Why are Canadian and US accents similar?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Taggart, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. Taggart

    Taggart Diamond Member

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    The version that many people in the US and in Canada use is very close. In fact, just from the accent you wouldn't be able to tell a difference between a Canadian and an American unless you pick out certain words. Obviously both nations were once holdings of England, and that is why the language is predominantly english. Why are the accents so similar? Is it because we are right next to each other and one influenced the other (or vice versa)?

    Also, are Canadian spellings like the US or the UK (i.e. colour or color, tonne or ton, etc)?
     
  2. Ynog

    Ynog Golden Member

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    Depends, Americans and Candians by the border probably sound alike. But I would argue that a Canadian and a Southern have considerably different accents.
    Then again, I would also say that a person from Boston doesn't have the same accent as a someone from Alabama. So I think its more regional than anything else.
     
  3. Taggart

    Taggart Diamond Member

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    Yeah that is true, I guess I meant the predominantly "neutral" accent of the two nations? When I heard Mulroney speak at Reagan's funeral it was very neutral and a lot of people in the US probably thought he was American if they didn't hear he was Canadian.

    Why do Canadians and Americans sound so much more alike than British, Australian, etc?
     
  4. new2AMD

    new2AMD Diamond Member

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    North America
     
  5. melly

    melly Diamond Member

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    We do not sound alike. I can tell an American accent from a mile away. People that live in Toronto do not have accents. People in Quebec obviously do, unless they are anglos, but IMHO the only other accent I know of is the East Coaster one.
     
  6. zer0burn

    zer0burn Golden Member

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    american and canadian accents are very different. Its easy to tell the difference between them...
     
  7. Ynog

    Ynog Golden Member

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    Neutral accents are interesting. I found in college, that people can unconsciously modify their accents.
    I was friends with a wide variety of different people from different areas. And for the most part, you couldn't
    tell the different between their accents for the most part. However I noted that most people's accents would come out
    as they get tired, or inebriated.

    I myself can speak with no accent whatsoever, and then without realizing it, I am speaking with a mild Southern/Boston accent.
     
  8. tweakmm

    tweakmm Lifer

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    What exactly is an American accent?
     
  9. Fingolfin269

    Fingolfin269 Lifer

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    Come to Tennessee if you really want to know.
     
  10. MalikChen

    MalikChen Senior member

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    I live in Texas. Don't you dare say that my accent is like a Canadian's.
     
  11. Vic

    Vic Elite Member

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    The "official" American accent (what people think of as "no accent") is in fact the Western American (or "California") accent. You may thank the movie industry.
    Other common accents in the US are New England, Southern, Texan, and Mid West. A humorous one most people don't know about is Dixie Utah, where people who live in Southern Utah sound somewhat like Southerners.
    I can tell a BC accent when I'm up north. It's subtle, but they sound more like the British, and the Scottish heritage that is common up there really shows.
     
  12. Armitage

    Armitage Banned

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    Eh?

    I've noticed that accents tend to come and go depending on situations. I started college with a strong PA. Dutch accent. Had virtually none of it left by the time I finished sophmore year probably. But when I go back to PA and am around people with that accent, I start talking with that accent again, unconciously.

    A friend of mine from Texas has very little accent ... until she starts talking about home or growing up in Tx, then she picks it up again. She wasn't even aware of it until I mentioned it.
     
  13. SoylentGreen

    SoylentGreen Diamond Member

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    We certainly wouldn't want to insult our Canadian neighbors with that statement.
     
  14. MalikChen

    MalikChen Senior member

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    Hell, yes we would! :)

    But I think it's the same on both sides of the fence. From my experience, all people don't like to have their accents or ethnicities wrongly identified. Like this Chinese... erm, Korean guy I know...
     
  15. IEC

    IEC Lifer

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    Malik... I live close to you you know... just kidding, even if it is true we live within 10 minutes of each other. And yeah, the only accent I have is a Texan one - more like mumbling. But if I'm being sarcastic, I sound British for some reason... something to do with enunciating?

    EDIT: Whoops, forgot the topic - No, Canadians and Americans sound completely different unless they live on the border - and sometimes even then. And no, I was not born in Texas - for the record.
     
  16. IEC

    IEC Lifer

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    My good friend Malik will surely appreciate this analogy... Listen to an Avril Lavigne album, then listen to Sheryl Crow and tell me they don't sound as different as a Canadian from an American.
     
  17. MalikChen

    MalikChen Senior member

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    When you pull my mp3 player from my cold, dead hands...
     
  18. brigden

    brigden Diamond Member

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    I totally disagree. Canadians, including those in Toronto, have distinct accents. I was born in England, and I've lived in Canada (three Provinces) for a good portion of my life, and from an outsiders point of view, I can certainly say that Canadians have their own regional accents.