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American Accent Or North American Accent?  
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 621 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2223 times:

I've been thinking heaps lately about how people can judge someone by there accent. Here in Sydney there are heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAjd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2194 times:

Probably because there's so many different accents. An Alabama accent is way different to a Toronto accent. It's the same as why there's no "British" accent (even if foreigners think we all talk the same, we don't!  Silly). In the UK, accents change every 5 miles in any direction, so it's a little bit strange to just say they all sound the same, because a London accent and a Glasweigan (Glasgow) accent are just completely different.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2170 times:



Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 1):
It's the same as why there's no "British" accent (

True. I get a bit irked when someone talks about a "British" accent but, in fairness, they usually mean "one of the many British accents". I'm just as guilty when talking about an "American" accent when I really mean "one of the many American accents". That said, I still hear people specifically referring to the British accent. That's just wrong.  grumpy 


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19617 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2164 times:



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
I've been thinking heaps lately about how people can judge someone by there accent. Here in Sydney there are heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

Because it's a geographical spectrum. An accent from Detroit, MI is very similar to an accent from Windsor, ON, right across the river. There is a difference but it's subtle. It's like how to you guys the difference between an Aussie and a Kiwi is obvious but to the rest of us it's very subtle.

Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.


User currently offlineRicciPettit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2162 times:

I can tell a Boston/New York accent and a Southern US accent but apart from that any other Americans or Canadians sound exactly the same to me.

Maybe I should just listen to see if they are using "eh?" excessively to help haha.


User currently offlineIhadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2153 times:

The difference in accent here in KBUF than the one across the Niagara river in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada is quite obvious. While here in there is an somewhat flat version of the typical mid-west accent however the accent in Fort Erie is easily identifiable as "Canadian".

The distance may only be a a few hundred feet but the difference in accent is easy to pick out. When we take visiting friends to see Niagara Falls many to comment on the differences in accent.

IHAP

Oh yes, when I was much younger even the thought of a Canadian girl with a bag of Humpty Dumpty Ketchup chips would make me quite happy.. and if she liked to go curling oh my (There was something special about her yelling "SWEEP!" in that wonderful accent whilst I tried very hard not to fall on the ice)



Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2122 times:

I like ketchup chips.


But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2115 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

Yes, I didn't get that either. Maybe there are more Canadians than Americans in Sydney.

Quoting Ihadapheo (Reply 5):
even the thought of a Canadian girl with a bag of Humpty Dumpty Ketchup chips would make me quite happy



Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 6):
I like ketchup chips

Result!  biggrin 


User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2099 times:
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Quoting David L (Reply 7):
Maybe there are more Canadians than Americans in Sydney.

No. It's because Americans are largely shy, retiring types who work really hard at not standing out, never want to make a fuss, and are almost paranoid about making sure they don't do anything to offend their hosts.

Canadians, on the other hand, are boorish louts who get drunk regularly, wear their flags on their clothing, and piss off just about everyone within earshot. They loudly insult all traditions of the host country and brag endlessly about how great they are.

 Big grin

Now, don't get me going on the differences between Aussies and Kiwis ...



Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineIhadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2097 times:



Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 6):
I like ketchup chips.

And a way cool Canadian accent....

Quoting David L (Reply 7):
Result! ....

Zippy faints...


IHAP

Now if she was a Nick Cave fan I would have to hit the Vodka and Tang big time....



Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
User currently offlineSCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5509 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

My poor sister.

Born in France and was a French-speaker until she was three, then Dallas and Texas until she graduated from University, then taught English in Japan for several years, then English in France, married an Aussie, and has lived there ever since (25+years). Aussies say she has an American accent, Americans think she has an Aussie accent.

One mistake I will never make again, though, and that is referring to someone speaking with a Kiwi accent as "Australian." No one involved in that exchange was happy!



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineUnattendedBag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2326 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2095 times:



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

I don't quite understand your question. Both the United States and Canada are considered 'North America'.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

again, an American is a 'North American' and a Canadian is a 'North American'.

am I missing something here?



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineBWilliams From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2075 times:



Quoting Ihadapheo (Reply 5):
The difference in accent here in KBUF than the one across the Niagara river in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada is quite obvious. While here in there is an somewhat flat version of the typical mid-west accent however the accent in Fort Erie is easily identifiable as "Canadian".

Bit of an aside, but there's actually some research about the way we Buffalonians talk (although I can't remember the guy's name who did the research)... it basically comes down to the fact that the area was so overwhelmingly Polish a few generations back that the local dialect picked up some expressions and such from Polish.



Regards, Brad Williams
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12470 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2065 times:



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Here in Sydney there are heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian.

Funny, many Americans think Aussie and Kiwi accents are actually British accents. It helps if you say "crikie!" every so often....



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3303 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2058 times:
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Quoting SCCutler (Reply 10):
Aussies say she has an American accent, Americans think she has an Aussie accent.

My roommate was born in England and moved to New Hampshire when he was 13. Americans insist he's British and the Brits ask where in the USA he's from.


An interesting bit of information is that, linguistically, the Southern drawl we have here in the United States is the closest "North American" accent to that of the British folk. While it may sound completely different it's the most closely related.

Also, the way we speak in the Northeast of the USA is actually closest to Shakespearean English accents, though I don't really know how they can know that.

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineCasInterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4590 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2058 times:



Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

Umm there are 23 countries in North America, including Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, amongst others. Exactly how would you determine this North American Accent.

Also, Greenland(Denmark), Bermuda(UK), Guadaloupe(France), Netherland Antilles(Netherlands) and other possessions/terrirories are in North America.

How would you characterize that accent?



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2049 times:



Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):

 biggrin 

Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 11):
Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
heaps of Americans and Canadians, but everyone assumes that they are both Canadian. Why can't the technical term for either accent be called 'North American accent'?

I don't quite understand your question. Both the United States and Canada are considered 'North America'.

I think he's talking about a term for either that wouldn't offend the other instead of trying to guess whether it's an American accent or a Canadian accent and getting it wrong.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
Funny, many Americans think Aussie and Kiwi accents are actually British accents

If you want to find out, ask about underarm bowling in cricket. If they give a neutral response they're English, if they burst out laughing they're Australian and if they go mental they're Kiwi.

 duck 


User currently offlineA332 From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2034 times:

You can't go with a general 'north american' accent as it differs from region to region.

Even in Canada we all sound a bit different. Folks in Western Canada (BC, AB, SK, MB) speak and sound just like those living in the Pacific Northwest. Residents of Ontario have a slightly different accent, Quebec obviously is very different, and most of us in the West have no idea what those from the Maritimes are going on about... since their accent is radically different from ours.

Of course, since Alberta and Saskatchewan (to a lesser extent) are loaded with Maritimer ex-pats, you do run into their accent quite a bit here.

The US is the same, those in California sound different than those in the Pacific Northwest. Folks in the Northeast speak differently than the Southerners, etc.



Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
User currently offlineJetsGo From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3083 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

What on Earth are ketchup chips?


Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1975 times:



Quoting A332 (Reply 17):
most of us in the West have no idea what those from the Maritimes are going on about... since their accent is radically different from ours.

I met a few native Newfoundlanders in St. Johns who sounded more Irish than Canadian!

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
Funny, many Americans think Aussie and Kiwi accents are actually British accents.

On the flip side of that, a lot of Americans have asked me over the years what part of Australia I'm from...I'm a born and bred South Londoner!! Big grin



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineAjd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1959 times:



Quoting BAViscount (Reply 19):
I met a few native Newfoundlanders in St. Johns who sounded more Irish than Canadian!

A lot of Newfoundlanders are of strong Irish descent... Probably ones going for America and they missed  Wink


User currently offlineN867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1006 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1935 times:



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

Even Lays makes them for the Canadian market!
http://www.taquitos.net/snacks.php?snack_code=369

They're ketchup flavored potato chips.



A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
User currently offlinePeterPuck From Canada, joined Jun 2004, 323 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1891 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American

I've met many more Canucks in Oz than Americans for some reason.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

Are you serious?


User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1887 times:



Quoting Ihadapheo (Reply 9):
Now if she was a Nick Cave fan I would have to hit the Vodka and Tang big time....

Well, they did call me the wild rose, though my name was Eliza Day. But that is because I'm a Kylie fan - sorry IHAP.  Wink

Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 22):
I've met many more Canucks in Oz than Americans for some reason.

I would guess that it has something to do with both countries being Commonwealth countries.

Quoting PeterPuck (Reply 22):
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 18):
What on Earth are ketchup chips?

Are you serious?

PeterPuck is right. They are the closest thing to Bliss available in a food item!



But that was when I ruled the world
User currently offlineKent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 964 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1837 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Why would you assume someone with a North American accent is Canadian? We have over 10x their population. Makes more sense to assume they're American.

Because it annoys Americans when you ask "and where in Canada are you from, eh?"  Silly


25 DocLightning : To clarify, I consider an American accent (and there are many American accents) to be a subset of the North American accents. Just as I consider a co
26 Braybuddy : While it doesn't seem to bother Americans if they are assumed to be Canadian, assuming the reverse is a BIG no-no. And who wants to offend visitors?
27 BAViscount : Hilarious because of the way we speak, or because of our dry, sparkling wit?!
28 Photopilot : Oh... Please!!!! The Yanks BUTCHER the English language and many of them sound like they're talking with a mouth full of marbles.
29 Unattendedbag : At least we only have 1 official language. And it isn't French!
30 SKYSERVICE_330 : Well said. You can't really speak of a Canadian or American accent, never mind a North American accent. North America is made up of many, different,
31 Ihadapheo : Woo Hoo, one of the Canadian nurse was kind enough to bring me a bag of Humpty Dumpty Ketchup Chips. Ah the joys of having your fingers turn "ketchup
32 EWRCabincrew : Not as a nation, officially. State, maybe (like Arizona). English is the predominate language (for now ) for the US. As for American/North American a
33 Photopilot : Oh GOD!!!! I want to CRY!!!! You might have married a Canadian.... hence the flag, but you still don't know diddly about Geography!!! Just an FYI for
34 DocLightning : (RANT) Well if we're not Americans, then what would you like us to be? United States of Americans? The best alternative I've ever heard is "Stateside
35 Photopilot : I bet there are just a whole bunch of people worldwide who can think of something else to call you guys.......
36 Zentraedi : That fact that you mention Yukon, while ignoring the latter half of the sentence makes you look ignorant. Do you even know where Patagonia is? From t
37 EWRCabincrew : Just an FYI for you, the Yukon is in America. North America. Patagonia is in America. South America. America can refer to the Americas. North, Centra
38 WunalaYann : Because the proportion of Canadian backpackers in Oz seems much higher than that of American travellers. I have no hard data on that but my own exper
39 DocLightning : Ouch. That had to hurt. Yes. There are no differences. (Simmer down, Ozzie/Kiwis, I'm just trying to egg him on because this ought to be amusing!)
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