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

MolsonExport Feb 11, 2014 6:08 PM

When I was living in Richmond, BC, I was astounded how different the accent was only 10 kilometers away in Bellingham, WA. I could see the USA very clearly from my apt window, and yet, accent-wise, it was a very American-sounding drawl.

Cyro Feb 11, 2014 6:10 PM

I always found the use of "eh" intriguing. Don't even ask why. Interesting eh?

Eh (/ˈeɪ/ or /ˈɛ/) is a spoken interjection in English that is similar in meaning to "Excuse me," "Please repeat that" or "huh?" It is also commonly used as a question tag, i.e., method for inciting a reply, as in "It's nice here, eh?" In North America, it is most commonly associated with Canada and Canadian English, and also Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

"Eh" is also used in situations to describe something bad or mediocre, in which case it is often pronounced with a short "e" sound and the "h" may even be noticeable. In addition, many Italian Americans, especially in the New York area, use the term "eh" as a general substitute for such basic greetings, such as "hey" or "hello".

Source

Vorkuta Feb 11, 2014 6:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 6446666)
Out of curiosity, are you Acadian yourself?

No, I am not. Well, only 1/4th... my maternal grandmother was an Arseneault, so I've had a lot of exposure to the culture (she spoke French in my grandparents home a lot) but the rest just from growing up in SE NB. 1/3 of my school were Acadians, 1/3 Anglophone and 1/3 native, so it was a misch-masch. I can pick my way through some (poor) school French, but living in a town like Shediac... you see a lot of French at it's worst, unfortunately.

freeweed Feb 11, 2014 6:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyro (Post 6446792)
I always found the use of "eh" intriguing. Don't even ask why. Interesting eh?

"eh" has parallels in most English dialects (I'm sure other languages are similar, I'm just ignorant here). The Irish use "ehm" in somewhat similar - albeit not exact - contexts. And even Americans use similar interjections. "Huh" "yeah" etc. Come to think of it, South Africans use "yeah" or "yuh" in a very similar pattern.

I think the real reason it's so closely associated with Canadians is just that it's become an extremely exaggerated joke in the media. Because I hear it all the time in the US. Sure, we say it MORE (and I'm one of the worst, I'm always using it) but it's not some Canadian thing per se.

RyeJay Feb 11, 2014 7:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vorkuta (Post 6446813)
No, I am not. Well, only 1/4th... my maternal grandmother was an Arseneault, so I've had a lot of exposure to the culture (she spoke French in my grandparents home a lot) but the rest just from growing up in SE NB. 1/3 of my school were Acadians, 1/3 Anglophone and 1/3 native, so it was a misch-masch. I can pick my way through some (poor) school French, but living in a town like Shediac... you see a lot of French at it's worst, unfortunately.

That makes about as much sense as saying you hear of a lot of English at its worst in Shediac...

The southern Acadians who speak Chiac with each other understand it perfectly. It's not their problem that anglophones and francophones don't speak it.
There's nothing unfortunate about the dialect of language that has evolved in Shediac/Southern NB. It is part of the diversity of Canada.

Vorkuta Feb 11, 2014 9:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RyeJay (Post 6446915)
That makes about as much sense as saying you hear of a lot of English at its worst in Shediac...

Thanks, I agree with that as well. :D
Quote:

The southern Acadians who speak Chiac with each other understand it perfectly. It's not their problem that anglophones and francophones don't speak it.
There's nothing unfortunate about the dialect of language that has evolved in Shediac/Southern NB. It is part of the diversity of Canada.
Hey, speak what you want, but it's unfortunate in that it has left many unable to properly read/write in either official language. It's a much deeper issue than that, but this probably isn't the place for it.

Gerrard Feb 11, 2014 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyro (Post 6446792)
"Eh" is also used in situations to describe something bad or mediocre, in which case it is often pronounced with a short "e" sound and the "h" may even be noticeable.Source

Wouldn't that actually be "meh"?

SignalHillHiker Feb 11, 2014 9:28 PM

Chiac has to be the coolest name for a dialect, though.

MonctonRad Feb 11, 2014 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 6447166)
Chiac has to be the coolest name for a dialect, though.

There's an urban myth out there that about 20 years ago, a murder trial was going on and the accused lived on some street in the periphery of Shediac that had it's own particular dialect of Chiac that was so unintelligible to anyone else (even elsewhere in the town) that a translator had to be brought in to allow the trial to proceed. :haha:

SignalHillHiker Feb 11, 2014 9:37 PM

:haha: I wonder if it happened?

We have stories like that too. There's a neighbourhood of St. John's called Shea Heights. Libertarian paradise. It used to be a shanty town (no joke) on the Southside Hills. After we joined Canada, the feds said, b'ys, you either have to service this place with water, sewer, etc., or bulldoze it and house the residents elsewhere.

Well, St. John's made the TRAGIC mistake of opting to service it. Now it's a mix of new housing developments, shanty town, etc. Very mainland lifestyle, cars in the backyard. Big garages, houses with half the siding missing. VERY bad reputation for fights, thefts, idiots, etc.

So, first Gulf War, VOCM open line. He's asking for opinions about the U.S. sending troops to help the Shiites.

Missus phones in, "Well, I'm some surprised the Americans are getting involved but it's about time they did something with that fucking crowd up in Shea Heights!"

Vorkuta Feb 11, 2014 9:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonctonRad (Post 6447183)
There's an urban myth out there that about 20 years ago, a murder trial was going on and the accused lived on some street in the periphery of Shediac that had it's own particular dialect of Chiac that was so unintelligible to anyone else (even elsewhere in the town) that a translator had to be brought in to allow the trial to proceed. :haha:

Might not be a myth... I suspect I know what "street" it's about. It has a bit of a reputation, is a kind way of putting it.

freeweed Feb 11, 2014 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gerrard (Post 6447165)
Wouldn't that actually be "meh"?

It's actually both. "meh" is either a more recent form, or perhaps it's a tad more American. Either way, "eh" was the more common usage when I learned the language.

SignalHillHiker Feb 11, 2014 9:46 PM

:haha: This is almost as embarrassing as "Talking to Americans". Door-to-Door in St. John's.

Lots of the accents.

http://i59.tinypic.com/34gadm8.png
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll4Q_0Tyt-s

middeljohn Feb 11, 2014 9:49 PM

The thing about Toronto is that half the people have at least a trace of a foreign accent. It's going to be really interesting with the different cultures mixing to hear the accents that the next generation of Torontonians are going to have. My suspicion is that the "yo guy" thing is going to pass at some point (although its survived for over 10 years now), but it is indicative of how multicultural TO already is and it is not out of the question that Toronto could one day have developed its own unique accent found nowhere else in the world.

red-paladin Feb 11, 2014 10:11 PM

Do the Ford Brothers count as having a distinct accent?

RWin Feb 11, 2014 10:30 PM

One thing that it seems everyone does (any English speaker, not just Canadian) is say "I mean" at the beginning of a second though. Something like:

Hey, I just went to that new coffee shop across the street. I mean they've got the best lunch menu in town.

I'm not sure why it's such a common way to transition into the next thought but I've been trying to avoid it myself. It just makes me wonder "why didn't you just tell me what you meant in the first place."

vid Feb 11, 2014 11:44 PM

Friendly reminder that in Northern Ontario, "I've bought" becomes "I boughtten".

The word saw only refers to a tool that cuts word. I believe the word you are looking for is "seen", regardless of any grammatical rules. Or possibly "sawed", which is the past tense of the verb "to see".

Acajack Feb 12, 2014 3:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 6447193)
Very mainland lifestyle, cars in the backyard.

Mainland lifestyle is having cars in your backyard? :)

middeljohn Feb 12, 2014 3:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 6447723)
Mainland lifestyle is having cars in your backyard? :)

It is in large sections of Calgary. A lot of the suburbs have alleys behind houses with garages there as opposed to in front of the house.

SignalHillHiker Feb 12, 2014 9:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 6447723)
Mainland lifestyle is having cars in your backyard? :)

:haha: I can't even reply to a question anymore without thinking of Sean Majumder's comedy skit, "Very rarely, when you ask a Newfoundlander a question, very rarely do you just get an answer."

*****

That sounds much worse than I meant it to be, but yes.

I noticed in Manitoba that a lot of families had junk cars in the yard. Some even had de-facto scrapyards. I thought it was utterly bizarre.

Then, when I moved home, I noticed the EXACT same thing in Shea Heights and Goulds (a farming area of St. John's). I was fascinated. I couldn't figure out what it was about not relying on the sea that created that lifestyle, made that acceptable, necessary. WWWHHHYYY are they there? WWWHHHAAATTT are they for?

You don't see it, ever, at all, in outports. And, really, I want to just call it inland instead of mainland but it doesn't apply to other inland communities here. You won't find any junk cars in Grand Falls-Windsor, etc.


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