I say tomato....

Although I've lived here for more than two years now I never cease to be amused at the way Canadians pronounce words. They laugh right back at my pronunciation. Take lambasting for instance, a flat vowel sound for me. For Canadians it's not so much a pronunciation as a recipe. Don't even get me started on herbs. You might notice they miss a very key letter off this one. Below is a little recording of me and a real live Canadian laughing at each other's pronunciation of some key words. I take requests so if you have any other favourites then please let me know.  You'll notice I'm very restrained in actually coming out and saying my pronunciation is correct although funnily enough one of the words is "patronising."
Give it a few seconds - it does work.

This isn't the first time I've gone on about how to say words. Oh no.
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  1. hehe, this gave me a chuckle! My Canadian boyfriend reminded me of a couple others : vitamins (canuck speak: vite-a-mins) and more obscurely, amino acid (canuck speak: amine-o acid)..

  2. Yes vitamins is a classic but struggling to think how the Canadians say amino acid as I haven't bought any down the shops lately. I'm sure we pronounce it correctly however - whatever it is they say. Ha ha. Just kidding lovely Canadians.

  3. Ooh, I like Brochure. Sounds tres elegante, no? But Lamb Basting!! haha, sorry!
    Not noticing many differences between Canadian and American in these though.

  4. Jools
    I know lambasting makes me want to reach for my Jamie Oliver. Husband on sofa says with some authority Americans say rowt and Canadians say root. As in paper route, which ofcourse in England is paper round. Confused? I know I am.

  5. Yogurt, please. It's my absolute favourite.

  6. Yes the Canadian pronunciation is more of an encouragement to a woman called Gertrude. Yo! Gert!

  7. Brilliant. I want to put this on my ipod to listen to on a bad day. Leisure, for me please.

  8. Thanks Mary

    OK the new list so far from various sources includes
    amino acid
    Obviously buoy is the MOST ridiculous. Boo-eeeeee

  9. Bangkok

    Wonderful dialog, or is it dialogue?

    In my childhood neighborhood, or is it neighbourhood, in The Bronx, NY, we prefer the Canadian pronunciation. It's The Brits who sound funny. And don't get me started on the Canadian "out."...."Eh?"

    I have a cousin in London who refers to the vegetable as "beetroot." Is that redundant or what?

    Keep these comimg.


    PS You have motivated me to add audio to my website:


  10. I'm Canadian. Now put the shoe on the other foot. If I was in England (actually, I'm in Korea), I could do the same thing and have a giggle at your pronunciation. :)

    A good friend of mine is a Brit (in Taiwan) and we explode into fits of laughter when we are together. One day I did get her to admit that there really isn't an "ape" in apricot. :)

    Funny post.

  11. Jan and Nancie

    I'll give you apricot but you have to give me herbs! Why is this stuff funny? Just been for a run and girlfriend is on about rat-TAN furniture. I instantly correct her under my breath. Rattin of course.

    Good point about the Canadian "out and about." Man, I need to get that on tape. Having audio makes this stuff easier. Going to do another one soon with requested words.
    PS I could never say vaise instead of varz (vase) as my husband does.

  12. Snarky Brit to Canadians: "There's an "H" in herbs."
    Canadians to snarky Brit: "There's an "E", an "I" and a "C" in Leicester. Oh, and there's a "T", an "R", a "U", a "C" and a "K" in lorry."
    Love, Mary in Montreal xxx

  13. Yes this is all very well but snarky isn't really a word.
    Love the Queen of England.

  14. Having lived in Enland for a few years and having my 'English' constantly corrected [which was corrected every time I moved to a new county!!) I found this hilarious. My favourite word that that the English always corrected me on was 'water' - in North England it sounded like weigh-ter and in Essex like war-er. Sorry never did get the pronounciation right...

  15. The first time I ever sang in a choir here (don't ask) the word water featured prominently in a song. I noticed that I was the only one in the whole choir pronouncing the "t". It made me feel a little self-conscious so I started singing waar-der too!

  16. Does that Canadian voice belong to Amanda Cockburn? Sure sounds like her, if it isn't

  17. Which just goes to prove that all Canadians sounds the same. Only joking Carrie. No it belongs to someone you know well and who I go running with!

  18. Just in case you haven't noticed, we spell it "Aluminum" in North-America, there is no extra "i", so it is in fact a completely different word, not just a different spelling.

    The best thing to do pronunciations with is place names and last names, because in Canada we pronounce every letter, unless it looks like it might be French! Dalziel and Menzies are the worst!

  19. Hello C
    Yes but I bet you don't say the t in Saturday. All I hear is Sarraday. You're right about pronouncing all the letters in place names. Worcestershire sauce is a classic. I just love hearing people struggling over it. Mind you I'm not very good at Abitibi Temiscamingue.


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