Canadian and North American English: the difference


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 pronounces it this way would help us understand the difference more clearly. They pronounce 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 pronouncing 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 and do. 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 their American counterparts 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 spelt in America would be spelt as ‘analyze’ 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, this is not the same as the English which is spoken in America. The Canadian language is stuck right in the middle of the American English and the British language due to the fact that both variants of the language have had so much influence in their country. For these reasons, Canadians accept the different spelling of the same word as it is spelt 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 both languages explain why they are independent of each other.