In the alt.usage.english newsgroup there are frequent discussions of different pronounciations of English words and different accents. These are very often difficult to describe to people who have not heard them, and the Ascii phonetic alphabet is of little use because it is not clear which sounds are being described by each symbol. On this page I give samples of the Woozer (WUESA = White Urban English-Speaking South African) pronounciation of some of the words and phrases that are commonly discussed.
In the example, I give my own "normal" South African pronounciation, and then my own perception of the way it is pronounced in Australian and RP (Received Pronounciation). Note that the "Australian" and "RP" versions are not authentic. They are South African perceptions of those accents (ie caricatures). RP and Estuary English speakers often say they find it difficult to distringuish between Australian and South African accents. American English speakers often say they find it difficult to distinguish between South African and British accents. I hope the samples will help to make the differences clearer, at least as South Africans perceive them.
If you have any comments on or questions about these sound files, you can make them on the alt.usage.english newsgroup, or send me E-mail:
Another good place for learning about English accents and pronunciation is Forvo, where you can hear words pronounced by English speakers in from different countries, and add your own pronunciation.
Created: 27 July 2001
Updated: 26 September 2013