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Old 09-21-2019, 10:03 AM   #1
1qqaaz
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I never really thought about my accent until I moved to America.
Now people comment on my Canadian accent on an almost daily basis. It's not just the accent, I think Canadians often use different words altogether.
How do you pronounce these words? Please excuse my bad phonetics. I grew up in Calgary and I use all of the alternatives listed on the right (zed, bayg, marks, soary, drawma, supper, pop, chocolate bar).

-For the letter "Z", do you say "Zee" or "Zed?"
-For the word "bag", do you say "Bahg" or "Bayg"? (This is by far the biggest one, as it affects the pronunciation of words like dragon, wagon, flag, leg, etc)
-For school, do you say "grades" or "marks"?
-For "sorry", do you say "sawry" or "soary"?
-For "drama", do you say "drahma" or "drawma"?
-Do you say "dinner" or "supper"?
-Do you say "coke", "soda", or "pop"?
-Do you say "candy bar" or "chocolate bar"?

And I refuse to believe that Canadians say "about" different. Many of the Torontonians I've met seem to take the American version of the words listed above. But it seems like Calgarians are a lot more likely to use the Canadian alternatives.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1qqaaz View Post
I never really thought about my accent until I moved to America.
Now people comment on my Canadian accent on an almost daily basis. It's not just the accent, I think Canadians often use different words altogether.
How do you pronounce these words? Please excuse my bad phonetics. I grew up in Calgary and I use all of the alternatives listed on the right (zed, bayg, marks, soary, drawma, supper, pop, chocolate bar).

-For the letter "Z", do you say "Zee" or "Zed?"
-For the word "bag", do you say "Bahg" or "Bayg"? (This is by far the biggest one, as it affects the pronunciation of words like dragon, wagon, flag, leg, etc)
-For school, do you say "grades" or "marks"?
-For "sorry", do you say "sawry" or "soary"?
-For "drama", do you say "drahma" or "drawma"?
-Do you say "dinner" or "supper"?
-Do you say "coke", "soda", or "pop"?
-Do you say "candy bar" or "chocolate bar"?

And I refuse to believe that Canadians say "about" different. Many of the Torontonians I've met seem to take the American version of the words listed above. But it seems like Calgarians are a lot more likely to use the Canadian alternatives.
Zed, bahg, grades, soary, drahma, supper, pop unless itís actually Coke, chocolate bar.

I detest when Canadians say zee.

We donít say eh as much as Americans think we do, although I have a client who ends almost every sentence with eh. Itís annoying.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:19 AM   #3
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Due to the strong influence of American media, I speak with a non-regional diction. It actually works great since I travel a fair bit to give conference presentations in my field.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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My relatives in the Ottawa valley have quite the accent. I will talk to my Aunt tomorrow and make note of my favorite pronunciations.

I think Western Canadians sound more like Western Americans than Eastern Canadians.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:24 AM   #5
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I used to think we Albertans didn’t have much of an accent...till I moved back from the states after a decade away. Then it became clear as day. The biggest tell is how people pronounce certain A words with an ae sound. Maezda instead of Mahzda, Paesta instead of Pahsta...
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #6
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Hyundai is pronounced to rhyme with Sunday. Unrelated but it’s a pet peeve of mine.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:36 AM   #7
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Pasta vs Pawsta

House vs Hoose
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:40 AM   #8
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Listen to any Sirius XM show, when they get a Canadian caller it's incredibly startling and obvious, especially with the contrast of the other US callers. Anyone from AB, SK or MB sound like the guys from Fubar.

Anyone claiming they don't have an accent is in denial.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:45 AM   #9
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As for the pronunciation of out and about, there is definitely a difference in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.

It more rhymes with "oat" than "oot" like the stereotype, but it is noticeable. I was on a conference call with my co-workers in Ottawa one time and all of a sudden, I started hearing them saying "oat" and "aboat" while they were talking. Once you hear it, you can't unhear it.


The only time I've ever heard the "oot" version of it was at a Flames game one time and the woman sitting beside me had a pretty strong accent that I couldn't exactly place, but I'd say was probably from Atlantic Canada somewhere. At one point in the game, the Flames were pinned in the zone on the PK and she just yelled out "GET IT OOT!" It took all my willpower to stop from bursting out laughing.


I think the further west you go, the less-pronounced the accent is, but there are still a few things that will make you stand out.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1qqaaz View Post

-For the letter "Z", do you say "Zee" or "Zed?" I say Zed, but I pronounce it Zee. (Zeebra instead of Zehbra)

-For the word "bag", do you say "Bahg" or "Bayg"? (This is by far the biggest one, as it affects the pronunciation of words like dragon, wagon, flag, leg, etc) Bayg

-For school, do you say "grades" or "marks"? Grades

-For "sorry", do you say "sawry" or "soary"? Soary

-For "drama", do you say "drahma" or "drawma"? Drawma

-Do you say "dinner" or "supper"? kinda use both I guess.

-Do you say "coke", "soda", or "pop"?
Pop, unless it's literally a coke


-Do you say "candy bar" or "chocolate bar"? Chocolate Bar
And for other ones, I've never said about like "a-boat" or "Aboot" but I do throw "eh" around quote a bit. But not in the stereotypical sounding way, more in place of where Americans will always say "y'know?" At the end of sentences. I really do sound like Deaner from Fubar, just less exaggerated, and less deadly
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:58 AM   #11
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Roof. It’s fkn ROOF not ruff.

I’ve never understood that one.

I have a place in Arizona and the guys I know or meet are merciless (in a fun way) when I talk. I try to sound “American” but when I talk I will be half way through a sentence and get the “hah! There it is! Abooooot!!”

Whatever y’all
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:11 AM   #12
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Depends on how many sners I’ve had, bud
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1qqaaz View Post
I never really thought about my accent until I moved to America.
Now people comment on my Canadian accent on an almost daily basis. It's not just the accent, I think Canadians often use different words altogether.
How do you pronounce these words? Please excuse my bad phonetics. I grew up in Calgary and I use all of the alternatives listed on the right (zed, bayg, marks, soary, drawma, supper, pop, chocolate bar).

-For the letter "Z", do you say "Zee" or "Zed?"
-For the word "bag", do you say "Bahg" or "Bayg"? (This is by far the biggest one, as it affects the pronunciation of words like dragon, wagon, flag, leg, etc)
-For school, do you say "grades" or "marks"?
-For "sorry", do you say "sawry" or "soary"?
-For "drama", do you say "drahma" or "drawma"?
-Do you say "dinner" or "supper"?
-Do you say "coke", "soda", or "pop"?
-Do you say "candy bar" or "chocolate bar"?

And I refuse to believe that Canadians say "about" different. Many of the Torontonians I've met seem to take the American version of the words listed above. But it seems like Calgarians are a lot more likely to use the Canadian alternatives.
Zee, bayg, marks, soary, drawma, supper, pop, chocolate bar.
I'm sure I sound very Canadian. I would love to hear what I sound like from an outside point of view.
My sister married someone from Texas and lives in Houston; every time I go down to visit, literally everyone I interact with can tell I'm Canadian almost immediately.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:00 PM   #14
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Most of those examples aren't about an accent but regional word uses. No different than someone from the UK calling the hood and trunk of a car the bonnet and boot. It's regional terminology and irrelevant to what your accent is. You could add chesterfield or couch to that list, or bathroom/washroom. Those words tend to come from past generations influence form their older generations roots in the UK.

Of course everyone has an "accent". Every place in the world that speaks the same language can form a different dialect. It is heard and repeated and goes on for generations. But not everyone has a definite distinguishable accent from other large areas of the same language. I have never been asked where my accent is from when I've been in the states. Most assume I'm American from anywhere in the mid-West to the Pacific coast. And that is in heavy tourist areas where they speak to people from all over all of the time.

Go to the South and for sure you sound different. Along the East coast there are many changes to but again, unless I'm wearing Flames gear of a Team Canada hockey hat, I'm just assumed I'm from out West.

I have met English speakers from Europe while outside of Canada and never been assumed to be from the Canadian parries.

I do tend to say fur instead of for too much though. Something I actively try to correct. That's mainly due to the shape of my mouth and alignment of my jaw when speaking quickly and it's in the middle of a sentence.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Most of those examples aren't about an accent but regional word uses. No different than someone from the UK calling the hood and trunk of a car the bonnet and boot. It's regional terminology and irrelevant to what your accent is. You could add chesterfield or couch to that list, or bathroom/washroom. Those words tend to come from past generations influence form their older generations roots in the UK.

Of course everyone has an "accent". Every place in the world that speaks the same language can form a different dialect. It is heard and repeated and goes on for generations. But not everyone has a definite distinguishable accent from other large areas of the same language. I have never been asked where my accent is from when I've been in the states. Most assume I'm American from anywhere in the mid-West to the Pacific coast. And that is in heavy tourist areas where they speak to people from all over all of the time.

Go to the South and for sure you sound different. Along the East coast there are many changes to but again, unless I'm wearing Flames gear of a Team Canada hockey hat, I'm just assumed I'm from out West.

I have met English speakers from Europe while outside of Canada and never been assumed to be from the Canadian parries.

I do tend to say fur instead of for too much though. Something I actively try to correct. That's mainly due to the shape of my mouth and alignment of my jaw when speaking quickly and it's in the middle of a sentence.
Last time I was in the US I had 3 people in the span of a couple of days ask me what it was like in Minnesota.

My postal code has a "Z" in it, which always screws me up on the phone with companies based in the US. Conversation usually goes like this:

Them: What's your zip code?
Me: I tell them, with a "zed"
Them: "huh"
Me: repeat it with "zee."
Them: Pandering comment
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:21 PM   #16
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My favourite is the Canadian vs American pronunciation of 'turbine'.

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My postal code has a "Z" in it, which always screws me up on the phone with companies based in the US.
Ha my license plate has a Z. I love crossing the border with it when I have my bike rack on as I always have to spell it out.

One guard asked me to repeat it 3 times.

"Do you mean zee?"
"No."

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Old 09-21-2019, 12:24 PM   #17
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Gotta catch some zeds.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:36 PM   #18
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Many years ago when I was working a customer service job, I had some people from Texas ask what part of the US I was from. I told them I was born and raised in Calgary and they thought I was kidding - they swore I was American because of my ‘accent’. I never figured I’d have to convince someone I was from my home town when standing in it.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:00 PM   #19
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I used "zed" unless there is some other reason (ZZ Top) to use differently.
Bag like Egg not Bog

Roof like Poof not Puff

Creek like Eek not Crick
About like ah-bout not ah-boot.



I was at a training course in the states, and people picked up on the "about" immediately. I can tell Americans by the way they pronounce "creek" and "roof", but I don't hear the distinction they do with "about".
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:13 PM   #20
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I tend to think my accent is fairly neutral.

However, being an East Coaster I can hear the East Coast accent when I order my caw-fee.

I don't hear it but I've been told by folks from Ontario west that I, as well as most Easterner, hold my 'R's at the end of words too long.

IE: I got in my carrr to go to the barrr which wasn't very farrr.

I laugh and say I'm actually pronouncing the 'R'.

My wife as an accent, her sister's is VERY thick and when she talks to her sister it gets thicker.

I would think, for me anyway, its terminology more than anything.

At a conference once a few years back, I was walking back to the hotel with a chap from Vancouver. We were discussing how we liked that the hotel was a few blocks from the conference centre so you could get outside, get some fresh air, wake up in the morning, unwind after the day. Then I said "if I didn't get outside, I'd go shack wacky". He laughed and commented how he loves how East Coasters talk. I asked him what term he'd use, which he replied 'cabin fever' but he liked 'shack wacky' better.

That's about the extent that I get.
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