English as a language is arguably the most popular and important language in the world. Originally the sole owners of this language were the British. However, with the introduction of colonization, the British had a good opportunity to promote their language to various lands and they did that to devastating effect. This has led to many lands speaking the English language. One fascinating result of this phenomenon is that these lands have developed their own way of speaking the language. This is especially true for Canada and America. Due to this fact, there are some differences between the English spoken by both countries. The following are some of the differences which can be noticed.
- ‘A boat’: the pronunciation of “a boat” by Americans and “about” by Canadians is simply one of the main differences and features of both languages. Rather than focusing on the pronunciation of these two words, finding the root cause of why the Canadians pronounce it this way would help us understand the difference more clearly. Their pronunciation is a bit different is due to the way they choose to pronounce words which contain “ou”. Due to this fact, you are more likely to see a Canadian pronounce the word ‘out’ as ‘oat’. This usually sounds pretty amusing to the Americans who just cannot get why the Canadians choose to pronounce these words in this manner.
- The use of ‘eh’: one thing which Americans usually point out as different from the way they speak when talking about the Canadians is the fact they also find a way to add the word ‘eh’ into everything that they say. It is simply not unusual to see a Canadian making a remark about the weather or someone’s father with the ‘eh’ at the end of the statement.
- Spelling differences: another way in which Canadian English differs from its American counterpart is spelling. While Canadian English has obviously been influenced to a large extent by the Americans, some of their spelling still mirrors the British way of spelling words. For example, in words such as ‘analyze’ as it is usually spelled in America would be spelled as ‘analyse’ when it is used in Canada or in the United Kingdom. Other words such as ‘centre’ instead of ‘center’ greatly show the distinction between the two nations in terms of spelling patterns.
- Flexibility: while the Canadian language is often considered to be quite flexible by a lot of people, it is not the same as the English which is spoken in America. The Canadian language is stuck right in the middle between the American and British English due to the fact that both variants of the language have had so much influence
inCanada. For these reasons, Canadians accept the different spelling of the same word as it is spelled in America and the UK.
The Canadian and the American language bears many similarities due to the fact that they share boundaries. However, the differences between the two languages explain why they are independent of each other.
Why is Canadian English unique?
Two of the most widely recognized variants of the English language are spoken by the British and the Americans. Most people in different countries yearn to make sure that they understand at least one of these languages. However, there is one other variant which is just as complete as the other two. It is – Canadian English.
To most people especially the Americans, the Canadians speak the same language with them in all completeness par some of the accents used. This makes them believe that Canadian English is simply American English. However, there are several reasons why it can be said that the Canadians have their own set unique variant of the English language. What makes Canadian English so unique compared to the rest of the pack?
- A variant of both variants: when you think about being stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, Canadian English is a perfect example of that. Due to the fact that their next-door neighbors speak American English, no doubt that they were largely influenced by it. However, it is to be noted that Canadians strongly resisted colonization when Americans tried to force them to join. This showed just how much loyalty they have for the Queen of England. The English spoken by the British and that spoken by the Americans are worlds apart and the Canadian English took the best of both worlds to create the perfect unique blend.
- The Canadian accent; nothing beats the uniqueness of the Canadian accent. This accent can be traced down to the history of the first Canadians. The first persons to arrive on Canadian soil were the Irish who were under the rule of the British crown. However, soon after, the immigrants who came from neighboring America also started flooding in. Many accents collided and mixed into something between the British and the American accent. It created certain mannerisms which cannot be found in either the British or the American English.
- Mannerisms: when you are in Canada, you cannot help but notice mannerisms used by the majority of Canadians. The word ‘eh’ is one word which has fully come to be associated with the Canadians. You would most likely hear a Canadian speak to you and end his sentence with ‘eh’. This trickles the American ear as it is very strange and different from what they know.
Canadian linguistic characteristics
For some years now, Canada is often seen as a very prosperous country. Then it is no wonder that every year many immigrants from other countries around the world stream to Canada to make a living and live comfortably. Due to the various migrations, the linguistic characteristics of Canada are somewhat unique. What are the linguistic characteristics of people who are living in Canada?
Here are some exciting facts about the linguistic characteristics of Canada:
- In Canada over 200 languages are spoken by various groups of persons, nationalities, and races. This makes Canada one of the most diverse countries in the whole world.
- In 2011, when the census was carried out in Canada, it was found that over 75% of the population has the ability to speak at least one other language along with the official languages of Canada. These people are normally found in big cities all over Canada.
- The fastest-growing language in the whole of Canada happens to be Tagalog which is a language from the Philippines. It is believed to have increased by 60% since 2006. This just shows how many Asians there are in Canada.
- Over 10% of the population reported that they were quite at ease speaking at least 2 languages at home.
- Over 60% of immigrants living in Canada whos mother tongue language is not English language can read and write fluently in English.
- Every year, the number of people who speak French in the French-speaking regions of Canada seems to be slowly declining. It is believed that the decline will continue.
- Over 5 million people who live in Canada have the ability to hold a reasonable conversation in both official languages of Canada. The official languages are English and French.
Canada is a bustling place which will keep on growing economically. You can also expect a lot of growth when it comes to diversity and linguistic characteristics. Every year Canada lets in a lot of immigrants which is sure to help increase the level of diversity in the country. It truly is the home for all immigrants.