I used to pride myself on being able to tell where people were from by their accents. I could even spot the allusive " South African" accent usually mistaken for Australian. Hell, I could even narrow it down to what part of England people were from.
It was a fun game I liked to play because, well, this huge Country we call Canada had only three accents:
I found it fascinating that such a huge country produced only three.
Oh what a silly, ignorant Westerner was I!
My first month being out East my ears got auditoraly bitch slapped-put in their place. I believed there was a disproportionate amount of people that had speech impediments.
I heard more "D"s and "S"s than I ever had in my life even though no new words were added to our fine Canadian English vernacular
Some people had forgotten that we actually have 5 vowels; the forgotten one being "E".
The letter "H" can be referred to as the letter HAYTCH
There is the practise of just hinting at the letter "T".
A language that both French and English speaking people go bugged eyed at .
Confused yet? Yeah! so was I
Well, after almost a year my ears have stopped crying and they have managed to filter and recognise a few groups.
First off, I have an accent. I was shocked to know this. It has been pointed out to me several times as I haphazardly let slip the iconic "Eh?"
This ,Dear Reader, was as Canadian to me as
Molson, Bob and Doug McKenzie, and Tim Hortons.
Spoiler alert: Toronto is not the centre of the Universe and Western Canada does not dictate
So here's what I've learned :
Newfoundland: Just add some "D"'s and "S"'s. In fact, its a great way of avoiding the great social faux pas of not knowing if someone is referring to Saint John, New Brunswick or St. John's, Newfoundland:
Listen for that extra " S". Dat der be's St.John's Newfounlaaand b'ys!
and clearly the name Marge was invented in Newfoundland!
Along with their accent, Newfies have as many idioms as they do words. If you catch yourself scratching your head saying " what the hell does that even mean?!" you're probably talking to a Newf!
South Shore: You won't hear any "E"'s. In fact, most vowels take on an "A" like quality. There is also a definite lack of "R"'s. Perhaps the German/ New England connection? When you first here this dialect, it sounds like something you'd hear from Maine or Boston but there is a difference and most native Scotians will describe in a not so flattering way.
We won't go there.
Acadian Shore: Fringlish. Good luck.
Cape Breton: Like an angry Caper girl , this one will beat you every time! I still have problems distinguishing this dialect as they have more than three variances that I've been able to figure out. Basically, it sounds like Newf meets Irish, meets Mainland. You sail on about not a boat and I like my beer in a ba-uhl not a bottle
Oh, and did I mention, Gaelic? Yeah, they speak that.
This of course is a limited list. I've yet to experience PEI. But I know those padaydas from the bright red mud will call EatThisTown there this summer
One thing for sure...Be it Newfoundland or New Brunswick, Maritimers love to talk! So listen up and have an ear!
But be warned! Maritimers love their Weather and your going to hear about it whether you like it or not!
Tanks fare ree-in me blogs! Fuc C'est kewl!