How to Talk With a Canadian Accent

by Culture & Society Editor
You will improve your English speaking quickly if you practice speaking every day.

You will improve your English speaking quickly if you practice speaking every day.

Though half the country speaks English as its native language and are dwellers of the North American continent like Americans, a Canadian accent is instantly recognizable and often imitated. Most Canadians don't even think they have accents, but anyone who's been to a hockey game would disagree. Here are some tips to help you learn to talk with a Canadian accent.

Accentuate your vowels. Canadians draw out the vowel sounds in words and emphasize them more than Americans do. Remember to speak slower than you usually do and say your vowel sounds as though there were two or three of the given vowel in a word instead of just one. Rounding your "o" and flattening your "a" will help you sound just like a Canadian native.

Learn the slang. Another way to sound Canadian is to use the same slang that they do. Using words like "hoser" and "zed" will make you sound authentically Canadian, even if no one is quite sure what you're actually talking about. There are online slang dictionaries that will help you find some Canadian slang to work into your vocabulary.

End sentences with, "eh?" whenever possible. Canadians end a lot of their sentences with the confirming, "eh?" like Americans ask, "right?" or "you know?" at the end of sentences to make sure they are understood clearly or to verify that the other party agrees. This is one of the most recognizable Canadian expressions so be sure to use it whenever you can.

Be polite. If the Canadians are known for anything other than their great goaltending, it's their politeness. So when talking like a Canadian, remember to be courteous, cheerful and polite. Be helpful whenever you can and try to sound completely approachable. It may not be a direct component of the accent itself, but being polite will help you seem more Canadian overall.

Go to Canada. There is no better way to learn to talk with a Canadian accent than to take a trip up north and surround yourself with all things Canadian. Take a few days and visit the places that aren't really tourist areas or that are a little off the beaten path. Visit a few Mountie stations and go to a hockey game or two. Immersing yourself in Canadian culture and getting a better understanding of how Canadians from the different provinces speak and act will help you sound more Canadian and give you a better understanding of the culture itself.

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