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Dictionaries: Canadian Dictionary

 
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chinesecanadian2004



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 16
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2004 7:38 pm    Post subject: Dictionaries: Canadian Dictionary Reply with quote

hi all,

i'm confused as to which dictionary i should buy. i know that american english differs from british english, and that canadian english is somewhere in the middle...probably closer to british in terms of spelling.

from what i gather, americans are more familiar with Webster's dictionaries, and British with Oxford. i'll be teaching in china and i'm wondering if there is a 'preferred' or even 'universal' standard that i should know about. i don't want to confuse my students from the variations.

should i just stick with the oxford canadian dictionary (the one i'm familiar with....or....... does it even matter? Embarassed

thanks.


Last edited by chinesecanadian2004 on Sun Aug 01, 2004 2:02 am; edited 2 times in total
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:14 am    Post subject: Re: Dictionaries: Canadian Dictionary Reply with quote

chinesecanadian2004 wrote:
hi all,
should i just stick with the oxford canadian dictionary (the one i'm familiar with....or....... does it even matter? Embarassed


Your new school ill likely use either a UK-oriented text or a US-oriented book. As a teacher you should be warning your students that they will encounter different flavours of English and that there is no 'standard'.
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Louis



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 275
Location: Beautiful Taiyuan

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, teach what you know. Let your students know of any uk/us alternatives if you are aware of them, but don't sweat it.
Also, I don't worry about uniformity either. If a student writes: "I went to the theater with my neighbour" that's fine, at least at the lower/intermediate levels.
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High Plains Drifter



Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Location: Way Out There

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it doesn’t matter. Whether to use an American or a Canadian dictionary will be the least of your worries. Besides, all your students will assume from your accent that you are from the USA. (Which is why you will want to festoon yourself with Canadian flag patches and decals, as do all Canadians abroad.) The difference between the American and Canadian accent, where there is one at all, is so slight that I have never known a single student to notice the difference. In fact, emphasizing your Canadianess might actually be a mistake. Students the world over want to learn standard, mainstream English, whether American or British. The more you try to maintain a distinction as a Canadian, the more your students will be concerned that you are not teaching them standard English. I know you don’t like to hear this, but that’s reality.

I rarely trouble my students with differences in spelling, and what differences in grammar are worth discussing other than perhaps got vs. gotten? Some vocabulary—words they’re likely to encounter--should be discussed: truck vs. lorry, lift vs. elevator, flat vs. apartment.

It’s the British vs. American/Canadian accent that will cause them the most difficulty. Once, while listening to a cassette that came with the British version of Headway, the students heard the word jumper. I stopped the tape and asked the students how they thought jumper was spelled, and every one of them spelled it “j-u-m-p-a”. I just tell my students that the British don’t pronounce their Rs. What I don’t do is tell them that the British speak bad English or make a lot of mistakes. Sadly, the opposite is not true of many British teachers who delight in ridiculing, in class, American accents, spelling, and usage. Not only is this unprofessional, it is untrue, and can create ill will when the students repeat these comments to their American teachers.

By the way, in my experience it’s Canadians from Saskatchewan, Manitoba & Alberta that have slightly noticeable accents, but I have at times worked with Canadians from Toronto and Vancouver for months without ever hearing a word that revealed that they were Canadian. I’m curious, with your finely tuned Canadian ear, can you tell when someone is from one of the central provinces?

Good luck. If your students’ biggest problem is whether to put a “u” in color, consider yourself very fortunate.
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chinesecanadian2004



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 16
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the replies.

now that i thought about it, it didn't really make a difference in university either. when i wrote papers even in my senior years, as long as i stuck to one standard (in my case american [MS Word spell check Embarassed ]), my profs were fine with it. i guess my cause for concern was teaching the fundamentals to students w/o consideration for a so called standard. i'm so used to the american way of spelling b/c i relied on the spell check for so long....i'm lazy.

as for distinguishing canadian accents....i can't. i've met ppl from all over canada & can tell you that i can't hear a difference. maybe if they lived in the stix, but...they all sound the same to me. i know accents in the states are more clear -n.b. boston, texan & southern accents.

i thought this was kinda interesting: http://www.jkcc.com/english/ourhistory.html
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High Plains Drifter



Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Location: Way Out There

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome. Here's one last bit of advice: Even though it's a lot of work to push that darn Caps Lock key down again and again, if you want to impress people that you're a professional, use capital letters, eh? (They do use capitals in Canada, don't they?)
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chinesecanadian2004



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 16
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Plains Drifter wrote:
You're welcome. Here's one last bit of advice: Even though it's a lot of work to push that darn Caps Lock key down again and again, if you want to impress people that you're a professional, use capital letters, eh? (They do use capitals in Canada, don't they?)


I'm going to pass on that bit of advice only b/c the 'shift' key is more efficient than pressing the caps lock twice everytime....HA! I got your number. Just j/k.
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Plains Drifter wrote:
Which is why you will want to festoon yourself with Canadian flag patches and decals, as do all Canadians abroad.


All? I've never done that.
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High Plains Drifter



Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 127
Location: Way Out There

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The shift key? Well, whaddaya know; that is convenient only pressing it once.
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Louis



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 275
Location: Beautiful Taiyuan

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: accents. I have met many people from all around the country (served in the military) and I never noticed a Saskatchewan accent, other than some tend to say "hey" instead of "eh". The place for accents is the East Coast: Capers and Newfs are usually unmisktable.
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Capergirl



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 1232
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis wrote:
The place for accents is the East Coast: Capers and Newfs are usually unmisktable.


Quite true. Capers and Newfies have the most obvious accents in the country (apart from Quebec, bien sur). What we Capers find amusing is that folks from "Upper Canada" (i.e. not from the East Coast) can't seem to distinguish between the two. Many a Caper has come home from Ontario or "out West" and told the tale of half a dozen people saying, "So you're from Newfoundland, eh?" Laughing
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mjed9



Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 242

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Plains Drifter wrote:

Good luck. If your students’ biggest problem is whether to put a “u” in color, consider yourself very fortunate.


Surely you should have said "If your students' biggest problem is whether to leave out the "u" from colour ... Laughing Wink
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Louis



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 275
Location: Beautiful Taiyuan

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're talking about native accents here, of course. Quebecers that speak English as a first language don't have an accent.
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Capergirl



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 1232
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Louis wrote:
We're talking about native accents here, of course. Quebecers that speak English as a first language don't have an accent.


I've yet to meet one.
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