AA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 622 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2242 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'?
Ajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2213 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! ). 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.
David L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2189 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.
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19786 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2183 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.
Ihadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2172 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.
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)
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Arrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2118 times:
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.
Now, don't get me going on the differences between Aussies and Kiwis ...
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SCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5531 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2116 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!
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BWilliams From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2094 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.
ANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3308 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 2077 times:
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.
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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.
A332 From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 1644 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2053 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.