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Old 05-27-2013, 04:34 PM
 
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I can think of three possibilities.

1) Both derive from the accent once spoken in New England, and since have diverged. The Upper Midwest and Ontario were both largely settled by Loyalists from New England.

2) The Upper Midwest accent is heavily influenced by Scandinavian languages, and the Canadian accent is heavily influenced by the dialects of Scotland and North East England (Canada is nearly as Scottish as it is English and many of the English surnames common in Canada are typical among people from England's border country with Scotland), both of which have heavy Viking and Anglo-Saxon influence.

3) In earlier times the border between the upper Midwest and Canada was more porous and travel between the two more free. However considering that Minnesota's population is mostly in the south of the state, quite far away from anywhere well populated in Canada, I find this theory difficult to accept.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:56 PM
pdw
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I don't think we sound similar at all. I hear people from Detroit and Chicago and places like that on television and they sound quite different. Their accent sounds like they put a Y after every consonant: "My dyad spilt cyoncrete all over his shirt" It sounds like that to me. I don't think Canadians and Americans have the same accents at all, but if there's one place in the states that we sound the most like it's probably the west coast. Still, not really that close either.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Greater Toronto Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I can think of three possibilities.

1) Both derive from the accent once spoken in New England, and since have diverged. The Upper Midwest and Ontario were both largely settled by Loyalists from New England.

2) The Upper Midwest accent is heavily influenced by Scandinavian languages, and the Canadian accent is heavily influenced by the dialects of Scotland and North East England (Canada is nearly as Scottish as it is English and many of the English surnames common in Canada are typical among people from England's border country with Scotland), both of which have heavy Viking and Anglo-Saxon influence.

3) In earlier times the border between the upper Midwest and Canada was more porous and travel between the two more free. However considering that Minnesota's population is mostly in the south of the state, quite far away from anywhere well populated in Canada, I find this theory difficult to accept.
I vote for Option 3. After having worked for an American call center, I got pretty good at telling where peole were from (providing they still lived in the same area they were raised in - because I often heard a NYC accent from a Florida caller). But, people from the mid-west sound a lot like most Canadians, at least anywhere from BC to Ontario.

People from Wisconsin "like M'yadisun Wis-can-sun" (no offense to anyone from there) or Michigan or upstate NY sounded similar, but if they talked long enough, I could usually notice something unique. But people from Minnesota tend to sound a bit more Canadian. Now that my ear is trained to hear it, the sterotypical "aboot" which is more like "aboat" for the word "about." (Most US born and raised citizens will say it like "ab-ow-t" like when you say "owww" if you stub your toe). I suppose the same could be said about people from North Dakota, but I had so few callers from there, it's hard to say. I also had very few people from Montanta, but they were more neutral sounding like people from the west coast.

Canadians don't typically flatten their "o" to an "a" like "turn it ahn" instead of "turn it ohn" but otherwise I think the mid-west accent sounds similar to Canadians - except people from around Toledo Ohio. They tend to have the perfect neutral accent (unless they speak in a distinctive African American vernacular accent, and not all African Americans do). If it's a neutral American accent from around Toledo OH, it's REALLY neutral, like the kind you would hear a new reporting using on tv or radio. I have a friend from around there, and that's exactly how he sounds. Having said that, my accent no longer sounds Canadian. It may never sound the same again. In fact, many Americans have been surprised at the way I speak. They thought I was American, so I guess the US accent I learned at the call center never left me, or at least not completely. I got sick of people asking me if I was Canadian, so I started to fake a US accent, and actually modeled it on a mid west US accent because I thought it was most similar to my Canadian accent.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:00 PM
 
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Hockey, thats why
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdw View Post
I don't think we sound similar at all. I hear people from Detroit and Chicago and places like that on television and they sound quite different. Their accent sounds like they put a Y after every consonant: "My dyad spilt cyoncrete all over his shirt" It sounds like that to me. I don't think Canadians and Americans have the same accents at all, but if there's one place in the states that we sound the most like it's probably the west coast. Still, not really that close either.
I don't so much mean Detroit and Chicago, I more mean like Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, the UP.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Canadian spelling is not 100% British, and is actually a mix of US and UK usage.

Canadians tend to use the British spelling for colour, harbour, favour, etc., and also cheque, furor, grey, storey, etc.

Some British spellings that are more or less official in Canada are challenged by American influence so you tend to often see both: centre/center, artefact/artifact, draught/draft.

And then there are some where it is the American spelling that is generalized in Canada: like generalized(!), authorized, categorize, plow, curb, aluminium... the British versions are only very rarely seen in Canada.

Overall, Canadian spelling is a mix of US/UK, with probably a slight edge to US spellings these days.
You are correct, but here in Ontario educators are supposed to teach spellings such as kilometre, centre, litre, defence, catalogue, practise(verb) and licence (noun). Government publications and agencies generally use these accepted Canadian spellings. This becomes a bit a a problem when the computer software in our schools has US English as the default. Many of my students will spell words correctly in Canadian English, only to change them when spell check underlines the perceived mistake. Quebec government publications often thumb their noses at Canadian spellings and often use American English.

In addition to the spelling differences, there are some vocabulary differences: Indian reservation- First Nation's reserve, railroad-railway, witness stand-witness box, rain gutter-eavestrough.

In Canada, when a bill gets tabled in parliament, it is put forward for consideration, not put aside and forgotten.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:08 AM
 
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Canadian French is proper French. It just has a New World accent. It has some archaic pronunciations that have disappeared in France. However, the the spelling is pretty much identical to European French. The differences are more in vocabulary and expressions. In France, there is no stigma to using English loan words. Therefore, they freely use words such as 'le week-end, stopper, le drugstore, le ferry and le shopping'. In Canada, such English words are viewed as unwanted incursions into the French language, therefore we use words such as 'la fin de semaine, arrêter, la pharmacie, le traversier ' and 'magasinage'. Furthermore, European French is Eurocentric. In Canada, we adopted a number of Native words to describe the flora and fauna. What the French call 'élan d'Amérique',(moose) we call 'orignal'. What they call 'fausse myrtille', we call 'bleuet' (blueberry).

It should be noted that Canadian French is distinct from Acadian French spoken in Atlantic Canada.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:14 AM
 
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It's the American pronunciation of roof that always takes me aback, that and anything French, but then they might be surprised to hear me pronounce lieutenant as 'leftenant'. I also pronounce caught and cot the same way.
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:27 AM
 
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I would say that while everyone has an accent, there is no singular Canadian accent. Instead, there are several Canadian accents that vary considerably. The east coast is highly hibernicised. The Ottawa Valley has its own sound and there are even differences between northern and southern Ontario. Native Canadians tend to speak more slowly and with nasal tones even if they do not speak another language. The English in Quebec have incorporated some French words in their English such as dépanneur for corner store and animator for tv host. My favourite 'English' accents are Irish and South African. Scottish English has considerably less appeal to me.

We don't get a lot of bashing from Americans. In fact, many Canadians have been successful in the US because their accent is not as stigmatized as some local American accents. We do not say 'aboot', but we may very well pronounce about differently from most Americans.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:42 AM
 
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Many anglophone Quebeckers will have an accent that is distinguishable from other English speakers, whether they be the descendants of Irish settlers in Pontiac County, or Jews from Montreal.
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