Episode 27 (Secret Languages)

As we practice social distancing and schools transition to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic, Paul explores the power of the spoken word and the necessity of communication, specifically the importance of secret languages. In this month’s podcast, Paul discusses Polari, Ob, Pig-Latin, Efe, Pe, Versan, and similar linguistic traditions.

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)

Episode 26 (Spanishes)

Micha Espinosa

Paul’s guest for the March 2020 edition of his 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.

For more information on Professor Espinosa, visit her IDEA and VASTA biographies.

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)

Episode 25 (Tongues of Scotland)

Ros Steen

February’s podcast focuses on Scotland, specifically all its rich dialects, accents, and languages. Paul’s guest is Ros Steen, IDEA associate editor, and emeritus professor and fellow of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Formerly she was head of Drama Research and the Centre for Voice in Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she established Nadine George Voice Work as the core spoken technique for the Centre’s teaching, practice, and research agendas. For more about Professor Steen, visit her IDEA profile.

The texts you hear demonstrated by Professor Steen:

1. Scottish English:

“It’s a fine auld machine,” I assured him then slipped in a quick commercial which glossed over the typewriter’s crucial lack of the letter I. “I’ll give you a wee demo if you like.”

Adjusting the creased sheet of paper I briskly typed. “There. How’s that?”

He shrugged his skinny shoulders. “Hanged if I know. Havnae got ma readin specs.”

He tugged from his pocket a hankie, so clatty it would’ve been the talk of the steamie.

2. Scots

Lennie Buchan wis harrigal-thin, his knees as knobbly as twa piz stuck doon a pair o’ drinkin straws. A forced plant, wha’s breenged up ower seen tae greet the sun, he ay lookit peely-wally, as if affrontit o’ his prodigious growth.

He hunched hissel up fin he traivelled; his neb dreeped, his een wattered, and his skimpit grey schule brikks wis gad-sake-glued wi’dauds o’ bubblegum. Stains o’ suspicious broon clung aboot the lirks’ o’ his doup, an’ gin aa this wisna enough tae damn the craitur frae favour foriver, he hid skyrie reid hair peppered wi dandruff, a ploukie face, wee bauld bits on his heid and a niff.

From A Nippick o’ Nor’ East Tales: A Doric Hairst by Sheena Blackhall

harrigal/entrail   breenged/bounded   daubs/pieces   lirks/folds   doub/backside   skyrie/gaudy   ploukie/spotty   niff/smell

3. Shetland

NEIL: Two years – is it that long? This’ll be a big New Year for you, then. Are you going down to the Market Cross for midnight?

RONA: I’m too old for that. I’d be the only one over eighteen.

NEIL: True enough. Mind, we were just the same.

RONA: We were never that bad.

NEIL: Oh really?

From Auld Lang Syne, by Grace Barnes. Premiered at the Traverse Theatre, 1999.

4. Northeast Scots

Now fin I hear folk speakin’ that wey…I jist go aa’ the braidest Doric that I could possibly gie them…..so that….lats them see that I’m nae cairin’ a dyte….aboot their English… that…I’m a native o’ this bit…o’ Scotland an’ I’d very much like to keep wir native tongue alive……an’ there’s naething….bothers me mair…fin I’m in company tae hear….my ain folk….comin’ awa with great lang gashes….o English mair or less…

Text from a radio interview with Duncan Muirden

5. Borders accent

Did you like the uniform?

No, really, I didnae. Ah didnae like the hat.


I didnae ken, ah didnae…didnae fancy the hat.

Did you get rid of it as much as you could?

I did. I hid it off as much as I could…well the summer you hid tae…

And were you meant to wear them? I mean did somebody…

Well, that was jist a’, a’ the fashion you see for, for the Bondagers and there were…you got new rigoot for the harvest…that was your new rigoot…eh…for the harvest.

Text from an interview with Agnes Grey, who was a Bondager

6. New Testament in Scots 

This is the storie o the birth o Jesus Christ. His mither Mary wis trystit til Joseph, but afore they war mairriet she wis fund tae be wi bairn bi the Halie Spírit. Her husband Joseph, honest man, hed nae mind tae affront her afore the warld an wis for brakkin aff their tryst hidlinweys; an sae he wis een ettlin tae dae, whan an angel o the Lord kythed til him in a draim an said til him, “Joseph, son o Dauvit, be nane feared tae tak Mary your trystit wife intil your hame; the bairn she is cairrein is o the Halie Spírit. She will beir a son, an the name ye ar tae gíe him is Jesus, for he will sauf his fowk frae their sins.” Aa this happent at the wurd spokken bi the Lord throu the Prophet micht be fulfilled: Behaud, the virgin wil bouk an beir a son, an they will caa his name Immanuel – that is, “God wi us”. Whan he hed waukit frae his sleep, Joseph did as the angel hed bidden him, an tuik his trystit wife hame wi him. But he bedditna wi her or she buir a son; an he caa’d the bairn Jesus.

7. Winnie-the-Pooh in Scots 

Pooh aye liked a wee sneyster at eleeven o clock on the mornin, and he wis gey please tae see Rabbit bringin oot the plates and tassies; and when Rabbit said, ‘Hinny or condensed mulk wi yer breid?’ he wis that kittled up he said, “Baith,” and syne, sae he didna seem grabbie, he added, “But dinna fash aboot the breid, if ye wull.” And for a lang while efter yon he didna say ocht…till, at last, bummin tae himsel in a claggy kind o voice, he got up, coshly shook Rabbit by the loof, and said he had tae be gettin alang.

“Dae ye hae tae?” Rabbit spiered politely.

“Weel,” said Pooh, “I could bide a bittie langer if it – if ye…” and he tried gey hard to keek in the airt o the pantry.

“As a maitter o fact,” said Rabbit, “ I wis jist gaun oot masel the noo.”

From Winnie-the-Pooh in Scots, translated by James Robertson. Itchy Coo, 2008.

Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.

Episode 24 (Dialect-Coaching Film & TV)

Jill McCullough

Paul’s first guest of 2020 is renowned dialect coach Jill McCullough. Co-author of the popular Comma Gets a Cure elicitation passage and dialect coach to dozens of film and television actors, Jill is one of the top professionals in her field. She and Paul discuss all things related to accent and dialect coaching for the entertainment industry.

Her many film credits include the Star Wars films, Jojo Rabbit, The Informer, Yesterday, Baby Driver, The Theory of Everything, Skyfall, Anna Karenina, and The Iron Lady. Visit her IMDB page for her full list of credits.

Episode 23 (Coaching BBC Presenters)

Elspeth Morrison

This month’s guest on Paul’s 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.

Elspeth is a former BBC producer who escaped the corporation over 20 years ago to gain an MA in Voice Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama in London. As well as being a lead voice coach there, she has also worked for broadcasters such as CNN, Al Jazeera, and the Weather Network.

For more information on Elspeth, visit https://www.vasta.org/professional-index/profile/elspeth-morrison.

Episode 22 (Received Pronunciation)

David Crystal

Paul’s guest for November 2019 is eminent linguist David Crystal. Paul and David discuss the history of Received Pronunciation (RP), also known as the Queen’s English, BBC English, and Standard British English. They also discuss the newer dialect often referred to as Estuary.

For more information about David, visit DavidCrystal.com, OriginalPronunciation.com, and ShakespearesWords.com.

Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.


Episode 21 (Movie Dialects)

Cameron Meier

Paul’s guest for October 2019 is his son, Cameron, who serves as vice president of Paul Meier Dialect Services and executive editor of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). But for purposes of this month’s conversation, Cameron is a film critic for The Orlando Weekly, Euclid Media and MeierMovies, in addition to being a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle. Read more about Cameron at MeierMovies.com.

For information about the upcoming New York production of The Glass Menagerie that Paul references, please visit TheGlassMenageriePlay.com and use promo code MENAGERIE for a discount.

The fair-use audio clips you heard in this month’s podcast are as follows: the interview with Tennessee Williams is copyright Dick Cavett and ABC; Pinocchio and Mary Poppins are copyright the Walt Disney Company; How Green Was My Valley is copyright Twentieth Century Fox; Casablanca is copyright Warner Brothers; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is copyright Warner Brothers and Morgan Creek Entertainment; The Iron Lady is copyright DJ Films, Film4 and the Weinstein Company; and Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is copyright Columbia Pictures and Hawk Films.

Episode 20 (Laraine Newman)

Laraine Newman

For his September 2019 podcast, Paul talks to comedy icon Laraine Newman about acting, improv, and the art of the voiceover performer.

For more than 40 years — from Saturday Night Live to the present — Laraine Newman has been making us laugh. For the September podcast, Paul and Laraine discuss her career, acting, improv, and the art of the voiceover performer.

For a list of Laraine’s numerous credits, visit her IMDB page and LaraineNewman.com.

Episode 19 (DARE)

Joan Hall

The August 2019 podcast is all about The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE). Paul’s guest is DARE’s editor, Joan Hall.

Having lived in Ohio, California, Idaho, Georgia, Oregon, Maine, and Wisconsin, Joan Houston Hall is uniquely suited to her job as editor of DARE. Joan has a Ph.D in English from Emory University, and she joined the staff of DARE in 1975.  She became associate editor in 1979 and was named chief editor in 2000 following the death of Frederic Cassidy.

Joan has been president of the American Dialect Society and the Dictionary Society of North America, and she has served on advisory boards for Oxford University Press, National Public Radio’s A Way with Words, the National Museum of Language, and the journals American Speech, the Journal of English Linguistics, and Verbatim.

For more information on the origin of the word “chippie,” which Joan discusses in the podcast, click here. And for an article about dialect coaches who use DARE’s recordings, go here.

Episode 18 (Speaking and Singing)

Gillyanne Kayes
Jeremy Fisher

Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher of “Vocal Process” are internationally renowned voice experts specializing in vocal technique and performance in many different genres. A husband-and-wife team, they combine a deep understanding of the voice that comes from science knowledge, performance practice, and decades of experience.

Gillyanne is a voice researcher, pedagogue, and coach, working with numerous artists in theatre, cabaret, and in the recording studio, while Jeremy is a national prizewinning pianist, performance coach and vocal educator. For their full bios, visit https://vocalprocess.co.uk/gillyanne-kayes-jeremy-fisher/.

Gillyanne and Jeremy’s recent work includes: This Is A Voice: the book commissioned by the Wellcome Trust on speaking and singing exercises (and beatboxing); The One Minute Voice Warmup app for Android and Apple; the Amazon #1 bestselling ebook How To Sing Legato; and Taking Vocal Technique Into Song, an hour-long, streaming webinar.

The fair-use sound clips you heard in this podcast were: Sweeney Todd, written by Stephen Sondheim and John Logan, directed by Tim Burton, copyright DreamWorks / Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation / The Zanuck Company; and Speaking in Tongues 3, by Sheila Chandra, copyright Sheila Chandra and Real World Records. The Kathy Jensen laughing transcription can be found at YouTube.

Episode 17 (Vocal Authority)

Rena Cook

Paul’s guest for June 2019 is Rena Cook, a TEDx speaker, author, and voice, speech, confidence, and presentation coach. Rena and Paul discuss voice and speech, particularly among women.

Rena is the founder of Vocal Authority, a training consultancy serving clients who want to use their voice in more commanding and authentic ways. She is the author of Empower your Voice: For Women in Business, Politics and Life and Voice and the Young Actor, and an associate editor of the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).

Rena has an MA in voice studies from London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is professor emerita at the University of Oklahoma. Her dedication to teacher preparation continues as she teaches at the University of Houston on their Summer MA for Drama Teachers program. Rena’s TEDxOU talk is titled “Power without Press: The Foundation of Authentic Communication.”

Episode 15 (If It Ain’t Got Rhythm)

Phil Thompson

This month Paul discusses speech rhythm with Phil Thompson. Phil is the co-founder of Knight/Thompson Speechwork, a masterteacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, and a professor in the Department of Drama at the University of California, Irvine. Read more about him at http://drama.arts.uci.edu/faculty/philip-thompson and https://ktspeechwork.org/.

We acknowledge fair use of the brief clip from On the Waterfront, 1954, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando, copyright Columbia Pictures. Paul’s ebook, Voicing Shakespeare, is available here.

Episode 14 (Caribbean Voices)

Elizabeth Montoya-Stemann
Dylan Paul

Paul’s guests for March 2019 are 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). The three discuss the culture, languages, voices, and dialects of the Caribbean. Read more about Dylan and Elizabeth, respectively, at http://www.dylanpaul.net/ and https://www.dialectsarchive.com/elizabeth-montoya-stemann.

Episode 13 (Releasing the Power of the Text)

David Alan Stern

This month’s podcast, for February 2019, 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/.

Episode 12 (The Australian Dialect)

Linda Nicholls-Gidley

For his first podcast of 2019, Paul discusses the history and sounds of “Strine,” the Australian dialect, with renowned Australian dialect coach Linda Nicholls-Gidley.

Linda is one of Sydney’s most successful dialect coaches and also an associate editor of IDEA. Visit Vocovox.com.au/ for more information on Linda.

Episode 9 (Dialects & Accents with Jim Johnson)

Jim Johnson

This month’s guest is Jim Johnson, who is an IDEA associate editor, a professor and director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance, and founder of AccentHelp. Paul and Jim talk about dialects and accents, dialect-sample gathering, dialects on stage and in film, and accents and dialects in life.

For more information on this month’s guest, Jim Johnson, see his IDEA page.

Episode 8 (Phonetics & Spelling)

This month is all about phonetics and spelling. Paul offers up a provocative thought experiment that floats the idea of reforming our everyday spelling, replacing it with the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Click here to download the accompanying PDF. This document is not just a full transcript of this month’s podcast, but also a guide to the phonetics.

Episode 5 (Pragmatics, with David Crystal)

David Crystal

Paul’s guest this month is David Crystal, one of the world’s most famous linguists and the leader of the modern movement we call OP: Original Pronunciation of Shakespeare’s works. David explains the fascinating linguistic subfield called Pragmatics, which he defines as the “study of the choices that you make when you use language, the reasons for those choices, and the effects that the choices convey.” See David’s websites: http://originalpronunciation.com/, www.davidcrystal.com, and https://www.shakespeareswords.com/.


Episode 4 (The Art of the Newscaster)

Cameron Meier

Paul’s special guest this month is Cameron Meier, Executive Editor of IDEA, Vice President of Paul Meier Dialect Services, journalist (see MeierMovies.com), and Paul’s son.  Paul and Cameron discuss the art of the newscaster and the values of broadcast journalism while listening to clips from famous newscasters.



Episode 3 (Indigenous People)

Eric Armstrong
Sera-Lys McArthur

In this episode, Paul talks with guests Sera-Lys McArthur (a mixed-race Canadian actress) and Eric Armstrong (professor of theatre at York University in Toronto). While the speech of indigenous people (particularly those of North America) is the broad topic, Eric and Paul also talk at length about the politics and ethics of dialect work in theatre and film, and of the gathering of dialect samples from indigenous speech donors. You will hear a clip from Sera-Lys McArthur’s miniseries, The Englishman’s Boy. The text and translation of the Nakota speech you will hear in that clip is as follows:

Eeneedukabee hay. Weebazoga yuka kyana.
Are you hungry? There are Saskatoon berry bushes nearby.

Hee, owa-yagay washtay
Oh, that is very pretty!

Duka wakta, weebazoga oda nuda shten nee-‘ray neeyazakta
Be careful: if you eat too many Saskatoon berries, your stomach will really hurt.

And for more information on this topic, you might check out a new short film titled To Wake Up the Nakota Language. Described as “a tender portrait of Armand McArthur, the last fluent speaker of the Nakota language in Pheasant Rump First Nation, Treaty 4 territory in southern Saskatchewan,” the film is playing the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in May.

Episode 2 (Audiobook Narration)

Julia Whelan
Tavia Gilbert

In this month’s podcast, Paul discusses the art of audiobook narration with industry leaders Tavia Gilbert and Julia Whelan. Find Julia’s work on Audible.com here and Tavia’s at this link. My Oxford Year will be published in April and released on Audible on April 24; see this link. See this link for details of Be Frank with Me.



Episode 1 (Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation)

This first podcast focuses on Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation (the dialect of English spoken in the late 16th and early 17th century). It also serves as an introduction to the entire In a Manner of Speakingseries, as Paul briefly touches on several topics of upcoming podcasts. For more information about the Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s upcoming production of Twelfth Night, visit the site. And here is the Original Pronunciation text that Paul references:

If music be the food of love, play on
ɪf mju̹ːzɪk beː ðə fu̹ːd ə lɤv ple ɑːn

Give me excess of it, that surfeiting,
gɪ mɪ ɪksɛs əv ɪt ðət sɐ˞fətɪn

The appetite may sicken and so die.
ðɪ apətəit mɛ sɪkn̩ n̩ so dəi

That strain again! It had a dying fall.
ðat stɹɛːn əgɛn ɪt ad ə dəiɪn fɑːɫ

O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
o ɪt kɛː oə˞ mɪ i˞ ləik ðə sweːt səʊnd

That breathes upon a bank of violets.
ðət bɹeːðz əpɑn ə baŋk ə vəiəlɪts

[Duke Orsino,  Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare, Act I, Scene 1]