The Differences Between Canadian English and British English

The Differences Between Canadian English and British English

It is likely that you already know that Canadians speak English, even if they do speak their own version of it. Of course their English isn’t so different that you can’t have a conversation with them, it is often in just the odd pronunciation of words or the spelling of words that is different.

So if you are looking at both Canadian English and British English, what are the differences you should be looking out for?


You Matters

You might assume that when it comes to wording, Canadians follow the same line of removing ‘u’ from words such as ‘honour’ and ‘colour. However actually Canadian English is much nearer to British English with this and they have not adapted words such as ‘color’ like America.

A To Z

Another way that Canadian English has kept on track with British English is the way they have kept their pronunciation of the last letter in the alphabet. America tends to use ‘zee’ where as Britain uses ‘zed’  – Canada tends to use the same one as England.

Z or S

There are many words in which Canadian English does differ in spelling to British English, even if the pronunciation is the same. For example British English tends to go for words like ‘Organise’ or ‘Recognise’ where as Canadian English has gone down the America route of spelling words with a z – such as ‘Organize’ and ‘Recognize’


Winter Sports

In winter it could be that you would have fun on a sleigh if you live in Britain, however if you are a Canadian resident then the chances are it’ll be a sled that you ride on. Of course when you consider that the word sled has roots that link back to French it really isn’t surprising that Canada uses this word rather than sleigh.


Social Occasions

If you have ever been out in Canada for a few drinks then you might be familiar with terms such as ‘Two-Found, Micky or Twenty-Sixer. Unfortunately if you use these drink names elsewhere in the world then you’ll probably not get very much response at all.

Over all the two languages really aren’t all that different, especially when it comes to speaking and making a conversation. Whether you speak Canadian English or British English the chances are you’ll be able to make conversation with someone who speaks any variation of the language.

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