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Languages: Canadian English Essay

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Updated: Mar 22nd, 2020

The language of any country depends on some historical events which happened in the process of its establishing as a state. The brighter the history is, the richer the language becomes, absorbing all unique phenomena and facts that happened to a country.

Canada is a state with a very bright history. Being inhabited with Indian tribes, this land then was affected by different European countries, which made a great influence on the development of the language culture of the country. It is clear how the English language was introduced.

Colonizers from Britain brought it with them to a new land and guaranteed its penetration in the language of the native population. In the years of the colonial relationship with Great Britain, the English language had strengthened its positions. However, Canadian English presents itself as a strange mixture of Anglicisms, Americanisms, and Canadianisms.

Loyalists immigrating from the USA to Canada had influenced culture greatly, introducing some new notions to the language. Canadianisms, at the same time, reflect the unique character of this language which had been developing almost isolated from its roots. Under these unusual conditions, Canadian English obtained its strange peculiarities.

The frequency of usage of the words, representing these three groups was always in the sphere of interest of linguists, which had been trying to determine the dominating group. A great number of different questionnaires were created, and different layers of society were asked, starting with grownups and ending with children. However, the results are still double.

Taking into account the fact of the geographical neighborhood of Canada and the USA, which is one of the biggest English speaking countries in the world, it should be clear that the USA has the greatest influence on Canadian English. That is why Canadian is closer to American than to British English.

This difference can be seen in the usage of such Americanisms as chips, drugstore, fries, freight car, elevator instead of their British variants which are crisps, chemist, goods wagon, lift. However, there are some vocabulary differences in American and Canadian English. The most striking of them is the use of zed rather the zee for the last letter of the alphabet. There is one more Anglicanism which is widely used. It is the usage of the word tap instead of the faucet.

There is also some difference in vocabulary within Canada, which can be explained by the influence which of one or another country had on this region in the past. The first of regional variations of the language is the usage of the words cottage and cabin. They both mean a small house in the countryside, though the first word is widely used in Nova Scotia and the second one in British Colombia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland.

Another important regional variable is the word which describes a book of paper for making notes. The majority of people in Canada, especially in Ontario uses the word notebook. However, there is another word scribbler, which is widely used on Prince Edward Island and in Nova Scotia. The words exercise book and copybook also occur.

In recent years an overwhelming Americanization of Canadian language takes place. More and more Canadianisms are being expelled by their American variants. However, the process of retraction and lowering of the short vowels known as the Canadian shift serves to differentiate Canadian and American English. Through this process, the English language in Canada will save its unique sounding.

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IvyPanda. "Languages: Canadian English." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/languages-canadian-english/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Languages: Canadian English." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/languages-canadian-english/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Languages: Canadian English'. 22 March.

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