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Interactive IPA charts back online

Good news! The free Interactive IPA charts are finally back online. These interactive charts of the International Phonetic Alphabet — which have always been the most popular pages on PaulMeier.com — are voiced by Paul Meier and designed by Eric Armstrong.

Originally built in Flash, the charts had been offline for the last few months following the demise of that now-extinct program. But with some recent software adjustments, we are glad to have them back. Even better, they are available on ALL computers and devices. (They had previously not been available on Apple mobile devices.) Nevertheless, we strongly recommend visiting the charts on a larger device, such as a large tablet or computer.

If you only have a small mobile phone, the charts will still work. But for a better display, we recommend purchasing the app version, for just $3.99. For more information, visit the charts page.

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Problems with ‘Interactive IPA’ app?

We’ve received reports recently about problems with Paul’s Interactive IPA app on some Android tablets, specifically Samsung. After extensive testing, we’ve discovered that an Android update earlier this year corrupted the swiping function of this and similar apps, making it impossible to move from screen to screen and thereby view the phonetics charts. We apologize for this, but as we have no control over Android updates, this problem was unavoidable. But the GOOD NEWS is that a new update seems to have fixed this issue.

We strongly suggest updating your software, which should automatically update your apps. Nevertheless, we would still suggest deleting and reinstalling the app. If this doesn’t solve your problems, we’d welcome your feedback. Thanks!

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February podcast addresses ‘secret’ language of Polari

Paul Baker

Paul’s February edition of his In a Manner of Speaking podcast tackles Polari, the “secret” language used primarily by gay men in Britain during the 19th and 20th centuries. This month’s special guest is Paul Baker, an expert on the language. Go here to listen to the podcast, or search for In a Manner of Speaking on your favorite podcast channel.

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Welcome the new year with a new podcast

Jan Gist

Happy new year! I’m proud to welcome in 2021 with a new episode of my In a Manner of Speaking podcast. My guest this month is Jan Gist, and we discuss “Shakespeare’s Shapely Language.” Our conversation is not confined to Shakespeare, however, as we discuss the “shapes” of language in modern contexts too.

You can listen to the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

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Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift?

Are you looking for a last-minute holiday gift for the actor in your life? We kindly suggest Paul’s new and improved Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen Deluxe Streaming Edition. If you purchased Paul’s previous edition (with CDs), please keep in mind that this new version (which replaces the CDs with audio files that are easily streamable from any internet-connected device) contains three more dialects than that older edition (Jamaican, Birmingham and Estuary) and costs less ($74.95 instead of $99.95).

IMPORTANT: The last day to order and be guaranteed delivery before Christmas (in the United States, with priority mail) is tomorrow, December 18. You can order through Amazon.com or from this site (by selecting option #1 on the drop-down menu). If you’re outside the United States, the book might not arrive before Christmas. We suggest checking your own country’s Amazon for availability.

You can preview the book here.

The book is also now available as an iTunes ebook (Apple Book.)

Happy holidays from all of us at Paul Meier Dialect Services!

 

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New dialects for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, my new and improved iTunes ebook (Apple Book) version of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen is finally here!

This ebook has the same content as the new print version: Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen Deluxe Streaming Edition, released earlier this year. That means it now contains my two newest British dialects, Birmingham and Estuary (the modern sound of southern England).

Both the ebook and the printed book (with sound files delivered as streaming audio via a website link) are just $74.99. That’s a $25 savings from the original book (with CDs) and the previous edition of the ebook. So now you can save money AND get additional dialects.

You must buy the ebook directly through Apple on your personal iTunes account. But if you prefer the printed book, I recommend Amazon.com if you’re in the United States. If you’re outside the U.S., I suggest purchasing it directly from this site (option #1 on the drop-down menu) or checking your own country’s Amazon. (Because of COVID, Amazon.com’s shipments to outside the U.S. can be delayed.)

More good news: If you’re an instructor needing five or more books for your students, that’s easy to do on Amazon. Bulk purchases earn a 15% discount! (The ebook can only be purchased singly, and Apple provides us no mechanism to discount.)

The ebook can be viewed on a Mac and Apple mobile devices. On a tablet, we recommend viewing the ebook in vertical scrolling mode. (The ebook is NOT compatible with Windows computers or Android devices. If you have an Android device, we recommend the Deluxe Streaming Edition of the printed book, as you can read that hard-copy book while listening to the audio on your Android device.)

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A historic podcast

Patrick Feaster

Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast is devoted to the spoken word. And, of course, our understanding of the spoken word changed in the 19th century with the invention of recorded sound. This month’s podcast travels back in time to that invention and features a discussion with Patrick Feaster of FirstSounds.org and film critic/historian Cameron Meier.

This podcast marks the debut of one of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville’s earliest recordings, from 1857.

Listen to the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

 

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Revised ‘Interactive IPA’ app now for sale

Paul has just released an updated version of his popular Interactive IPA app for Apple devices. This update fixes some sound files that some customers said were not playable on certain new devices, and it improves the overall visual display. It also guarantees great functionality into the foreseeable future.

If you already have the app, it should update automatically, depending on your device settings. Or you can simply go to the app store, search for “Interactive IPA” and download the new version (free of charge if you already have it). For new customers, the app is $3.99.

For more information on the app or to purchase the CD-ROM version, go here. A similar demonstration of the charts of the International Phonetic Alphabet are also available here for those of you who still can run Flash.

The app is also available for Android here.

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Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Robert Newton

It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. (For more on this holiday, see Wikipedia.)

Did you know that the modern stereotype of “pirate speech” was actually invented by English actor Robert Newton in the 1950 Walt Disney film Treasure Island? Newton used his native West Country dialect as the basis for the speech of Long John Silver.

Would you like to learn this dialect? It’s remarkably close to the Hampshire dialect, which Paul teaches. Check it out here.

 

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‘ADSS: Deluxe Streaming Edition’ on Amazon.co.uk

We’re happy to announce that Paul’s new edition of his Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen (with sound files available as streaming audio) is now available on Amazon.co.uk. Because of the mail delays associated with COVID-19, this will be the best place to buy the book if you are in England or the rest of Europe. But if you’re in the rest of the world, the best place to get it is either here or Amazon.com.

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Welcome Jerome Butler to the podcast

Jerome Butler

The September edition of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast is now online here (and everywhere you listen to podcasts). Paul’s guest this month is renowned dialect coach Jerome Butler. Paul and Jerome discuss a variety of topics related to dialect coaching but pay particular attention to accent modification (or accent reduction), for non-actors wishing to modify their native dialect.

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New masterclasses start July 29

Paul’s summer Zoom masterclass series will resume on Wednesday, July 29, with three new courses: Dialects of the British Isles, Approaching Foreign-Language Accents, and Teaching “Accent Reduction.” While Dialects of the British Isles is currently full, we encourage you to e-mail Paul at paul@paulmeier.com if you’d like to be added to the waiting list. The other two courses still have a couple of spots left.

For more information, visit our main Zoom Masterclasses page.

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Masterclasses begin tomorrow

Paul’s new Zoom masterclasses begin tomorrow (July 1). To find out details of the classes and to sign up, visit our Masterclasses page. Courses include audiobook narration, British dialects, foreign-language accents, and Shakespeare.

Participants get a free copy of Paul’s new edition of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen. This new print book contains three new dialects and delivers the sound files by streaming audio. (The streaming audio is available on any internet-connected device or computer. Details of how to stream the files are found on the inside back cover of your printed book.)

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Sale on ‘ADSS’ continues for another week

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with most of us sheltering in place, it’s essential that we find new ways to learn at home. With that in mind, we’re continuing our sale on Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen through the end of this month, on both the printed book with CDs and the iTunes ebook (Apple Book). The sale price is $64.95 instead of the normal $99.95. (The ebook has the same content as the printed book, plus an additional dialect: Jamaican.) The sale will end April 30.

Though we often recommend purchasing ADSS through Amazon, at this time, because of the slight delay in Amazon shipping, we recommend purchasing the printed book directly from us at the link above (or the ebook directly from iTunes). By doing that, you get the sale price, and we ship within one day of receiving your order.

Best wishes to you all. Stay safe.

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Zoom masterclasses with Paul

As we transition to learning from home during the coronavirus pandemic, Paul Meier Dialect Services is here to help. With that in mind, Paul is launching a series of reduced-price masterclasses, including one free class. Topics will include dialects and accents, Shakespeare’s verse, voice-over, and audiobooks. Classes being April 18 and are expected to fill quickly, so we suggest booking as soon as possible.

For full details, visit Zoom Masterclasses with Paul.

 

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Sale on ‘Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen’

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with most of us sheltering in place, it’s essential that we find new ways to learn at home. With that in mind, Paul is offering a sale on Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen through the end of this month, on both the printed book with CDs and the iTunes ebook (Apple Book). The sale price is $64.95 instead of the normal $99.95. (The ebook has the same content as the printed book, plus an additional dialect: Jamaican.) The sale will end April 30.

Though we often recommend purchasing ADSS through Amazon, at this time, because of the slight delay in Amazon shipping, we recommend purchasing the printed book directly from us at the link above (or the ebook directly from iTunes). By doing that, you get the sale price, and we ship within one day of receiving your order.

Best wishes to you all. Stay safe.

 

 

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March podcast now online

Micha Espinosa

Paul’s guest for the March 2020 edition of his In a Manner of Speaking podcast is Micha Espinosa, a vocal coach, artist, activist, IDEA associate editor, and professor of voice and acting at Arizona State University. Micha and Paul discuss all things related to the Spanish language, including Spanish linguistics and dialects, and Hispanic, Latino/a/x, and Chicano culture and identity.

You will find the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

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New year, new podcast

Jill McCullough

We welcome in the new year here at Paul Meier Dialect Services with Paul’s latest podcast. The first guest of 2020 on In a Manner of Speaking is renowned dialect coach Jill McCullough. You can listen to the podcast here, or on your favorite podcast channel, such as iTunes or Stitcher.

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December podcast shines light on broadcasters

Elspeth Morrison

This month’s guest on Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast is UK-based Elspeth Morrison, who, as well as helping actors learn accents and dialects, works on voice and delivery with the entire spectrum of on-air talent at the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and elsewhere. Paul and Elspeth discuss all things related to broadcast journalism, speech training for on-air presenters, and accents and dialects in the context of British television news.

You can listen to the podcast here, on iTunes or another of your favorite podcast channels.

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Holiday sale now underway!

Our annual holiday sale of Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen began today and will continue through January 1. During that time, the print version (with CDs) of ADSS will be available at 25% off. That’s just $74.95 instead of the usual $99.95. Click here to order.

The iTunes ebook version is also 25% off! To purchase that, search iTunes’ ebooks/iBooks store for “Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen” or go here. The ebook compilation gives you the same material that’s found in the print book (with CDs), PLUS an extra dialect: Jamaican. The book is compatible with Apple mobile devices and your Mac computer, but not your Windows computer. If you need an accent or dialect ebook for use with your Windows computer, you will need to order an individual Windows ebook (one accent or dialect) from this page for $24.95.

Happy holidays!

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‘Tis the season for ‘Christmas Carol’

The holidays are just a few weeks away, so that means hundreds of theaters around the country are preparing productions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. If your theater is among them, Paul can help. Paul’s unique and comprehensive dialect study includes a reading of Dickens’ entire novella (divided into five sound files, one for each stave), plus in-depth dialect analysis of all 36 speaking characters. Check out our A Christmas Carol page for more information.

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Welcome David Crystal back to the podcast

David Crystal

The November edition of Paul’s In a Manner of Speaking podcast features a discussion of Received Pronunciation (RP) with eminent linguist David Crystal, whom Paul first featured on the podcast back in June 2018. Listen to the latest episode here, or find it on your favorite podcast channel.

In addition to discussing the history of RP, Paul and David dive into the newest trends in British sounds, including what some refer to as the Estuary dialect.

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Let’s go to the movies!

Cameron Meier

Paul’s October In a Manner of Speaking podcast is all about movie dialects, and the guest is none other than Paul’s son, Cameron, who serves as vice president of Paul Meier Dialect Services. But, more importantly for this conversation, he’s also a film critic for The Orlando Weekly, Euclid Media and MeierMovies.com. Check it out here, or on your favorite podcast channel.

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‘Secret’ sale on ADSS iTunes ebook

To benefit college students starting their fall semester, we’re running a “secret” sale on the iTunes ebook version of Paul’s Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, which features all 24 accents and dialects contained in the print book plus all the sound files found on the CDs. And the ebook version contains an additional dialect: Jamaican. It’s 35 percent off, which brings the price from $99.99 down to $64.99.

Though the sale is intended for students, anyone can take advantage of it. So the secret is out!

The sale runs through September 6. Click here or simply search your iTunes iBooks store for Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen.

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Thank you, VASTA!

The annual conference for the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) is underway in Orlando, Florida. VASTA honored Paul this year with its Lifetime Distinguished Member award. Thank you to VASTA President Michael Barnes and the entire VASTA board and membership! The conference also served as a great networking opportunity for IDEA’s editors.

Paul was unable to accept the award in person, so his son, PMDS Vice President and IDEA Executive Editor Cameron Meier, accepted for him. (Cameron is pictured on the left, below, with Michael Barnes.) Cameron then introduced Paul, who thanked VASTA in prerecorded video message, which you can watch here.

 

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VASTA conference set for August 4-7

The annual conference of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) will be held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Orlando, Florida, on August 4-7. VASTA and IDEA, which Paul founded, have always been closely linked, and we encourage you to attend if you are an actor, singer or voiceover artist, or if you are simply interested in the spoken word, voice and speech training, linguists, or dialects and accents.

If you are a member of VASTA, the conference costs $350. For non-members, it’s $450. If you are a student or retiree, the rate is $225. One-day passes (for August 5 and 6) are also offered for $150.

For more information, visit Vasta.org/Orlando.

Also of interest to those in the performing arts, the annual conference for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) will also be held in Orlando, right after the VASTA conference. It will be August 7-11 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, adjacent to Walt Disney World. For more information on the ATHE conference, see ATHE.org/page/19conf_home.

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Amazon Prime Days are here!

Amazon Prime Days are July 15 and 16. If you’re thinking of purchasing one of Paul’s products this summer, now is the best time if you’re an Amazon Prime member. All of Paul’s print products that are available on this site are also for sale on Amazon. Click here for the full library of dialect and accent books/CDs.  Though we’re not currently offering any sales of our own, Amazon Prime Days allow Prime members to save on shipping by grouping Paul’s products with other items (many of which might be offering special sales). Depending upon what you’re shopping for, it could be the most economical way to shop instead of purchasing a single one of Paul’s books by itself.

Happy shopping!

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March podcast discusses Caribbean voices

Paul’s podcast this month addresses the culture, language, voices, and dialects of the Caribbean, with his special guests Elizabeth Montoya-Stemann (an IDEA associate editor from the Edna Manley College in Kingston, Jamaica) and Dylan Paul (Broadway actor, voice and speech expert, and IDEA’s webmaster and special consultant). Check it out here.

For all of Paul’s podcasts, visit this page, which also contains links to the free podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

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Introducing February podcast

David Alan Stern

Paul’s latest In a Manner of Speaking podcast is now online, available here and also on iTunes and Stitcher. This month’s podcast focuses on releasing the power of the text. Paul’s guest is David Alan Stern, one of the longest-established and most popular publishers of dialect help for actors, and professor emeritus of the University of Connecticut. Paul and David discuss the language arts as they impact the spoken word in all its manifestations and delve into topics such as eloquence, emphasis, public speaking, oratory, recitation, rhetorical skills, verse speaking, and vocal variety. For information about Professor Stern, visit https://learnaccent.com/about/.

For a complete library of previous episodes, click here.