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-   -   Speech pattern and typographical variations across Canada (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209368)

matt602 Jan 25, 2014 4:42 PM

Hamilton is about the same as Toronto for the most part but a lot less of the Jamaican and multicultural accents and more maritime and Western Canada accents, especially in the North end around the steel mills. Sometimes I even come across some that sound like a Southern US dialect, it's quite interesting.

Mine is just your standard, white person Torontonian accent with some occasional slight German/Eastern European thrown in there when I'm drinking or around family.

MonctonRad Jan 25, 2014 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by White Pine (Post 6422036)
Some say there's a phenomenon called "Ottawa Valley Twang" over here. I can't confirm or deny it, as I don't get out enough in the valley or outside of it.

When I was a radiology resident in Halifax, there was a guy doing a fellowship in the department who was from the upper Ottawa River valley. He sounded exactly like a Newfoundlander! He couldn't see it.

The funny thing is that after his fellowship, he started practicing in Corner Brook. I'm sure he fit right in!! :haha:

GreatTallNorth2 Jan 25, 2014 5:27 PM

Spending 2+ years in the UK interacting with people all the time. They loved to make fun of my "ooot" and "abooot". And yes, we do say it and its very noticeable to people from UK and USA. People in the UK say a-bow-t (as in taking a bow).

Some of those Montrealers english accents are very cool. And Newfoundland accent definitely sounds more Irish/Scouse than standard Canadian - and I love it. I bet east coast people have a great sense of humour. Probably less influenced by America and can laugh at themselves like the British.

theman23 Jan 25, 2014 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by softee (Post 6421948)
Believe it or not, this is accurate for a sizeable segment of Toronto's population. :P
Video Link

This is the Toronto gangsta accent.

It's pretty embarrassing. I hope they grow out of it.

kwoldtimer Jan 25, 2014 6:07 PM

To me, he sounded like a typical Torontonian until he slipped into that weird patois.

GreaterMontréal Jan 25, 2014 6:11 PM

lol. at least, you didn't use Rob Ford in his last drunken stupor

Video Link

giallo Jan 25, 2014 9:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 6422287)
it's all over the GTA, but it's maybe more subtle there. i can tell a torontonian from an american here using that exact metric. again, "aboot" isn't quite right, but there's a definite quality to that vowel sound that americans don't have. the american "about" is flatter and broader in nearly every regional case.

Yup. Ontarians are the biggest users of the ''aboat/oat'' pronunciations in my experience. It's how I can identify whether someone is from Ontario are not when abroad. Anglo Montrealers don't seem to do it and it gets softer the further west you.

I think the reason Americans have so much fun with it is because it's actually quite jarring when you first hear it. You'll be talking to someone, and be thinking, "Ok, where is this person from? California? Florida? New York?", then, BAM! "Aboat". It just doesn't match the rest of the accent. It hard to explain, but it really is apparent.

"Sorry" is another word that Canadians pronounce noticeably different.

GlassCity Jan 25, 2014 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreatTallNorth2 (Post 6422451)
Spending 2+ years in the UK interacting with people all the time. They loved to make fun of my "ooot" and "abooot". And yes, we do say it and its very noticeable to people from UK and USA. People in the UK say a-bow-t (as in taking a bow).

Some of those Montrealers english accents are very cool. And Newfoundland accent definitely sounds more Irish/Scouse than standard Canadian - and I love it. I bet east coast people have a great sense of humour. Probably less influenced by America and can laugh at themselves like the British.

The a-bow-t is exactly how I say it too. From my personal experiences the farther east you go the more you get the stereotypical Canadian accent. Like when I watch Canada's worst driver I always notice his pronunciation of car very interesting (ker) People from around here for the most part sound like everybody on TV.

rousseau Jan 25, 2014 11:54 PM

It's "aboat," not "aboot." "Aboot" is Scottish. The Canadian one is more pronounced the less educated you get.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlassCity (Post 6422866)
People from around here for the most part sound like everybody on TV.

Not really. The west tends to use flatter As and Os. The instant giveaway is how Americans say "kah-llege" by contrast with how westerners say it. Interestingly, people in Ontario actually sound closer to the standard white western USA accent just below the border of Vancouver than people in BC do (save for "aboat"), but we sound very different from the "northern cities vowel shift" in Buffalo and Detroit ("kayallege" in Buffalo, "kahlllege" in Ontario).

Check out the classic western accent in the video below. At about 1:37 he says "man" with a very flat A, where in Ontario it would be a more American "mayan."

Video Link

middeljohn Jan 25, 2014 11:56 PM

There's a definite American influence on how Windsorites talk. Eg. Kahrmel instead of Kehremel.

giallo Jan 26, 2014 1:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rousseau (Post 6422954)
It's "aboat," not "aboot." "Aboot" is Scottish. The Canadian one is more pronounced the less educated you get.


Not really. The west tends to use flatter As and Os. The instant giveaway is how Americans say "kah-llege" by contrast with how westerners say it. Interestingly, people in Ontario actually sound closer to the standard white western USA accent just below the border of Vancouver than people in BC do (save for "aboat"), but we sound very different from the "northern cities vowel shift" in Buffalo and Detroit ("kayallege" in Buffalo, "kahlllege" in Ontario).

Check out the classic western accent in the video below. At about 1:37 he says "man" with a very flat A, where in Ontario it would be a more American "mayan."

Video Link

You're right. They way that guy says "man" is very Metro Vancouver. Funny enough, despite Kelowna (the Okanagan Valley, really) being so close, and so influenced by Vancouver, we don't pronounce "man" like that at all. It's definitely a Lower Mainland thing.

SignalHillHiker Jan 26, 2014 1:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rousseau (Post 6422954)
It's "aboat," not "aboot." "Aboot" is Scottish. The Canadian one is more pronounced the less educated you get.

Vowels are the easiest way to tell mainland Canadians from different parts of the country apart. Whenever Ayreonaut says "downtown", I pretend to check my watch. Albertans drag out those Os forever.

As for "aboat"... that's a really striking word when mainland Canadians say it, it really stands out to my ears. I'd describe the way most of you pronounce as "a-bay-out", but not as exaggerated. There's just this... I get this feeling in my throat when I hear you guys say it, like my body can just sense exactly the extra thing you're doing to make that... yodelling vowel sound... but just can't do it.

kool maudit Jan 26, 2014 12:46 PM

every time we have a thread about canadian accents, a large number of canadians protest that they don't understand the "about" thing and that it must be due to other canadians from other parts of canada, because where they are it's totally normal.

to me, this only reflects the fact that the canadian "about" is viewed as undesirable. this makes sense in light of its class- and education-related connotations. what giallo said is also true: it's jarring, and doesn't seem to "fit."

were peter mansbridge hired by cnn, they would ask him to flatten out that word, even though his version of the "about" thing is subtle and non-intrusive.

for whatever reason, the canadian "about" is a thing that nobody wants. if you are a canadian in canada, though — and i mean you, not just people-in-your-city or other-canadians, but you — it is extraordinarily likely that you pronounce this word differently than the people you see on tv.

kool maudit Jan 26, 2014 12:59 PM

personal "about" confession time: in the mid-2000s, my parents moved to southern california. when i visited one time, someone noted that my mom was outed-as-canadian when they played tennis; the "that's out!" just sounded different.

around that time, i made an unpatriotic decision to flatten my "ou" pronunciation so as to align with the american norm. embedded in this not-true-to-myself-or-my-history decision were the "jarring" factor outlined above, the fact that my ears were more comfortable with the american "out" (even if my tongue was not), and the concern that my accent may have been altered/intensified by my family's time in the maritimes (a region whose speech patterns i do not find congenial).

all of this is to say: it's hard! the vowel thing is deep and persistent! from about 2005 to 2008, i probably used both pronunciations, depending on how front-of-mind my odd personal elocution-struggle was. it would have been weirder and more jarring to hear, probably, than any single pronunciation in the english language. for a while, i think it even got too midwestern ("see you tamaaahrow"), and needed to be reined in along that metric.

the canadian "out," for whatever reason, is a major component of our dialect and the version of the english language by which i have largely been surrounded (in london, toronto, halifax, montreal, and ottawa) since birth. if you consciously attempt, as actors and newscasters and bad canadians like me have had to, to replace it with the american variant, you will find that it takes a lot of time and mindfulness, and that the only reward is people thinking you're from wisconsin or something.

if our accent was more broadly different than the u.s. norm, we might be proud of it. as it is, it can seem like a tic. tics are awkward and undesirable, and so (it would seem) is our poor, unwanted "out."

Aylmer Jan 26, 2014 2:39 PM

I dunno - I've always kind of disliked how all vowels in American English seem to want to be 'A's (Psycalagy, Haase, Abaat, Saarry as opposed to Psycohlowgy, House, Aboat/Abow-oot, Soh-ry) - the closed and rounded canadian vowels have just always seemed to me to be less loud.

I like our ticks and quirks - shortened and rounded vowels, bouncy rythm and intonation. If one of the defining elements of our national identity is that we're not Americans, then I think we should take pride in our outs and abouts!

kool maudit Jan 26, 2014 2:48 PM

it certainly seems like the sort of thing we are usually very proud of (i.e., a minor difference), but in this case, for whatever reason, we're not.

kwoldtimer Jan 26, 2014 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 6423391)
it certainly seems like the sort of thing we are usually very proud of (i.e., a minor difference), but in this case, for whatever reason, we're not.

And yet we tend to celebrate the "Eh" even though, like our alleged "aboot", it is associated by those outside the country more with hickness than with hipness.

north 42 Jan 26, 2014 3:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by middeljohn (Post 6422958)
There's a definite American influence on how Windsorites talk. Eg. Kahrmel instead of Kehremel.

The extreme Southwest of Ontario is influenced by the Michigan accent, but we still pronounce most words like most Southern Ontarian's. It seems to be a real hybrid of the two, but most of us don't even realize this until we are elsewhere in Canada, and people ask if we're american. Windsor probably has the strongest American influence in the region.

P. Alouishous Jan 26, 2014 4:17 PM

Rural Ontario accent:

Video Link

P. Alouishous Jan 26, 2014 4:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 6423347)
every time we have a thread about canadian accents, a large number of canadians protest that they don't understand the "about" thing and that it must be due to other canadians from other parts of canada, because where they are it's totally normal.

to me, this only reflects the fact that the canadian "about" is viewed as undesirable. this makes sense in light of its class- and education-related connotations. what giallo said is also true: it's jarring, and doesn't seem to "fit."

were peter mansbridge hired by cnn, they would ask him to flatten out that word, even though his version of the "about" thing is subtle and non-intrusive.

for whatever reason, the canadian "about" is a thing that nobody wants. if you are a canadian in canada, though — and i mean you, not just people-in-your-city or other-canadians, but you — it is extraordinarily likely that you pronounce this word differently than the people you see on tv.

This is true for many Canadians in the US and at home, though few will admit it.


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