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Canadian and American accents

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31. Posted by Karl7 (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Some other shibboleths: if you hear enough of them it may be evidence of a Canadian or American: Most Canadians will refer to a carbonated beverage as a pop, whereas people from California will usually say "soda". "Pop" is found in some areas of the midwest, and it is the main word for it in the Pacific NW, although, it's starting to lose ground to soda. Some call it soda pop. Then there's the split between "ah" before r and "oh" before "r". For example, if I remeber correctly, most people from New Jersey would say "harrible" for "horrible", "tomahrrow" for "tomohrrow", etc. In Canada, most of these words have "ohr", usually including "sorry" (sometimes half way in between sahree and sohree) and "borrow". Californians will usually say most of them with an "ohr" -- horrible, but say "tomahrrow" for "tomorrow" (and of course "sahree" and "bahrow") Washingtonians (born and raised)in general usually say "sahree", and "bahrow", but "tomohrow" with an "o" sound. Oregonians are more varible: some have the Californian style "tomahrow"; others have "tomorrow". Most Americans say "sahree",although there are many who say "sohree", or something in between the two extremes.

Then there's the short "a" system.
-The most common system, is to tense a's before d's.
-In the Inland North (Chicago and Michigan mostly), all "a"s will usually sound like "ay-uh" to others (very tense)
-In California, before n's a's are turning into "ay-uh's" as well, but this is a *very* recent phenomenon, that only a few people have it. On the other hand all other a's are starting to lower to short o's: archaic slang example: "gahg me with a spoon" gag is lowered
-In Washington, a's are pretty much the same before d's and n's, but they are tensed before g's so bag almost sounds like "beg" (some actually merge these words so "bag" and "beg" sound the same/almost the same).
-In many places in Canada, a's are starting to lower (like in California, *but*, like in Washington, they are tensed before g's as well so bag has a vowel closer to "beg" than to "bad".

32. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

Quoting Karl7

>> "Say yah to da U.P. eh?!" <<
but would you ever say something like "Thanks, eh" or "I know, eh" --in a *few* dialects in Canadian English these are perfectly acceptable.

Yes, us Yooper's do talk like that and say those things....and
"Go store eh?"
and instead of saying, "I am from Northlake" yah, Nortlake eh.
Yah, eh is usually said instead of yes.

I had a friend from South Africa who was doing her PhD in Speech Therapy at Northern Michigan University, she went out to Northlake for one of her rotations. She thought ALL the children had speech impediments ;)

33. Posted by Jase007 (Travel Guru 8870 posts) 10y

Quoting Cupcake

I had a friend from South Africa who was doing her PhD in Speech Therapy at Northern Michigan University, she went out to Northlake for one of her rotations. She thought ALL the children had speech impediments ;)

And thats comming from a Saffa!!! must be bad

34. Posted by RJ Mc (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Well, this one certainly generated a great deal of comments! Being a Texan, I can tell you that not only do Texans have accents (oh Boy! do we have accents!) that are different than other parts of the USA, but there is a difference in Coastal, East Texas and West Texas regions. And with so much migration to areas like Houston, Dallas and Austin from other parts of the US and the world, we hear them all! Isn't this a great world?

35. Posted by Karl7 (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Another difference between the West Canada dialect, and most of the Inland North US dialect, is the pronunciation of 'a' in words of foreign origin. In the West Canada dialect they are more commonly pronounced with the same 'a' (ash) sound as in the word 'bad', and in the Northern dialect, they are usually pronounced with the 'a' in 'father'. Examples include: pasta, Mazda, etc.

36. Posted by g_trotter7 (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y

Canadians & Americans do have very different accents, but can see how some one who isn't from North America might think they're the same. Both countries don't have one main accent per say, there's tonnes of different accents, in Canada they're as many English accents as there are different French accents. I have lived in 2 bilingual towns, one close to the Quebec border & the two towns have distinctly different accents in French, & they use different words. It's quite difficult I find to learn French in Canada, because what might be considered proper French or English even, in one location is not necessarily considered right in another. I think if you listen real closely though you can distinguish American from Canadian, it's easier in some cases then in others but I find most Americans have a bit of a drawl(sp?) so I can pick it out easier. That & most Canadians I've come across either speak & enunciate every syllable or chop words to pieces when they're speaking. i.e. speaking would be spekin! but that could just be Toronto english there :)

Post 37 was removed by a moderator
38. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

"I'm from Can-a-daa; so they think I'm sloow, eh."

Oh, don't be mad at me, send your hate mail to the Simpsons writers!

39. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 10y

Well im from England and the amount of times ive been called American while travelling around is shocking.
Having said that ive also been called Australian lots too.
One English guy last week even said WOW youve lost your accent you must of been travelling for awhile and spent alot of time in Oz.
I said yes ive spend 5 days there so far

40. Posted by Karl7 (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

>> I think if you listen real closely though you can distinguish American from Canadian, it's easier in some cases then in others but I find most Americans have a bit of a drawl(sp?) so I can pick it out easier. <<

What exactly is a drawl? It seems like this word is used to refer to lots of different things. For example, most people from England think that Severus Snape (from Harry Potter) has a drawl. In North American English, a drawl usually only refers to a phenomenon that is found in the Southern US dialect (most of Texas except the Western portion, as well as the extreme South East portion, and further East, but excluding most of Florida, except for the Northern area, except major cities in Northern Florida, and also excluding Charleston, South Carolina) which causes the "a" sound in a word such as "pass" to be pronounced as follows: compared to the Western North American dialect (from BC to Manitoba, as well as parts of Ontario in Canada, and from Washington state to western Montana, and then down to New Mexico, including the Western edge of Texas), as well as the North Central US accent (in and aroud the following areas: Brockway, Montana; Lemmon, South Dakota; Minot Bismark and Fargo, North Dakoto; Bemidgi Chrishom and Duluth, Minnesota; as well as Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), but excluding the Northern dialect (most of South Dakota and further East) the word "a" sound in the Southern dialect starts off with an "a" sound but it is held for twice as long than the other dialects, and then ends with a yuh sound: so pass is pronounced almost like: paaa-yus.

So, do you think that other areas also have a drawl?