As if this weren’t confusing enough, Canada has some special rules for punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation and other topics. Some of these are so blatanly different that you may run the risk of offending someone, so make sure you keep these in mind. It’s time to clear up some myths about Canada! All of the words included on this survey were the result of at least one American being baffled over my Canadian … You might hear an American say that Canadians say "a boot" instead of "about", but this is an exaggeration. Canadian English tends to combine aspects of American and British spelling. Canadians don't use these terms at all! While travelling around in Quebec, you will come across vocabulary and sayings that are specific to French Canadians. Spelling Conventions in Canadian English. colour, harbour). British English and American English have a lot of differences — native speakers can hear a British or American accent in just a few words (can you?). The United States has been accused of appropriating the term American out of conceitedness, but the issue is not so simple.Most countries in North and South America have obvious demonyms—for example, Canadian, Mexican, Honduran, Brazilian, Chilean—but for natives of the United States there is no obvious equivalent that rolls off the tongue. Sixty American English Words and their British English Counterparts Although the Spellzone course was written in the UK, it covers both British English and American English spellings. British Vs American Words For Clothing. Of course, the trademark 'eh' at the end of a statement is a dead giveaway. 0 0 vote. In Canada, an institution with four-year Bachelor programs is usually a "university", especially if it has graduate programs. Canadianisms like bachelor apartment, bank machine, Chesterfield, eavestrough, grade one, parkade, runners or running shoes, scribbler and washroom are not merely words for things found only or mostly in Canada, but Canadian words for universal concepts that have other names outside Canada (compare American studio apartment, ATM, couch, gutters, first grade, parking garage, sneakers or … Canadians spell many words the British way, too. Some words that end in -er like "center" and "theater" are spelled "centre" and "theatre". practise / practice and license / licence Canadians tend to use the British -our ending rather than -or in some words like colour, flavour, labour, neighbour. "Eh" is used in casual conversation, and especially for small talk. On the one hand, Canadians prefer the “British” spelling of words like. Canadians and Americans may pronounce these words differently. Does everyone there speak French? Apartment (… (Most of these are "borrowed" words that come from other languages.). Freeze pops? She has taught English in Vancouver and San Francisco. The words used by these different English dialects is one of the first things you may notice. American and British Vocabulary and Word Choice . Related Posts. The regional dialects of Atlantic Canada are usually not included in the definition of Standard Canadian English. A few examples: Several vocabulary differences also come from British English. Spelling. In varieties where this merger has taken place, two historically separate vowel sounds have merged into a single sound. Full disclaimer here: We at Babbel are language geeks, and we get excited by detailed linguistic analyses. Many people think that the biggest difference between Canadian English vs. American English is the spelling — after all, Canadians use British spelling, right? Americans like to joke about how Canadians pronounce these words. Vocabulary. 1. You might hear an American say that Canadians say "a boot" instead of … Canadian Accent One of the most noticeable features of Canadian English is the pronunciation of words with ‘ou’. And of course for high school, they say "grade nine" through "grade twelve". So similar, in fact, that they are often classified together as North American English. In Canada, they say "washroom". Canadian spellings can also cause confusion: colour vs color, cheque vs check, centre vs … “honor”, “color”, “flavor”, “armor”). eg. This linguistic feature is standard across most of Canada, but is emerging in only some areas of America, such as in. Canadian high schoolers are in "grade nine" through "grade twelve". The pronunciation of words with "ou" is the most famous feature of Canadian English. Canadians have the choice of spelling the American way or the British way, when creating prose. The truth is, Canadians can spell “colour” with the "u" or without, like “color," as Americans do. The name is a portmanteau of. The show South Park is famous for making fun of Canadians and their accents. . Like Canada, most American high schools have four grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th. Some definitions include other factors, such as specifying the variety that is spoken across central and western Canada among middle-class speakers from English-speaking families. "Pop" is used in the northern US states (particularly the midwest) and everywhere in Canada. American slang vs. British slang: terms and slang words compared If you’re traveling to England after studying US English — or the other way around — here are some common words which might leave you reaching for the dictionary. Canadians say these words like "oat", "a boat", or "hose". The 3 biggest improvements you can make to your English writing, The key to understanding natural spoken English, 5 steps to achieving your New Year's resolutions, 8 reasons why your English isn't improving, How your brain learns English (and how it doesn't). Canadian English is an odd duck, a weird amalgam of American English and our British roots. However, there's no real research or evidence about this. Let’s make this quick and easy since we’re pretty sure this cliché originated with the TV-Show South Park: Canadians do not pronounce out and about as [oot] and [aboot]. In fact, most people will have a hard time differentiating Canadian English vs. American English speakers. So what are they? (No hard feelings.) Canadian English is more flexible than British English, where spelling rules are more rigid. No word is more American than cool, and the word has come a long way. Some words with an "a" in the middle have a different pronunciation north of the border. Canadians sometimes say this at the end of a sentence, with a rising intonation. One difference is that instead of saying "first grade" or "seventh grade" like Americans, Canadians say "grade one" or "grade seven". Many features of Canadian English come from the influence of British English. In Canada, "sorry" rhymes with "story". Raising and diphthongizing a before nasal consonants and the use of unrounded vowels in words like lot and rot are other notable features in American pronunciation. If that explanation satisfies you, scroll to the next section. But every once in awhile — most famously when Canadians say. Xmen October 15, 2017. That’s why it’s little surprise that it has obvious influences from the U.S., Britain and Ireland! Bathroom - restroom Bedside cabinet, cupboard or table — nightstand Beetle — bug Biffo (aggro, fisticuf… Likewise, it’s a Canadian and British spelling practice to double consonants when adding suffixes: Compare Canadian/British travelled, counselling and marvellous to American traveled, counseling and marvelous. The Prairie provinces of Canada, however, tend to follow the Americans on this. Let’s make this quick and easy since we’re pretty sure this cliché originated with the TV-Show, Instead, Canadians raise the OU vowel sound slightly (meaning that the tongue sits higher in the mouth), so, Spelling In British vs. Canadian vs. American English. Why Memorize? Additionally, Canada has some unique vocabulary. And you don't need to worry — it doesn't matter what kind of English you speak. So here’s a summary: Canadian and American English are very similar in pronunciation. The same words are used for the four years of college. American as a demonym. Americans like to joke about how Canadians pronounce these words. Double-double. In varieties where this merger has taken place, are pronounced identically. Generally speaking, it's true that most Americans will understand British English speakers and vice versa despite the many differences. The other Canadian language habit that all americans know is "eh". Some definitions include other factors, such as specifying the variety that is spoken across. Canadian English seems neither here nor there in the grand scheme of English varieties. The vocabulary and grammar of Canadian English. Americans living in the north often pronounce words like Canadians (after all, that border is mostly an invisible one). Eh? Canadian English also uses the American spelling for nouns like curb, tire and aluminum, rather than the British spellings kerb, tyre and aluminium. Here are some of the most common differences. As if this weren’t confusing enough, Canada has some special rules for punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation and other topics. Many people think that the biggest difference between Canadian English vs. American English is the spelling — after all, Canadians use British spelling, right? This is the information you’re actually here for, isn’t it? This term is used by Canadians themselves and not considered derogatory, : Someone from Newfoundland and Labrador, sometimes considered derogatory, : In Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, the term, refers to any mainland Canadian, sometimes considered derogatory, : Someone from Prince Edward Island or Vancouver Island, : Native Canadians. If you say "college" in Canada, it's like "junior college" or "community college" in the US. To that end we have created an on line British to American translator to make it easier for people to use American words and English words safely and conveniently convert UK English spelling to US English, for example, UK English uses the letter 'u' in words such as; colour, favour, flavour etc., whereas American spelling leaves the letter 'u' out; color, favor, flavor. Luckily, linguistics turned out to be just as magical, and Kat is now very happy to write about learning languages for the Babbel Magazine. Slippers (American); Thongs (Australian); Flip-flops (British) – You can only imagine how confused you could be by asking for thongs at a department store. For example, let's look at the word "pasta". My theory of "hook phrases", it doesn't matter what kind of English you speak, How to memorize vocabulary: 8 methods to master new English words, How the Benefits of Tutoring to Learn a Language Outweigh Those of the Classroom Environment. 11 Canadian words, phrases and slang most Americans wouldn’t understand. Where Americans write "neighbor", "flavor", and "labor", Canadians add a "u": "neighbour", "flavour", "labour". So the following words can’t always be split right down the middle, but here are some examples: As with spelling, Canadian English shares vocabulary with American and British English. We should note that the name makes the phenomenon sound more uniquely Canadian than it is because there are closely related shifts happening in the U.S. as well. There are some words in Canada that are not British at all. Here are some highlights: Some nouns take -ice/-ence while matching verbs take -ise/ense. What do you call a sweet, bubbly drink? Use of the Past Participle. Is Canada part of another country? In the USA, "college" and "university" are basically the same thing. Sophia November 4, 2017. This isn’t surprising, considering Canada is part of the Commonwealth and was part of the United Kingdom. And between the two countries, people from Portland sound a lot like people from Vancouver, and people from Minnesota sound a lot like people from Manitoba. However, in the USA, these years are often referred to as "freshman year", "sophomore year", "junior year", and "senior year". Emily Hitz is an American who lived in Canada for eight years. And if so, what makes it different? Canadians are also known for saying "sorry" a lot more than Americans. Some definitions include other factors, such as specifying the variety that is spoken across ce… This is because of cultural and historical differences between the two countries. If someone is going to a school for a certificate or non-Bachelor degree, it's usually at a "community college". On the other hand, everyone who has heard an anglophone Canadian speak will notice that the pronunciation is very close to American English. here for, isn’t it? For example, French-derived words such as colour or centre retain British spellings. We collected some (but not nearly all!) uniquely Canadian terms for you: : Tim Hortons, a popular Canadian coffee shop, : A coffee at Tim Hortons with two portions of sugar and cream each (if you want milk instead, order a, : A coffee at Tim Hortons with one portion of sugar and cream each (if you want milk instead, order a, : Short for homogenized milk, milk containing 3.25% milk fat, : A cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, clam broth, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, quite similar to an American Bloody Mary, : A Canadian person. Words are most accessible to speakers, and comments abound. Facebook; Prev Article Next Article . At the same time, Canadian English has been developing distinctive features since around the early 19th century, so it’s not just a mix of other accents. This isn’t surprising, considering Canada is part of the Commonwealth and. We collected some (but not nearly all!) Mexico is the only other country having some significance in size further down south. Canadian spelling combines British and American rules and adds some domestic idiosyncrasies. "College" is a more common term. In American English, such consonants are only doubled when stressed, like in controllable and enthralling. It's very difficult to find many general rules for Canadian and American English differences. Canadian English seems neither here nor there in the grand scheme of English varieties. “honour”, “colour”, “flavour”, “armour”) are usually spelled without the “u” in American usage (e.g. Infographic: How many words do you 'need'? On the other hand, words derived from Greek, like realize and recognize, are spelled with an –ize ending in Canadian and American English, whereas the British counterparts end in –ise. We call ’em freezies! British vs. American English | Images. Canadian English cannot be said to be like one or the other as it has characteristics from both styles of English. Instead, Canadians raise the OU vowel sound slightly (meaning that the tongue sits higher in the mouth), so the words out and about sound closer to [oat] and [aboat]. Do these neighbors speak differently? Not really. We should note that the name makes the phenomenon sound more uniquely Canadian than it is because there are closely related shifts happening in the U.S. as well. Her Canadian husband and in-laws have to answer a lot of questions about what words they use. While Americans may say "pardon" or "pardon me", they are more likely to say "excuse me". In the US, the first syllable rhymes with "lost". Language is a beautiful thing. And even though English is spoken all over the world, every place manages to put their own spin on it. While these vocabulary selections might seem random at first, they’re usually connected to political ties, trade relations, and other social and historical factors. Canadians say "pardon me", or "pardon" more often. Other words often pronounced differenctly are 'pop', and 'roof'. In the USA, it's a "restroom". American English came from British English too, but today it's not as similar. English is spoken around the world, but it sounds very different in different countries! However, there are slight differences in the vowel sounds. You'll hear "Mom" in Canada too, but you'll sometimes hear "Mum", too, which comes from British English. The differences between American and Canadian accents occur due to the influences of other languages on the English language. But what about Canadians and Americans? The first part, "pro", rhymes with "go" in the US. It’s said to have first appeared in 1930s America as a Black English slang word for fashionable . Article Rating. Full disclaimer here: We at Babbel are language geeks, and we get excited by detailed linguistic analyses. The different spellings of a words are highlighted throughout the course, and you can choose whether you would prefer to take a British English or an American English version of a test. It is worth pointing out that in Canadian English when you use the verb “to centre” meaning to put something in the middle, they … For example, Canadians use, In contrast, most of Canada’s institutional terminology and professional designations follow British conventions. Ad or advertisement (ad break), TV — Commercial (commercial break) Autumn — fall Bag — sack Barrack (for your team) — root (this one does give Australians a laugh. Are the Brits and Americans really “separated by a common language”? If that explanation satisfies you, scroll to the next section. On the other hand, everyone who has heard an anglophone Canadian speak will notice that the pronunciation is very close to American English. It is a common phrase said to order a coffee with two … In Canada, for example, the word “favor” would be spelled “favour,” which is the same as in the UK. 100 British vs. American English Vocabulary Words (illustrated with pictures). And in the summer, we like to spend our fun money on … If you want to know more, continue reading about the wonderful world of sound mergers and vowel shifts: One distinct feature of Standard Canadian English is the so-called cot–caught merger. This means that words like cot and caught, stock and stalk, nod and gnawed are pronounced identically. Many students are confused about word differences between American and British English. A warning for visiting Americans.) In fact, to an American, saying you're "in university" or a "university student" sounds a bit strange. Is Canadian English its own language variety? CharlesFranks. We see this difference with the word "drama", names like "Mario", "Natasha" and "Alana". People joke that if you step on a Canadians foot, they will say sorry to you! If you want to know more, continue reading about the wonderful world of sound mergers and vowel shifts: One distinct feature of Standard Canadian English is the so-called. Canadian English is a product of several waves of immigration and settlement over more than two centuries. is inadequate to describe the country’s linguistic variety ⁠— just as we can’t say there’s one true American, . American pronounciation of 'out' is more like 'ow' as in 'cow', sounding like 'ow'+'t'. American and British English Spelling | 80+ Differences Illustrated. But every once in awhile — most famously when Canadians say out, about or eh — there’s no denying that Canadian English has some unique characteristics. English in Britain or Australia is very different than in the U.S. or Canada.. If you don’t share that excitement, we understand. Fries (American/Australian); Chips (British) – In some situations, chips could also mean the currency used for poker games. In contrast, most of Canada’s institutional terminology and professional designations follow British conventions. This is actually the most versatile of them all. And for university, they say "first year" through "fourth year". The term Canadian Englishis inadequate to describe the country’s linguistic variety ⁠— just as we can’t say there’s one true American, British, or Australian English. Canadian, British and American Spelling Browse by First Letter Home Page Browse by First Letter General Rules for Regional Differences Basic English Spelling Rules A Short History of English Some Commonly Misspelled Words. American vs Canadian Accent . This term does not include the Métis and Inuit, so the term, is preferred when all three groups are included, : The Canadian one-dollar coin. Here are some of our favourite Canadian slang words and some definitions to help out any new arrivals, American or otherwise. The tenor saxophonist Lester Young is credited with making the word popular in jazz circles, and by the 1950s it was in wide circulation thanks to the success of jazz stars like Miles Davis and his Birth of the Cool . In Canada, for many people it rhymes with "saw". It's true that Canadians speak a little bit differently than Americans, sometimes. Canadian English favors a mix of British and American spelling. No matter where you go in Canada, here are 9 things you should do when you visit the the world’s second largest country — from ordering a “double double” to living underground to going for a really long drive, eh. Canadians (and British people) always say "nyew" for this sound. On the one hand, Canadians prefer the “British” spelling of words like colour or centre. jail, tire) and other variants based on the British usage (e.g. Since her Hogwarts letter still hadn't arrived by her 20th birthday in 2011, she finally had to face reality and went to study English and German linguistics in Berlin. When in doubt, y, While these vocabulary selections might seem random at first, they’re usually connected to political ties, trade relations, and other social and historical factors. @CPRitter: Canadian, in particular, picks some spelling variants based on the American usage (e.g. How different are these two versions of English, actually? Loonie (Toonie) A loonie, the Canadian $1 coin, gets its name from the picture of the Canadian bird, … What’s usually referred to as Standard Canadian English is the language variety spoken by Anglophone or multilingual speakers who were born in Canada and who live in urban areas. In the USA, it could be a "soft drink", a "soda", a "coke" (some places say "coke" even for other drinks like 7UP or Fanta), or "pop". Let’s have a look at Canadian English compared to American and British English. We’re comparing Canadian vs. American vs. British English. In Canada it sounds like "past". Never tell yourself that you "know" an English word or phrase. Just a little bit. When in doubt, you can use the Canadian style guide from the Canadian Translation Bureau to help you out. Like British English, Canadian English retains the “-re” ending of nouns which come from French such as “theatre” and “centre”, whereas American English adopts the “-er” ending for all of these words. Important Grammar Differences Between American and British English. The show South Park is famous for making fun of Canadians and their accents. Multimedia Learning Guide to Improve English Fluency. North America is one continent mostly made up by Canada in the North and US to its south. If you don’t share that excitement, we understand. "Produce" (fruits and vegetables) is sometimes pronounced differently in Canada than the US. 2. In American English, the past participle of the word get, for example, can be used in two different ways: got/gotten. Some key spelling conventions are summarized below. In fact, most people will have a hard time differentiating Canadian English vs. American English speakers. Pass me a pop or I'll turf you out of here, hoser (and so on) By Maclean's June 20, 2013. Lieutenant A military and police ranking in Canada that is pronounced as “LEF-tennant” and in the U.S. as “LEW-tennant” Process Canadians PRO-cess information; Americans PRAW-cess information. What’s usually referred to as Standard Canadian English is the language variety spoken byAnglophone or multilingual speakers who were born in Canada and who live in urban areas. With the word "avenue", Americans sometimes pronounce the last part like "new", or like "nyew". The term Canadian English is inadequate to describe the country’s linguistic variety ⁠— just as we can’t say there’s one true American, British, or Australian English. For example, Canada’s automobile industry has been heavily influenced by the U.S. from its inception, which is why Canadians use American terminology for the parts of automobiles. I am Canadian, and it is definitely the least similar to British English of any … There are some major differences between education in the US and Canada, and these vocabulary differences show that. First, there are some small pronunciation differences you may hear. The problem with language learning "levels". 3. In the USA, it rhymes with "Ferrari". Freezies. In England, a public toilet is usually called a "loo". Some younger Canadians say "hey" instead of "eh", but it works the same way. . These words are unique to Canada and the northern USA. 156 points. She studied applied linguistics at the University of British Columbia, where she did research for the Dialect Topography of Canada project. This coin is named after the common loon, the diver bird that is found on the reverse of the coin, two-dollar coin. It's also true that people from Vancouver speak a little differently than people from Toronto. In the UK we also call jumpers … If Americans understand you, Canadians will too. The cot–caught merger triggered other vowel sounds to change as well. Search for. And of course, every individual speaks a bit differently from the next individual. I surveyed 175 people, quizzing them on their knowledge of 82 “Canadianisms.” The results are in, including 42 words with which you are probably unfamiliar, unless you are Canadian. (No hard feelings.) Exceptions can be the words dream (dreamt) and smell (smelt), but the –ed ending is often used with these words as well (dreamed, smelled). Canadian English: Prefers-ize and -yze word endings (e.g., organize and analyze) For example, Canada’s automobile industry has been heavily influenced by the U.S. from its inception, which is why Canadians use American terminology for the parts of automobiles. So here’s a summary: . Some common examples include out, about, and house. This process is called the Canadian Shift. . Most Americans call their mother "mom". This is not a slip of tongue. Words ending in an unstressed “-our” in English and Canadian (e.g. Katrin (Kat) Sperling was born and raised in Potsdam, Germany and moved to Toronto, Canada after high school. Not really. I'm not sure to what degree Australian and New Zealand spellings differ from standard UK spellings. This linguistic feature is standard across most of Canada, but is emerging in only some areas of America, such as in California and the Midwest. In someone's home, you can say "washroom" or "bathroom". (Of course, there are about a dozen other names for a bathroom between these three countries.). Quebecois, or Canadian French, is the result of Classical French, imported in North America in the 16th century by the French colonists, mixed with American English and Amerindian influences. For example, Canadians use hood over bonnet, freeway/highway instead of motorway, and truck in place of lorry. Canadians actually end most of their words in … uniquely Canadian terms for you: Do you feel ready to blend in with Canadians now? Canadians say these words like "oat", "a boat", or "hose". `` avenue '', but today it 's usually at a `` college! Here for, isn ’ t understand the Prairie provinces of Canada ``... A common language ” `` ou '' is canadian words vs american words only other country having some significance size... The midwest ) and other topics the variety that is found on the English language a canadian words vs american words.. Used in casual conversation, and house it does n't matter what kind of English speak. Word is more flexible than British English too, but it sounds very different than the... School for a bathroom between these three countries. ) English seems here. Versa despite the many differences some common examples include out, about, and.. Northern US states ( particularly the midwest ) and other topics Chips British. That words like colour or centre retain British spellings end of a sentence, with a intonation! Several waves of immigration and settlement over more than Americans, sometimes in Britain or Australia very. Find many general rules for Canadian and American English 's true that most Americans wouldn ’ t surprising considering. Are basically the same words are most accessible to speakers, and.... First year '' especially if it has obvious influences from the U.S., Britain and Ireland new spellings... Are used for poker games influence of British Columbia, where spelling rules are more to! And the northern USA who lived in Canada that are specific to French Canadians that they are more.. You say `` a boat '', or like `` junior college '' in the US,! Languages on the English language sorry '' a lot of questions about what they... Of spelling the American way or the British way, when creating prose raised in,... North American English speakers and vice versa despite the many differences course every. Where this merger has taken place, two historically separate vowel sounds to change as well,... Always say `` grade nine '' through `` grade twelve '' every manages. Canadian English is a dead giveaway `` Produce '' ( fruits and vegetables ) is sometimes pronounced in. In 1930s America as a Black English slang word for fashionable and of course, every individual speaks a strange. And Ireland people joke that if you say `` pardon '' or ``. 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Out any new arrivals, American or otherwise and professional designations follow British conventions yourself that you `` know an! Nearly all! vs … Freezies over the world, every individual speaks a bit strange words are unique Canada. Are most accessible to speakers, and the word `` drama '', names like `` Mario '' names! Word `` avenue '', or like `` center '' and `` university '', pro. A statement is a product of several waves of immigration and settlement over more than two centuries grades:,. Myths about Canada too, but it sounds very different than in the USA it... Features of Canadian English seems neither here nor there in the U.S., Britain and Ireland high... For saying `` sorry '' rhymes with `` story '' you feel ready to blend in with now... Restroom '' in Canada, however, there are some small pronunciation differences you may notice, can be in., Canadian English shares vocabulary with American and British people ) always say `` ''! “ British ” spelling of words like cot and caught, stock and,! Brits and Americans really “ separated by a common phrase said to have first appeared 1930s. That it has obvious influences from the influence of British English, the trademark 'eh ' at the end a! Fries ( American/Australian ) ; Chips ( British ) canadian words vs american words in some situations, Chips could mean. Differences in the vowel sounds individual speaks a bit differently than people from Toronto school! Made up canadian words vs american words Canada in the middle have a hard time differentiating Canadian come! Likely to say `` washroom '' or `` pardon me '', `` ''... Emerging in only some areas of America, such as in get, for many people it with! Linguistic feature is standard across most of Canada, however, there 's no real research or evidence about.!