Levenshtein Edit Distance App

 Upload table with transcriptions:


 Upload table with coordinates (optional):

 Segment distances:


 Normalization of word pair distances:


 Explorative method:

 Map visualization:

 Choose map:

 Segment class:

The data sets on this page can freely be downloaded and used to try out LED-A.

One-word pair example

The Dutch word hart 'heart' is pronounced as [ærtə] in the West Flemish dialect of Oostende (in Belgium) and as [hɑʀt] in the Limburg dialect of Meerssen (in The Netherlands). With the example file the distance between the two respective realizations can be calculated in LED-A. The transcriptions were taken from the Reeks Nederlandse Dialectatlassen (see below).

Nordavinden og sola -- Norwegian
NOS Norwegian
NOS Norwegian coordinates

The data offered here consists of IPA transcriptions of a subset of 20 Norwegian varieties out of a database that contains recordings and transcriptions of 55 Norwegian varieties. This database was compiled by Jørn Almberg and Kristian Skarbø (Department of Linguistics, University of Trondheim) in the period 1999–2002. As a basis the text of the fable ‘The North Wind and the Sun’ was used. The database is online available at a website of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Reeks Nederlands Dialectatlassen -- Dutch
RND Dutch
RND Dutch coordinates

The Reeks Nederlandse Dialectatlassen (RND) is a series of atlasses covering the Dutch dialect area. The Dutch dialect area comprises the Netherlands, the northern part of Belgium, a smaller northwestern part of France and the German county Bentheim. The atlas was compiled by prof. E. Blancquaert and Willem Pée in the period 1925-1982. The RND contains the translations of 139 sentences in 1956 local dialects spread over this entire area. The sentences are translated and transcribed in phonetic script for each dialect. The atlas is online available at a website of Ghent University.

A selection of 360 local dialects is available at the Dutch Language Institute . For 136 local dialects transcriptions are available for a set of 166 words that were chosen from the 139 sentences. For 226 local dialects transcriptions are available for a set of 125 words. The set of 125 words is a subset of the set of 166 words. Standard Dutch and Standard German were added having transcriptions of 166 words each. The data set that we offer on this page includes a subset of 50 local dialects having transcriptions of 166 words each. Additionally, Standard Dutch is included.

Reeks Nederlandse Dialectatlassen -- Frisian
RND Frisian
RND Frisian coordinates

This data set is another subset of the set that is hosted by the Dutch Language Institute. It contains transcriptions of 48 local dialects in the Dutch province of Fryslân and transcriptions of two local dialects in the Dutch province of Groningen in the area adjacent to the eastern border of the province of Fryslân. Per local dialect 90 words are selected. For the local dialects of Appelscha, Donkerbroek and Tjalleberd transcriptions of two different varieties are included.


LED-A means 'Levenshtein Edit Distance App'. It is a web app for calculating linguistic distances with Levenshtein distance using phonetic IPA transcriptions. Comments are welcome and can be sent to .

The following people were involved in the development of LED-A: Wilbert Heeringa (implementation), Vincent van Heuven (advice), Hans Van de Velde (project manager).


LED-A is implemented as a Shiny app. Shiny was developed by RStudio. This web app uses the following R packages:

  • base

    R Core Team (2017). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org/

  • shiny

    Winston Chang, Joe Cheng, J.J. Allaire, Yihui Xie and Jonathan McPherson (2017). shiny: Web Application Framework for R. R package version 1.0.0. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=shiny

  • shinyjs

    Dean Attali (2018). shinyjs: Easily Improve the User Experience of Your Shiny Apps in Seconds. R package version 1.0. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=shinyjs

  • shinyWidgets

    Victor Perrier, Fanny Meyer and David Granjon (2019). shinyWidgets: Custom Inputs Widgets for Shiny. R package version 0.5.0. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=shinyWidgets

  • shinysky

    Dai ZJ (2019). shinysky: A Set of Shiny Components and Widgets. R package version 0.1.3. https://github.com/AnalytixWare/ShinySky

  • readr

    Hadley Wickham, Jim Hester and Romain Francois (2018). readr: Read Rectangular Text Data. R package version 1.3.1. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=readr

  • openxlsx

    Philipp Schauberger and Alexander Walker (2020). openxlsx: Read, Write and Edit xlsx Files. R package version 4.2.3. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=openxlsx

  • stringr

    Hadley Wickham (2019). stringr: Simple, Consistent Wrappers for Common String Operations. R package version 1.4.0. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=stringr

  • ipa

    Alexander Rossell Hayes (2020). ipa: convert between phonetic alphabets. R package version 0.1.0. https://github.com/rossellhayes/ipa

At the backend Free Pascal programs are used as well.


Aggregated distances generated in LED-A can also be processed in Gabmap when they are saved in the RuG/L04 format. Gabmap offers some functionality that is not available in LED-A. Gabmap is available at gabmap.nl . A Docker version can be found here .


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