My digital story was inspired by a lecture on German dialects from John te Velde, a professor at Oklahoma State University. This brief informational video reflects his reasoning as to why we need people to study and catalog dialects.
My video also reflects some of my own experiences and observations on language differences between the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Wales. I wish I’d attended this lecture before going to Canada and being confused by the children’s requests to play on the “structure” in the park (instead of the playground), or at least before confusing a waiter in England by asking where the “bathroom” was (in England, it’s the toilet, WC, or loo, not the “bathroom” or “restroom.” The “bathroom” is where you take baths. The “restroom” is where you sit down for a moment or take a nap.) These differences in vocabulary don’t necessarily mean that other countries’ English is part of a completely different dialect, but all the same, I’m glad I now have the perspective and the knowledge that other people speak differently than I do.
The lecture really piqued my curiosity about accents, dialects, and related languages. I hope my degree plan allows me to take an introductory linguistics class at OU, or even while I’m abroad.
I enjoyed making this video, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!