nothing else, it’s interesting to think about the neural wiring for activities we assume are “automatic”.