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Terry May
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Feb 20, 2018 4:25 PM
Comments · 18

My two cents:

I lived in Canada for 10 years (Montreal and Toronto), and I think that Toronto has had the biggest influence on my accent. It's funny, because when people talk about the "Canadian accent", I know what they mean, but it's not the accent that I'm familiar with. The Toronto accent is an "urban" form of the Canadian accent, and it's often more subtle, and hardly recognizable from, say, Midwestern US accents. There are some differences, but they're subtle and not many people (especially outsiders) can tell them apart. This is the best video I could find demonstrating the Toronto accent:

Compare this with Richard's accent that he posted in the other thread. That accent is what seems to be considered the standard Canadian accent, but in my everyday life in Toronto it's not something I came across often.

There's also the Newfoundlander accent with its heavy Irish influence, and I'm sure many other varieties across the country.

What does this all mean? At the end of the day, it's hard to say. Accents blend into each other and influence each other. I've also heard some people say that the Canadian accent has some Britishisms in the way some phonemes are pronounced. I had an American (Midwestern) friend who used to make fun of the way Canadians pronounce words such as "pasta" and "Obama" and say that they sound kind of British: pah-sta, O-bah-mah.

When it comes to spelling, I'm biased towards standardizing Canadian conventions. I worked in journalism and publishing, and we were always instructed to "Canadianize" spellings. Although I've seen that some Canadians are less strict about that kind of thing.

When it comes to grammar, I'd say Canadian English is largely the same as American.

By and large, I've always thought of Canadian English as being distinct, with influences from both American and British, but also with its own idiosyncrasies.

February 20, 2018
OK boys and girls... there'll be no goose dung throwing here... that's just not the Canadian way :)
February 20, 2018

I always think of Canadians as Brits with furry hats and funny accents, except for those from Quebec who obviously are French with furry hats and funny accents. I haven't yet come to terms with the loss of Empire!

Throw the Canada goose dung!

February 20, 2018

Richard - 

"British speakers." Maybe it's not the speakers. You might need a new stereo. Just a thought.

February 20, 2018

I haven't put a lot of thought into it but I would have to say that Canadian English is American English with its own accent. Excepting the spelling, of course. I've spent some time up there and that was always my impression. Please, don't throw Canada geese dung at me for that view. I'm not taking anything away from Canadian identity or sovereignty. :D

Pass the maple syrup please.

February 20, 2018
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Terry May
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language