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Jude's avatar

How would you describe a Canadian accent in comparison to the standard Midwestern America? Do you find it to be unpleasant?

Asked by Jude (31977 points ) May 4th, 2010

What do you think aboot it, eh?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

25 Answers

nikki_1234's avatar

I find a Canadian accent softer and more melodic, but I have a very small sample of Canadians and Americans to compare being british! So I’ve probably heard very few regional variations.

Blackberry's avatar

It reminds me of a modified french accent (or canadian modified french? Doesn’t matter). I like the accent, it’s pleasant sounding, not abrasive and aggresive like an american.

marinelife's avatar

No. it is not unpleasant. There is more inflection in Canadian accents than in Midwestern US accents. There is the characteristic interrogative (eh) at the end of many sentences.

Symbeline's avatar

Eh seems to be myth. I’ve never actually heard anyone in Canada say that.
I’ve traversed a few different Canadian provinces, and I can tell you that the accents differ greatly depending on where you go, so it’s hard to pinpoint any kinda Canadian accent definition…especially for me now that I live in a French province where both English and French have been drastically ’‘modified’’.
I guess it would be like trying to define America’s accent by solely basing it all on Texas VS New York.

Jude's avatar

I’m a Canuck and my girlfriend is from Michigan. Before dating me, she dated another Canadian (for 10 years).

My girlfriend sounds more Canadian (than I), I find..

marinelife's avatar

@Symbeline You haven’t talked to enough Canadians, eh? They definitely do say it.

DarkScribe's avatar

Most Canadians abroad are mistaken for Americans unless they make a point of identifying themselves – as has become more common since America’s fall in world opinion.

Jude's avatar

Marina, the “eh”? You really don’t hear it anymore.

It’s true, though, accents are different throughout the country. The East Coasters have their own accent, as do the West Coasters (who I find sound more like the folks from California). People from Toronto? Even I hear the accent.

I do the well-known “soorry”, “PRO-cess”, “aboot”..

Fernspider's avatar

Often in New Zealand, people are unable to tell the difference between an American and a Canadian. I can usually spot it when certain words are used like house, mouse, about etc.

To many people not from North America, they sound very very similar.

Suppose the same could be said about Kiwi’s and Aussies.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Symbeline My hubby says “eh?” all the time. Drives me a bit nuts really.

Five years ago I was in the southern U.S. and getting teased for sayings like “left, right and centre”. I found it strange that they left out the centre! lol.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It depends on where in Canada you are from…Windsor compared to Quebec is like night and day.My grandmother kept her French/Canadian accent long after she came to the US.
She did that to confuse us children—Bad,bad gramma Suzette!—;)

faye's avatar

Out here in Alberta, there is the ‘eh’ sometimes. Not much French anything, though. In my camping trips to Washington state, Montana and Idaho, I think we all sound similar.

Ponderer983's avatar

What’s going on eh? What’s all this aboot?

Cupcake's avatar

I like PRO-cess. I say it sometimes just for fun.

Draconess25's avatar

I like it. Then again, I like all accents!

Seek's avatar

Canada’s a big place. I’m sure there are several different accents, particularly when you take the Quebecois into account.

The only Canadian voices I come in contact with regularly are a couple of Nick Jr. shows my kid watches (Franklin and Little Bear), and the people that appear on “Holmes on Homes”. Yes, I watch construction shows in my spare time. Sue me, that guy rules.

You’d never really notice the difference, until that “ou” sound comes around. Any linguists on here can correct me if they know, but I think that’s a holdover from Elizabethan English.

Bugabear's avatar

Having lived in both places I can say that It’s like mix between British and American, but with more American. And the Quebecois just sound like toddlers speaking French.

desiree333's avatar

@Symbeline I say eh all the time, and everyone I know says it also from tome to time. We usually use it when we are agreeing with or persuading people. Ex ” That movie wasn’t good at all eh?” Oh I am a Canadian, oubviously. I live in Ontario to be more specific, since other people have mentioned that the region plays a factor.

wilma's avatar

I don’t find most Canadian accents unpleasant at all. I can hear the difference from my Midwestern accent, but it is subtle. I make a game of trying to figure out which hockey sports announcers are Canadian and which are American.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yeah, I’m from the Midwest too, and the further north you go, the more the accents blur together. However, there’s a huge (or as I say it, h-YUGE) difference between Thunder Bay ON and Waukegan, IL, in terms of accents.

Canadian accents are less grating than those of Minnesota, to me.

desiree333's avatar

@aprilsimnel I live in Thunder Bay Ontario! do you mean us Thunder-Bayers say h-Yuge? What’s the difference you’ve noticed? I’m intrigued!

aprilsimnel's avatar

@desiree333, I’m saying that I say “huge” that way, because I’m from Milwaukee. The Canadians I know talk more like people from the upper Midwest, and less like people from Chicago. Milwaukee seems to be the dividing line. Go further south, and the accent changes a lot.

I sound more like these people than not. And they are all from Ontario.

desiree333's avatar

@aprilsimnel Ohh, yeah I don’t really differentiate between accents very well. I recently toured England and the guide said there were huge differences between accents, especially in Yorkshire, but I didn’t even notice any differences.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’ve been to the UK, too, and I can tell. I think over here, we get a lot of their TV where everyone speaks with a London accent. I’m in with a British expat group here, and the accents are vastly different! People from Yorkshire, whoo! Those are pretty thick. I’ve heard from the West Country, Geordie accents, and the sing-song-yness of Liverpool, among others.

desiree333's avatar

@aprilsimnel Hahaa, it’s all the same to me!

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