In 1996, some 75 Dutch people participated in recording a multi-purpose continuous speech database. Most of them were recruited from the TNO Human Factors Research Institute, where the recordings were made. The main part of the database consisted of Dutch sentences. However, most speakers participated in recording 10 sentences in English, French and German. This data was initially distributed as a common data set for research leading to presentations and discussions at the ESCA/NATO MIST workshop held in Leusen, The Netherlands, in 1999. The non-nativeness in any particular language, for instance English, is of course very biased towards Dutch, and therefore this database can be considered only as a start for studying non-native speech. However, with experiences with this database, researchers in other countries may record similar data, so that also other foreign accents can be studied, and compared to this database. Recording conditions: - Sennheiser HMD-414-6 close talking microphone - B&K MD-211-N far-field microphone - anechoic silent recording room - sentences read from computer screen - Ariel Pro-Port digital recording equipment - 16 kHz sampling rate, 16 bit resolution Speech material - 10 sentences in Dutch, English, French and German, including 5 sentences per language which are identical for all speakers and 5 sentences per language which are unique for each speaker - Sentence text from newspapers: Dutch: NRC/Handelsblad; English: Wall Street Journal; French: Le Monde; German: Frankfurter Rundschau The text of the English, French and German sentences were obtained from other databases recorded/used in the European project ‘SQALE’. Annotation: - Dutch sentences are orthographically annotated - For English, French and German sentences the prompt texts are available - Only the Dutch unique sentences have been listened to, and annotated accordingly. The English, French and German sentences have been generated from the prompt texts, i.e., only the punctuation characters have been removed. For French and English, the first word has been de-capitalized according to some simple algorithm. - The spoken text is annotated in a format of one line per speech utterance, with the utterance identification in parenthesis at the end. Speakers: - 74 speakers, including 52 males and 22 females - All speakers are native Dutch. Not all of them were able to produce speech in German, English and French.