CANADIAN and AMERICAN accent, whats the difference?

KC   Sunday, September 01, 2002, 01:48 GMT
I'm from australia and I still can't identify the difference between the two accents.
From watching americans make fun of the canadians all they point out is that they pronounce 'about' like 'aboot' and sometimes I don't even spot that. Aren't there any other differences?
Please teach me some more.
Tom   Sunday, September 01, 2002, 11:07 GMT
Actually all words containing the [au] sound are pronounced with something like [u] in Canadian English, for example: about, house, out, crown, plow...
North Dakotan   Monday, September 16, 2002, 00:15 GMT
Canadians pronounce their "ou" sound differently than Americans. They also tend to use the exclamation "eh" and to use words that Americans don't. They say the last letter in the alphabet as "zed" and we say it as "zee," for instance. I grew up near the Canadian border, in North Dakota, and I can usually tell a Canadian speaker within a few minutes just because of the difference in the "ou" sound. To my ear, they sound more "clipped" than Americans as well. It's almost a British intonation.
Jim   Wednesday, October 09, 2002, 06:45 GMT
I can't claim to be an expert but I lived in Vancouver for two and a half years and I hardly picked up on the [u] pronunciation of the words "about", "out", "plough", etc. I am by no means denying the existence of this pronunciation. Canada is a big country, though. Canadians speak with many different accents. The accent I became used to hearing is very different to that of Atlantic Canada but similar to a US Pacific Northwest accent. I'd have had a hard time recognising whether someone was from Seattle but I'd have picked a Newfie in an instant. I suspect that it is in the east where the [u] pronunciation of these words is prevalent. Then there's the Québécois accent, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

They do use "eh" a lot, it's quite similar to the Aussie use of "ay" except it's more frequent: you'll find it all over the place. There are a few differences between Canadian and US vocabulary. Sure they call the last letter of the alphabet "zed" but, as far as I know, this is the norm in all English dialects except US English. What's more interesting are the truly Canadian words such as:

tuque: a woollen hat (a more general term than the Aussie "beanie")

loonie: a one-dollar coin (so named because of the loon on the tail side)

toonie: a two-dollar coin ("two" + "loonie").
Pierre   Wednesday, October 09, 2002, 23:03 GMT
Uhhh! Canadians are just a bunch of try-hards, they are all just trying to sound like Americans because of their lack of culture and personality.
Steph   Friday, October 18, 2002, 05:09 GMT
Hey Pierre seems like you're the one who need to try harder How can you possibly think that Canada lacks culture compared to the US when being bilingual in much of Canada is the norm. Given the large number of Canadian actors and comedians in Hollywood (most of which you probably assume are American) I would say it is rather the Americans who are trying to sound like Canadians. At any rate both cultures are inseparably linked and contribute a great deal to each other. Smart Americans realize this and focus such complaints at Countries who are involved in negative things such as terrorist activities against American interests.
Ryan   Sunday, October 20, 2002, 05:56 GMT
I live in Toronto and when I go down to the U.S. nobody can tell that I'm from Canada. The pronounciation of 'about' is only in Eastern Canada, not in Ontario. There is absolutely no difference between Ontario accents and the main American accent. I don't say eh after every word, as a matter of fact, I don't think that I have ever said eh. Americans need to stop stereotyping Canadians as talking with one particular accent. There are different accents in Canada, as there is in the United States, however the United States are not stereotyped to the Southern accent, lets say. Why is that?
sherise   Monday, October 21, 2002, 18:16 GMT
ya know some canadians like myself pronouce "about" the way it is supossed
to be said.
Bob   Wednesday, October 23, 2002, 21:53 GMT
Take your cheap medical care, legal marijuana and backbacon and shove it, eh.
Gord   Thursday, October 24, 2002, 23:48 GMT
I'm a Canadian originally from Atlantic Canada who has lived in the U.S. for five years. My accent has become more what people call "Americanized" in that I now use an "ow" sound for words with "ou". As for "eh" I use only when I'm flustered and wanting someone to agree with what I've just said. I'll put it at the end of a sentence like a question. My parent's and older generations use it the most. It's charming. When I lived in Maine, I heard Mainers saying "eh" constantly and wondering why I didn't say it as much or at all.

Some Americans say "Canadian Accent" as though there is just one but they never say it with disdain which is less than I can say for some people from Ontario. Some like to think that they have no accent or a "main American accent." This makes Atlantic Canadians roll their eyes because we can usually tell Americans from Ontarions. The Ontarions (and some west coast folk) that say things like this do it to imply that Atlantic Canadians sound dumb or naive and they don't or that they speak a more perfect English or something.

I think it's elitist to presume one (Canadian) accent is preferable or right compared to another. In some cases it's discrimination. Accents make the world go round (sorry for sounding Pollyanna-ish here) and we should enjoy the differences and not assume there is one right way to say things - because there is not. Even a midwestern u.s. newscaster's accent is an accent. My accent changes as I live in different places but I love that when I go home to visit my folks I can slip back into my old clipped speech.

P.S. - Bob, isn't there a porn site that is missing you right now?
Austin   Saturday, October 26, 2002, 09:42 GMT
What are the accent differences between Canadian English and standard British English?
Casey   Sunday, October 27, 2002, 02:38 GMT
I am from Chicago. I recently visited Toronto and noticed very little difference in accents comparing the two cities. However, the way people pronounce 'about' and 'out' for example is noticeably different. However again, both cities are comprised of a variety of accents so it would be misplaced to say that any one accent belongs to a certain city.
Ben   Sunday, October 27, 2002, 17:59 GMT
Canadian accents are most definitely different from American, but the differences are in very subtle vowel changes. Canadians, like New Englanders, tend to use a slightly different "a" sound, in words like can't, past, dad, etc. It often, though not always, sounds a bit closer to "ah" than the general american "aa." Also, whereas the American pronunciation of the "o" in words like god, not, lot, tends to be "ah" (i.e. "gahd," "naht," "laht), Canadians, at least in Ontario, speak with the more rounded British pronunciation. It is a misconception that Canadians pronounce "about" as "aboot." Canadians say this word as a British person would say the nonsense word "aboat."

The most important difference between Canadian and American English is that Canadian English is universally very crisp and clean (I've heard some remarkably well spoken construction workers in that country). American English tends to be less precise, with a lot of dropped "t"s and lazy consonants.
Kiwifruit   Sunday, October 27, 2002, 21:03 GMT
I hate the way Americans pronounce their "t"'s as "d"'s

US Pronunciation: WORDURR
Proper Pronunciations: WORTEH

US Pronunciation: BAA-DER-IES
Proper Pronunciations: BA-TER-IES

US Pronunciation: GAR-D
Proper Pronunciations: GOT

US Pronunciation: HAY-D
Proper Pronunciations: HAY-T

But then again, Americans do speak wierd.
Person   Tuesday, October 29, 2002, 22:02 GMT
Someone said there is no 'correct way of speaking' - well, there is.

The only way to speak without an accent would be to speak Received Pronunciation. Here are some reasons why RP is the genuine, and 'only' true way of speaking English

- People sing in RP

- Everyone English speaker understands RP

- RP is the oldest accent

- RP is perfect, crystal clear English

- 3% of English speakers around the world speak it. 1% of those in England.

The British Royal Family speak RP, and from the 14th century, people have been 'strictly' brought up to speak this way.