There seems to be a lot of Canadian stereotypes out there. Even the most seasoned of travelers don’t seem to know a lot about Canada. Lately while travelling, people have been asking us a lot of questions about Canada.
The topic of health care comes up a lot when people ask us about Canada. Our unique way of speaking is always a conversation starter, and questions about our identity often arise. So we thought we’d break the misconceptions about our home and native land, The Great White North!
So, here are the top Canadian stereotypes debunked and authenticated.
1. Canadians Say Out and About like Oot and Aboot
This is not true
This is one of the Canadian Stereotypes that always hits a nerve with me. I don’t know why, but I pretty much always fly off the handle when people mention it. And they always do.
Canadians do not say oot and aboot. I would love to know where this stereotype came from. We do say “out” with a different accent than Americans. They pronounce it more like “owt” while we pronounce it more like “oat”. They open their mouths a little more and pronounce it with more of an ouch sound. We are more closed with our pronunciation and lean a little more towards the word oat.
While neither one is right or wrong, it is simply our accents. Like all countries of the world, different regions have different accents and some people are more pronounced
2. All Canadians speak French
This Canadian stereotype is not true
This is one of those Canadian Stereotypes that I wish were true. The province of Quebec is our French speaking province. Sure there are many Canadians that are bilingual, but most of us are not I am afraid.
We learn French in school, but frankly, my school French curriculum was terrible. I wanted to speak French desperately growing up. I worked hard in school and memorized my verbs every day.
The problem was we just kept learning the same French verbs right up until my final year of high school. I never became even close to fluent. And now I am an embarrassment to my last name – Corbeil (Very French and pronounced Corbay)
3. Canada is Always Cold
This Canadian Stereotype is not true
Believe it or not, Canada has a very hot summer. Canada has four seasons and it is only freezing during the winter months from November – March in most of the country.
We regularly go above 30º Celcius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and have reached 40 Celcius (104 Fahrenheit) with humidity. We have heat alerts and we crank our air conditioners just like the warmer tropical countries do. This year in British Columbia the temperatures reached 46 degrees Celcius! (114 F) Read: Where to Stay in Vancouver
Canada can be unbearably hot. It even gets warm up in the Arctic during the summer! Yet another one of the Canadian Stereotypes that are not true.
4. Canadians Skate to Work
This is sometimes true.
In Ottawa, the world’s largest skating rink opens during the winter months on the Rideau Canal. The same can be said for Winnipeg. It houses the world’s longest skating rink. Read: Winterlude Itinerary – The Ultimate Guide to Ottawa
Many people commute to work along these waterways during the winter months. It’s faster than driving and why not get the morning workout in while we’re at it too!
5. All Canadians Love Hockey
Okay, maybe this one is true.
At some point, most Canadians (who grew up in Canada) played hockey or learned how to skate. I don’t know why this is true. Canada hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993! And forget about Canada’s most famous hockey team the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won the cup since 1967!
But we do win the Olympics a lot and we do win world and world Junior a lot. And Canadians really do jump on the bandwagon during these events. All of a sudden the entire country is talking about hockey! We also love a game of pond hockey. One of the best places to skate in Canada is on Lake Louise in Alberta. Now that is a beautiful hockey rink.
6. All Canadians Can Skate
Um yeah, pretty much!
If you grew up in Canada, I can guarantee you’ve been on the ice more than a few times. Our cities have free public skating rinks where people can play a game of pick up hockey or just skate around in circles. Most parents put their kids into hockey or figure skating at some point in their childhood and even schools have skating days.
7. Tim Hortons Coffee is Over consumed
Yep, this stereotype is all true
Be it going on a road trip, or just a quick drive to the store, we stop at Tim Hortons for coffee. It’s very common place in the working world for someone to go on a Timmies Run. It’s cheap and addictive. I don’t know why, but as soon as we land at the airport in Toronto, we have to stop at Tim Hortons for a cup of coffee. Read: Best Canadian Food to Try in Canada
8. All Canadians Love Maple Syrup
I know we are the largest producer of Maple Syrup in the world, but most is for export. While it is fun to go snowshoeing in the winter through maple forests (where maple syrup is tapped) we don’t all eat maple syrup. I don’t even have maple syrup in my house! But it is tasty on pancakes. I’ll give Maple Syrup one thing, nothing else can go on top of a pancake. Ever!
9. Polar Bears Roam the Land
Canada does have the highest population of Polar Bears on earth, but we don’t live in harmony with the. Well, except for Churchill Manitoba where polar bears really do hang out downtown! And in Churchill, they do roam the land freely. In Fact, Churchill is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World.
Fun Fact: In Churchill, nobody locks their car or house doors just in case someone needs to get away from a polar bear that is roaming around in town! Polar bears are only found in the far north of Canada.
10. Canadians Say Sorry
Okay this is true
I don’t know what it is about our culture that makes us so apologetic, but Canadians are always apologizing. Always! Sorry is a very true Canada stereotype. Whenever we put the question out there on social media, people always tell us their funny “sorry stories”
I’ve apologized to a tree for walking into it. I’ve apologized to someone else when they bumped into me. We apologize for anything. Sorry might as well be Canada’s national word. Read: Canadian Slang, Unique Phrases and Canadian Sayings
11. Free health care is bad
False! False! False!
Sorry, but free health care is good. When we are not feeling well we go to the doctor. When we have an accident we go to the emergency room for free. If we need open-heart surgery, we get it. If we need radiation treatment for cancer, we get that too. No bills, no worries. Sure, if I go to the emergency room for a cut or a minor injury, the staff will treat the heart attack or car accident victim first. But they aren’t going to let anyone die. People are treated in the order of the severity of their injury, not the amount in their bank account.
12. Canadians are on the imperial system
Kind of true.
Canadians are officially on the metric system, but we still use a lot of the Imperial system.
- Canadians follow speed limits and measure length in metres, but we measure our height in feet.
- We check the temperature outside in Celcius, but we cook in Fahrenheit.
- We weigh and buy our food by the kilo but we weight ourselves in pounds.
We are weird, but we like it that way. It makes us unique.
13. Canadians Live in Igloos
This is so not true!
I have honestly had someone ask me this question. Even in places like Inuvik, the Yukon or Nunavut, people do not live in igloos. Igloos are temporary shelters and perhaps when out hunting the Inuit of northern Canada might make temporary shelter, they live in warm houses with electricity and everything the rest of the time.
And those are our Canadian Stereotypes debunked by these two crazy Canucks. What have you heard about Canada? Let us know in the comments and we’ll tell you if it’s true!
For more help understanding Canadians check out these posts
- The Great Canadian Word – Unique Words and Phrases of Canada
- Canadian Food Our Lack of Identity
- Strange and Funny Names of Places in Canada
- Canada’s Lack of Cultural Food Identity
- The World Can Learn a Thing or Two From Canada
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83 thoughts on “Funny Canadian Stereotypes Plus a Few That Are True”
Are all canadians polar bears?
It is great to see this type of list from people who live in another country, especially one who is our neighbor. Being from Boston I had to laugh at your out and about
comment. When I was young I used to think the rest of the country had the accent, then you start to travel, and when everyone in the country asks if your from Boston when you speak then you start to realize who has the accent. And it's great that you love your country and show your flag, I show mine for the same reason. And even though I am not from Canada I appreciate your beautiful country and can relate to hockey and skating:)
Isn’t that the truth! Everyone has an accent but not us right? 😉
I don't like hockey, sorry. I say out like owt. The oot and aboot thing is from people from the Maritimes. Ever watch Trailer Park Boys? Listen to how they say it.
Ha, Trailer Park boys is a spoof. You realize that right?
I love this list! I remember when we went to surprise my cousin at school in South Carolina and they asked my brother and I to come into his grade 2 class (pre-9/11 of course) to answer the students’ questions about Canada. They asked us things like “Is it true that if you steal, your queen will cut your fingers off?” And “Do you really have hail storms so heavy that they crush cars?” It was pretty funny at the time and always gives me a good chuckle when I think about it!
I love this list! I remember when we went to surprise my cousin at school in South Carolina and they asked my brother and I to come into his grade 2 class (pre-9/11 of course) to answer the students' questions about Canada. They asked us things like "Is it true that if you steal, your queen will cut your fingers off?" And "Do you really have hail storms so heavy that they crush cars?" It was pretty funny at the time and always gives me a good chuckle when I think about it!
as a moustache wearing, jean jacket toting 'Canadian', I hate this list. the only myth travelers abroad should expect in Canada: Canadians are White People.
As a traveler abroad I can honestly say these are true. I think everyone has asked me all of these questions other then the imperial system and free health care lol. I did sew a flag in my bag bc People chirp Americans even if they've never met one.
Canadians are Multicultural Ric, there are many races in Canada. I don’t know many moustache, jean jacket types, but hey, we have all types in our country.
What is that supposed to mean? What does skin color have anything to do with any of this?
Could you please explain?
I feel Canadians like everything about USA but in front of Canadians they always say bad about US. Canadians do our big Hippocrates. They always say that we like snow and cold, but actually they always like to leave the cold country and come down south.
hahaha. All of the above is so true eh? oh yeah eh! Thanks for putting a smile on my face:)
You are welcome Kristen. We’re always happy to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Funny article. This put a smile on our face. How will you be celebrating Canada Day this year? Will you be in your homeland? If not, this may have you booking a flight back home in no time:
Ok, I really like this post. I am also in the middle of a very funny book called “How To Be A Canadian (even if you already are one)”. It’s written by a Canadian who talks about, literally, EVERY Canadian stereotype. Not only that, but he describes them in an educative and embracing manner, as if they were true, which some of them are, like insults, aka How to Mingle with Canadians. ie, I live in British Columbia (which is in Canada, eh?) and the book has the 3 best ways to tick us off: call us Red-necks, Fundamentalists, or Nazis. I totally agree. Or anybody living outside of Toronto a Torontonian. I have actually come to embrace some stereotypes into jokes, eh? I have a white t-shirt with a big, red Canadian maple leaf on it with a speech bubble that said “Eh?”. I wore it when I flew into Las Vegas last year. I got about 25 high-fives from other Canadians in the airport ALONE. The greatest was when I had a conversation on the shuttle to the car rental place with an Australian about stereotypes. Now THAT turned heads.
GREAT article! Gave me a huge smile. I live in SoCal, but lived for a bit in Edmonton. I didn’t think there was any way I could afford all new winter gear so I moved back here on Oct 31st of that year. But I got to experience a lot through Summer and Fall. I loved it there! The people were always nice, even a RCMP who gave my friend a ticket in the Rockies for being a lead foot was so polite I almost dropped compared to my experiences here. Don’t let me get started on the beef wow. Soo eh? I now have Moulson and LaBatt’s tocques eh? Oh yeah and get terrible cravings for Tim Hortons still! 😀 À sud de Californie tous peuvent parler Français courrament! j/k j/k
I think its pretty cool we have the same last name. Very well written article, I’m a canadian born and raised in America and people always feed me the same seterotypes.
About the hokcey and know who to skate thing , I will proteste againist That . I Simply love hokcey but , News Flash ! I can barley skate!
Thanks Casey, Good to hear from the non-skating Canadians out there
I always thought canadians hate Americans becuz Americans usually don’t declare them as American and deport them back to Canada also speaking u shouldn’t feel so bad either I’m half Spanish and half French my dad is from marseille France (pronounced mar-say) and my last name comes from the southern region of France ( marseille) any way I only know a little French and a little spanishmy mom saids it was because my dad wanted to teach me French while she wanted to teach me spanish even though she is also part german (brun) any ways if ur wondering how to say my last name it’s like this (vay-ssie) with the e sounding like the e in envelope I just can’t manage to put an accent mark on the e any ways I’ve always seen canadians as Americans who speak French I don’t know why they’re considered immigrants to the stupid country U.S.A.
I never watch hockey, I’ve never been to the states, I can’t skate, but I’m from Saskatchewan Saskatoon not Saskatchtoon(Grown Ups reference). And I love Wearing Bunny Hugs which is only said in Saskatchewan. The great bunnyhug debate happens all the time here!!!
Love it, thanks for sharing Brianna!
Yes that is very intesting Brianna ! (:
Australia and canada are cool.Though prefer aussie,problem is it is just too far
SAdly, I think I’m the only canadian left to not like hockey(well..besides my mum.) and not know how to skate. Born and raised in saskatchewan, and I’m still not the average canadian girl XD
First off – seriously? You’ve never had maple syrup poured over “snow” (aka shaved ice)? That was one thing I really wanted when we went “home” to Canada this spring! Seriously good!
I will say that the healthcare we receive through our HMO now that we live in California is superior to the health care our family and friends back in Ontario/Quebec receive. Our wait times to see doctors are negligible, and the same for time to get tests done. That doesn’t stop me from believing health care should be a right for all, provided by the government the same way roads, schools and policing are. Just because a system’s not as good as it could be doesn’t make it a bad idea! Medical bills are a leading cause of bankruptcy in America. Despite the fact that Americans spend MORE on health care than Canadians do. Or pretty much anyone else in the world.
On a related note – Canadians LOVE doughnuts! We couldn’t believe how hard it was to find a doughnut shop when we moved! LOL. We still head straight for Tim Horton’s any time we’re back in Canada. Have a Canadian maple and a double double for me, and happy Canada Day!
I’m not sure who you are talking to about the Maple Syrup? I went through the post and the comments and couldn’t find the reference.
Well I *do* hate Americans! And the one about all of us loving hockey and being able to skate is NOT true! I hate hockey and I can’t skate without a chair!
Wow, TFH, that’s too bad that you hate people. It is words like this that cause a lot of problems in the world. A blanket statement of hatred towards one people is a very sad commentary on your character. You seem like a very angry person that has some issues. I hope you get them looked after. Looks like you are in the minority of both categories; Your feelings towards Americans and being able to skate.
What about “Canadians say ‘eh'” and “Canadians are friendly”? 😉
However, I still love canada.My home and the only place I know.
We feel the same way. We love to travel, but Canada is our home.
I also always wondered about the constant “aboot” and “oot” stereotype that we hold (im from Calgary)….UNTIL i met someone from Nova Scotia….its them! its Nova Scotia, if not, the maritimes in general that say aboot and oot! thought i would share the knowledge :p
Actually Jordan, it’s WAY more of a Newfie thing to say, although I imagine some Nova-Scotians do say it. However, as a New-Brunswickan, I do know that here in NB and in PEI, we do not pronounce it as “Aboot”.
And davendeb, I do want to point out that a large part of NB is bilingual, as we are the only province to have both French and English as official languages, and a law requiring the choice to be served in French or English, province-wide. NB also has a strong French culture, namely “Acadians”, but also “Brayons” and people in Shediac who speak “Shiac”, a particular mix of French and English together.
Great post. As an American who grew up in Canada, I can surely relate to all of this.
I did want to point out, though, that your healthcare is not “free.” You guys pay a large amount of taxes to get that healthcare. Nothing is ever free. And to clear up the misconceptions about healthcare in the US–if you need healthcare, you will get it. It is not based on how much is in your bank account. There are programs available for those who can’t afford it, and emergency rooms never, ever turn anyone away. The idea of people dying in the emergency rooms because they don’t have insurance is ridiculous. We are proud to have some of the absolute best healthcare in the world. Perfect system, no. But I would not trade it in a heartbeat for a socialized program.
Having said that, I love Canada! A wonderful, beautiful place with some of the friendliest and funniest people I’ve ever met. Pass the poutine!
For someone to call Canadian Healthcare “Socialized Healthcare” makes me not believe that you grew up in Canada. Nice try.
Sorry davendeb… our Canadian health care system is “socialized” health care. I’ve lived in Vancouver all 33 years of my life. So i am most definitely born and raised Canadian. I know we prefer the term “universal” when describing our health care system. But really there is no difference between universal and socialized. They mean the same thing. And using one term over the other doesn’t mean squat about where you grew up.
I also agree with K’s point about our health care system being “free”. It most certainly is NOT free. In fact, that misconception should be in your list. No, there are no charges or bills to pay when you go to the hospital. But we do pay higher taxes and in most provinces a medical services premium (MSP) as well to pay for the high cost of our system. For anyone to refer to it as “free” makes me question just how much they know about our system. Considering here in BC that about 45 cents of every provincial tax dollar goes to health care, if our system was truly free, you’d be paying anywhere from 20-40% less in taxes than you currently do.
as a canadian, i guess i was left out. this post has bias, and is not entirely accurate. i hate the united states/imperialism/…but the individuals of every country are pretty awesome. i hate hockey, but of course i can skate. after highschool and math class ended, i forgot all about the metric system…industry uses the imperial system.
oot and aboot are fun to say, and i make a concerted effort to do so, because it is funny. people are dumb and think im serious.
NOT EVERYONE SKATES
Sorry-NOT Ken. It was his Twitter that sent me here! Sorry, davendeb!
Hey Ken, I’m from Newcastle in England and our accent is way fucked up in contrast to the rest of the country. Foreigners are lead to think that all English people speak like Hugh Grant…until they meet a ‘Geordie,’and I always seem to get asked if I am Irish/Scottish/Scandanavian/an alien.
Aaaaanyway here’s a fact- we pronounce out “o” words like that so we would indeed say “OOT AND ABOOT.” So next time someone says that politely inform them it’s actually people from a small city in England who do it, not you. (Then throw something at them).
In my experience it’s usually Americans that make these misconceptions. Especially the health care bit. I get mistaken for American often, and when I tell them I’m Canadian they typically apologize… profusely. I don’t mind so much, how are they supposed to know? In the Nordic countries, I usually get mistaken for being a local, until I open my mouth and can’t speak their language.
I have the flag stitched on my packs. It’s a Canadian thing for sure. I tell people we’re branding 🙂 I do feel that I’m representing Canada everywhere I go, and I want to make the best impression I can, for myself and our country.
Finally! What a good explanation to how we pronounce about. I have never heard a Canadian say aboot and people claim I say it but it’s so unnatural to say that I know I don’t. I definitely use OWT though.
Will be stealing this explanation…
.-= ayngelina´s last blog ..Have you met Rogelio =-.
I agree, I have never heard a Canadian say aboot. Aboat maybe, but never aboot.
Finally, It’s time we owned the sterotypes!
Love your video Maxo. I hope you come out with a full length movie!
Free health care a bad thing?! Now, that’s something you don’t hear in Europe…
I tend to see French Canadians as a nation apart, because the accent, in both French and English, is so unique. As a Brit, though, I have a dreadful tendency to bundle English-speaking Canadians in with Americans.
Sad that language teaching is so crap where you come from. In England, children don’t generally start languages until the age of 10, which is far, far too late….
.-= Theodora´s last blog ..Rafting the Maiting River =-.
Yes, I am not sure that the system is any better now either. Judging by my nieces and nephews, it is the same old same old.
I LOVE this post! I wish more bloggers would write about the misconceptions about their own countries, I’m sure we’d all learn a lot.
And for the record, I adore Canadians – they are the warmest, friendliest people I’ve met in all my travels. Yes, I admit that I did laugh while watching the South Park movie (in which the US and Canada go to war) but I felt BAD about laughing at it.
.-= Trisha Miller´s last blog ..Travel Writing- Syndication With a Twist =-.
Thanks Trisha! You should write a guest post us about the misconceptions of Americans.
Don’t worry, we laughed at South Park too! I loved the song Blame Canada. We love getting any recognition we can get
Tell me about it – as an Australian now living in the UK I have people who don’t believe me (my accent is not strong enough – they think I am a Canadian!); everyone goes on about how I must miss the hot weather/not cope with the cold (forgetting that Australia is huge, and that there is snow in parts of it); everyone going on about how all Australian men are sexist (um, they are not all Bazza McKenzie) and lots of other stereotypes that would be hilarious if I didn’t have to deal with them all. the. time.
So I sympathise! People do grab to stereotypes, or forget that a country as large as Canada, or Australia, has a broad range of weather, attitude and customs. Thanks for the great post.
.-= Natalia´s last blog ..Blog Carnival – Carnival of cities! =-.
Hi Natalia, Oh Yes, I can imagine what Australians get. That is an entire post on it’s own. Actually, I think that every country has to deal with stereotypes abroad no matter how big or how small. I would love to hear what other people have to go through from other countries.
Yeah to Canada’s self proclaimed Canadian adventurers. I admire your spirit and ‘get-up-and-go’. Good for you if you’re being paid for it. I like your take on being Canadian in the world. Please include Shane Koyczan’s take on being Canadian.
Some points here confused me. Canada is still part of the British Commonwealth I think – am sure it would have been HUGE headlines if you’d opted out, but then I do live in the “backwoods” so it’s possible I missed it? I know Australia and New Zealand both have popular movements to opt out. So the Queen of England is still head of state? which, I presume, is why you have a prime minister and not a president?
.-= islandmomma´s last blog ..Punta Hidalgo =-.
Oh yes, we are still a part of the Commonwealth and proud of it. But we are not ruled by England. That is why it is so hard for us to have an identity.
Great post. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say Aboot. We don’t all talk like they did on the Beechcombers. I’m just outside of Toronto so am not far from the US border. In my working life I’ve often dealt with Americans and think it’s hilarious that many think there’s some kind of void between the US and Canada or that the mercury suddenly plummets as soon as you cross the border. Yes, I’m up here in my mukluks in July. Feel free to visit my igloo and I’ll feed you some maple syrup drenched snow. LOL.
.-= Dana´s last blog ..Freelance Writer Marketing Tips- Get Traffic to Your Professional Writing Website =-.
Ha, The Beachcombers. Yes, I think that people are still stuck with the idea of how we were portrayed on TV in the 70’s. I have yet to try Maple Syrup drenched in snow, yet, I am sure it is the first thing that many tourists try.
Love it! My grandfather was Canadian and going to see my very elegant, tall great grandfather who always wore a suit, in the county side of Canada ( near Toronto when it was not a huge city) & sledding and drinking tea in lovely flowered tea cups was always such happy memories for me….that somehow I’ve always been very fond of Canada and Canadians. 😉
.-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Family Travel Belgium =-.
Very glad you have fond memories of Toronto. It is amazing how much the countryside around the city has changed. My mom had a farm outside Toronto and now that land is all suburbs.
It’s funny about the flag – two months in Canada and I’m still amazed at how it’s EVERYWHERE. I thought people in the US used the flag a lot, but you guys even have maple leaves on your McDonald’s arches!
Another misconception/stereotype that’s been busted for me: Canadians are not even remotely the same. You guys have probably more variance in your culture, speaking, phrasing, and attitudes across Canada than we do across the US. I’ve been amazed at how much changes from one town to the next.
.-= Pete´s last blog ..Stranded in Whitehorse =-.
Thanks Pete. So now everyone will know, we do love our flag. I didn’t even think about the McDonalds arches, but you are right we have the Canadian Flag on them. It’s the Canadian trademark, but they don’t do that anywhere else in the world. I didn’t see the French Flag on McDonalds in France. How strange. See, we do put our flag everywhere.
And you are right, from town to town accents and attitudes change. When I go home to visit my family, I notice a different accent. Province to Province is a huge difference.
Hey Deb, love the post. I was actually planning to ask aboot your surname. I wasn’t sure how far oot I’d be if I tried to pronounce it…. aye? 🙂
.-= Globetrooper Todd´s last blog ..Which Route to Take Up Mt Kilimanjaro =-.
Haha! Except you have to write it as eh. no aye. We are particular about that:-)
The first time I went to the US I was 13. It was a family trip to California and we were taking a cab back to the hotel and the driver asked us where we were from and my dad said “Edmonton Canada.” The driver replied “Canada, eh? How’s aboot a beer, eh?” My brother and I bursted out laughing because we’d never heard someone talk like that.
.-= Alouise´s last blog ..Dilemna =-.
I love it. I know, I would love to find out people get these ideas. I blame Bob and Doug Mackenzie.
Free healthcare rules! I really wonder how others can think different! Nothing is more worth than being healthy!
.-= Melvin´s last blog ..Londons online journey planner =-.
here here Melvin.
LOVE IT! You definitely think more about what it means to be Canadian when you leave the country. As a Canadian who lived for 14 years in California and is now spending a year in France I think about it far too much.
I found point #2 particularly interesting. There is this dynamic where the US is just so big and so influential that being Canadian becomes about being NOT American. Not that America is bad, but that is not what we are. And it’s complicated to say who we are, so being “not American” is an easy fallback. I think New Zealand feels the same about Australia, Belgium then French, etc.
You are right Diane. We do have a lack of identity here in Canada and in essence that has become our identity. We aren’t American and we aren’t ruled by the British. We are always explaining what we are not rather than what we are, because we are still trying to figure that out. What exactly does it mean to be Canadian? We all have our own ideas, but we don’t really have a national identity.
Oh, I feel terrible–I’m one of those people who’s always pointing out the different pronunciation Canadian’s have of “out” and “about” (and “again”). Where does it come from? Canadian TV. I realized I could differentiate which actors were Canadian and which were American based on their pronunciations of the above 3 words. 🙂
.-= Gray´s last blog ..Shiny Travel Objects- September 7- 2010 =-.
Don’t feel bad Gray, we do pronounce “out, about and again” different than Americans. We pronounce it different from Aussies, British and South Africans too. We don’t have a problem with the fact that we say it differently. We love the way we speak. We just don’t like it when people say oot and aboot to us.
Loved this post, guys. LOL. I will admit, it did bug me in my early traveling days to be mistaken for American, but I got over it, soon I was mistaken for an ethnic group in Turkey, Japanese, you name it. 🙂
And hockey, even though I don’t watch on a regular basis, it is a fun sport to watch during playoff time!
.-= Nomadic Chick´s last blog ..10 Best Pictures of Toronto and Montreal =-.
Yeah, you soon realize that as a Canadian, you are mistaken for everyone except your own country. We are always getting every nationality except Canada. I always get Scandinavian, Dutch or Australian when travelling. Dave gets English, Scottish. Australian. Very rarely people mistake us for Americans, yet they never assume we are Canadians. And yes, we are not die hard fans, but when it comes to play offs, Olympics and Worlds, we always jump on the bandwagon. It is our identity as Canadians
I find it interesting that you say that they rarely think you’re American — I that might be because these days Americans are the minority when it comes to traveling abroad. In many places we’ve traveled, people don’t think my husband and I are American just because they are not seeing many American travelers in their area and they can’t determine the accent since English is their 2nd (or 3rd or 4th, etc.) language.
By the way, I loved this post — I’m totally guilty of stereotyping #1 🙂
.-= Travelogged´s last blog ..Imperial War Museum North- Visiting Manchesters Branch of the IWM =-.
I know, we always expect people to think we are from the States, but everyone thinks that we are from everywhere but North America. We find it very funny when people tell us that we sound Scottish. We get that one a lot.
When my Mom and I traveled, we were sometimes mistaken for Australians. One time, this happened after a conversation with a couple. We’re Americans from California with no trace of Australian accent. And if anything, I look Irish, which I’ve also been mistaken for. This happened to me many times when traveling in England. I can understand mistaking people due to their appearance, but it’s often happened even after chatting with folks. And now I’m reminded that when I was young, the other kids accused me of having an accent… some vague, indeterminate accent. They never could tell me what!
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Hah great list there (I’m seeing it as a Brit who lived in Canada for a year). I must admit I was very surprised when I was over there how little French people knew – I always assumed that as it was an official language everyone would be forced to learn it, like in the UK. Not so, so I was guilty of having that misconception!
And indeed when I always tell my friends at home of my ambition to move to Canada, they always say “but its so COLD there”… if only they’d experienced the sweltering heat of a Toronto summer eh!!
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Thanks for the comment Kristian. It is so true. Canada likes to tell the world that we have two official languages, but they do a terrible job at having us learn French. Everyone that I have spoken too agrees that the French they taught in school was useless. We took it all the way through grade school and high school, but our school boards just don’t do a good job at teaching the practical conversational French. Looking at my nieces and nephews French, it doesn’t look like things have improved much
And yes, the summer in Toronto is hot hot hot! But they are not completely wrong, our winters are freezing. I just wanted to break the myth that we are freezing all year long.
This may be a little outdated post, but over in mid Alberta(Im using Calgary here), statistically, we only break 30 degrees Celsius on either end of the spectrum around 5 days a year each(5+, 5-). And our averages are around negative 16 in the winter and positive 16 in the summer. Spring and Fall are very short, and mostly feels like seasons change from summer to winter on a dime if your not paying close enough attention. I have to say while its not super cold all the time, we definitely spend a more significant amount in sub-zero or borderline sub-zero temps. then in the positive range.(I have to say public transit sucks at anything below -10)
I googled many sites for stats to support this, but besides personal knowledge and complicated charts just visit the Calgary wikipage and take everything with a grain of salt.
And yea, oot is really not how we say out.
Hi Parker. Thanks for contributing. This post gets a lot of hits regularly, so we appreciate your comments. I was born in Alberta and my parents always told me how cold it was there in the winters. I remember telling them once that Dave and I were thinking of moving to Alberta and they said “it’s really cold there, you won’t like it:-)” Thanks for clarifying. Of course, some places in Canada do stay cold more than they are warm, but we definitely don’t spend all our times in igloos