Canadian English

Canadian English (CanE, CE, en-CA)[5] encompasses the varieties of English native to Canada. According to the 2016 census, English was the first language of 19.4 million Canadians or 58.1% of the total population; the remainder spoke French (20.8%) or other languages (21.1%).[6] In Quebec, 7.5% of the population are anglophone, as most of Quebec's residents are native speakers of Quebec French.[7]

Canadian English
RegionCanada
Native speakers
20.1 million in Canada (2016 census)[1]
about 15 million, c. 7 million of which with French as the L1
Early forms
Latin (English alphabet)
Unified English Braille[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottologcana1268
IETFen-CA[3][4]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Phonologically, Canadian and American English are classified together as North American English, emphasizing the fact that most cannot distinguish the typical accents of the two countries by sound alone.[8][9] While Canadian English tends to be closer to American English in most regards,[10][11] it does possess elements from British English and some uniquely Canadian characteristics.[12] The precise influence of American English, British English and other sources on Canadian English varieties has been the ongoing focus of systematic studies since the 1950s.[13]

Canadians and Americans themselves often have trouble differentiating their own two accents, particularly when someone speaks with an urban Standard Canadian English accent because it sounds very similar to Western American English. There is also evidence that Standard Canadian English and Western American English have been undergoing a very similar vowel shift since the 1980s.[14] Canadian English varies very little from Central Canada to British Columbia. But, some noticeably different accents can be found in the Atlantic provinces, most especially in Newfoundland with Newfoundland English. Accent differences can sometimes be heard between those who live in urban centres versus those living in rural settings.[15]

In the early 20th century, western Canada was largely populated by farmers from Central and Eastern Europe who were not anglophones.[16] At the time, most anglophones there were re-settlers from Ontario or Quebec who had British, Irish and/or Loyalist ancestry.[17] Throughout the 20th century, the prairies underwent anglicization and linguistic homogenization through education and exposure to Canadian and American media.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Canadian English, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.