learn downeast accent new england maine

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New England Accent

These "Downeast" New England accent materials lead you throughout the northeast, including bigger port cities like Portland and the isolated lobstering community out on Matinicus Island. You'll also hear inland variations that show it's not just the coast that drops the ah's, a-yah!


New England "Downeast" Accent Learning Materials

  • The New England accent materials include recordings of AccentHelp coach Jim Johnson guiding you through learning the accent, using the text, as well as a number of recordings of native speakers. Jim gathered these recordings during trips through New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine - bringing the experience back to you in this download.
  • You'll get four versions of the written materials: a PDF file to print or read on a standard computer, a large-format PDF for portable reading devices, and MOBI for Kindle and EPUB for other portable readers.
  • This accent is appropriate for productions of Our Town and other plays. It's challenging to find accurate Downeast accents on film, so the recordings of native speakers with this download are essential!
  • New England accents have a lot in common with Boston accents, but if anyone is familiar with them, the difference can be quite strong.

Audio files (72.8MB, 112 minutes)

  1. Introduction to Sound Placement, Intonation and Helpful Hints for speaking with a New England accent (6:09)
  2. Consonant sound changes for Downeast accents (10:46)
  3. Vowel sound changes for learning a New England accent (7:50)
  4. changes to Diphthongs in a New England accent (4:53)
  5. Alternate Pronunciations of words and phrases when speaking with a New England accent (4:39)
  6. Wrap up for learning a Downeast accent (1:37)
  7. Portland Maine Male—Lobsters (1:28)
  8. Portland Maine Male—Limo (3:26)
  9. Female Maine reading (1:15)
  10. + her conversation (3:05)
  11. Male Penobscot Bay Maine conversation (5:30)
  12. 2 Males from Matinicus Maine conversation (4:09)
  13. Male Bridgeton Maine reading (1:08)
  14. + his conversation (3:36)
  15. Male Center Harbor New Hampshire reading (1:19)
  16. + his conversation (6:55)
  17. Female Center Harbor New Hampshire reading (1:44)
  18. + her conversation (6:38)

Most of these recordings are made "in the field" so you will hear such things as birds, cars or other people in the background. A transcription of the conversations is included to help you follow along.