Say That Again?

Accent is identity. The way we speak is shaped by our families, communities, histories, beliefs, and experiences. This podcast shares stories of people finding pride and dignity in their accents, dialects, and voices. Their journeys bring to life our shared human desire to be understood – and to understand one another. Hosted by Jessica Mendoza and Jingnan Peng.

Do you have a story about your accent or language? Tell us about it! Email us at

Bonus Episode: Our Listeners Speak

In this episode, we break format to have a conversation about accent, language, and identity with special guest and recurring contributor Katherine Kinzler from the University of Chicago. We talk about the challenges of overcoming bias, share listeners’ experiences (as well as our own), and reflect on the series so far.

Episode 6: To Build a Voice

For someone with a speech disability, what does it mean to have a voice? In our final episode, we pose the question to two families: one with a husband losing his ability to talk, and another with a disabled son on the cusp of adulthood. Each is looking to technology to help them literally be heard with their own unique voices. At the same time, they remind us that to be human is to be so much more than the sounds we make.

Episode 5: Language Lesson

Imagine teaching a language you’re still learning. Or raising your kids to speak it when you’re not yet fluent. For communities trying to revive their Indigenous languages, these are daily challenges – and at stake are both the history and future of their culture. In this episode, we meet educators and parents fighting to give their children their ancestral language, Lingít (Tlingit). What does it take to save a language?

Episode 4: Talking Black, With Pride

Language has power. This was a hard-earned lesson for Vivian Nixon and Elaine Richardson, two women who were told all their lives that their way of talking – talking Black – was something to be kept out of public and professional spaces. This episode follows their separate journeys to embrace the history, beauty, and breadth of Black English, and liberate long-buried parts of themselves in the process.

Episode 3: Whose Job Is It Anyway?

Legally, you can discriminate against someone because of their accent. Dominic Amegashitsi found this out firsthand when he first came to the U.S. from Ghana to start a new life. This episode follows his journey to communicating more confidently, and examines our assumptions about what it means to communicate well in one of the most important spaces in American life: the workplace.

Episode 2: Hey Ma, I’m on TV!

Diversity in media isn’t just about the way characters look; it’s also about how they sound. The creators of “Molly of Denali” knew that when they started producing the animated kids’ show about the adventures of an Alaska Native girl. We talk to producers about what it takes to meaningfully portray Indigenous peoples on screen. And we meet a family in Fairbanks, Alaska, who share with us what it’s like to finally see their own experiences – and hear their people’s voices – represented in ways that make them proud.

Episode 1: You Are How You Sound

After years of trying to blend in as a Los Angeles transplant, Cynthia Santos DeCure realized she had all but lost her Puerto Rican accent. So she set out to reclaim it. Across the country, Amy Mihyang Ginther struggled to find her voice as a young girl living in one world – the mostly white community she grew up in – while yearning for another – the Korean family who gave her up for adoption. Each woman’s story is a journey to discover what our voices say about who we are and who we could be.

Introducing: Say That Again?

What do our voices say about us? “Say That Again?” is a new podcast series about how our identities and experiences shape how we sound – and how the way we speak can be a source of pride, resilience, and shared understanding. New episodes weekly beginning Feb. 25.