Does any country find Canadian English hard to understand

A while ago I watched a Scottish movie called Sweet Sixteen. I had a hard time understanding the accent and it took a while for my brain to adjust.
I was wondering if the Scots or anyone else hard trouble adjusting to Canadian English. Does it take them awhile to adjust when they are watching a Canadian/American movie.
The reason I choose Canadian English is because we have a fairly homogeneous accent from coast to coast (except Newfoundland) while our American counterparts have more regional accents.

A Canadian accent that is difficult to understand, eh?

Most folks have trouble telling Canuks from Americans at the best of times.

Do you really think so? In addition to the Newfoundlanders, I think that Nova Scotians have a fairly distinctive accent, as do people from New Brunswick.

Their accent is a minor variation of standard Canadian English. It is less distinct than say Australian and New Zealand English which most outsiders cannot tell the difference between.
I have a Nova Scotian friend. She says the odd word with a slight accent. Only a true expert would be able to place it.

Englishman here.

I have no difficulty in understanding Canadian English at all, The same holds true for American English, Aussie English and NZ English.

I have most trouble with accents nearer to home: Geordie English and Birmingham English are at times incomprehensible to this Londoner’s ear.

Most people here would take Canadians for Americans anyway. You sound the same to us

Recently I read a research paper on English accents. It said that American English is spoken the slowest and New Zealand English is spoken the fastest.

It didn’t mention Canadians so you are probably fairly safe.

We homestay foreign language students on a regular basis and we have to s-l-o-w down our speech in order to be understood.

Agreed. The first time I met a Canadian, a gentleman from Toronto, I was surprised how American he sounded. I don’t know what I had expected, but something more, well, Canadian.

I’ve posted it before, but one of my friends (francophone) has a lot of trouble understanding spoken Canadian English. She does well with American English and British English, but for some reason Canadian English specifically gives her trouble.

I don’t think the average Scot (I am one) would have any particular trouble with Canadian English. Most of us, though, wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Canadian and US accents.

That’s key - we get used to American accents at a young age, since a huge proportion of the movies we see (and a fair chunk of TV shows) are American, so we’re much more exposed to American accents than Americans are to our accent. Since Canadians sound like Americans to us, the same arguments apply.

The “standard” American accent is typically the same as the Canadian accent but there is a lot of variation in the US such as the Southern drawl and the Brooklyn accent.
National newscasters in the US use the “Canadian” accent and have hired Canadians such as Peter Jennings and Peter Kent to read their news.

I call it “broadcaster English”, which is apparently similar to Mid-Atlantic English:

Not at all true. Peter Jennings and Peter Kent do not speak with a Canadian accent. It’s generic American accents – the Canadian has been trained out of their voices. Unless… Ontarioian isn’t the quintessential Canadian accent (it is, though, on all of their television and news and radio). Perhaps the confusion is a result of not being tuned-in to the accent? Having lived in Canada and having grown up on the border, it’s really an easy tell.

Peter Jennings did, too. Not all the time, but sometimes an “aboot” would slip out there, frequently enough that I always knew he was the Canadian one of the big three anchormen.

To me, raised in the Northwest, Canadians from BC and Alberta have an identifiable accent. It is not an instantaneous thing – first words out of their mouths and you know they’re Molson drinkers – but with any exchange of any length you start to get the Canadian vowels and the Canadian cadence. Not every Canadian, of course, but lots of them. To my untrained ear, the Canadian accent I’m familiar with is most similar to the accents you hear in Northern Minnesota or Northern Michigan. Probably no surprise since those areas are up there by, you know, Canada.

Still, I can’t imagine anyone who can understand standard American not being able to understand Canadian. The accents are very close.

I’ve been in some very rural areas in Alberta where I found the accent to be pretty strong. Perfectly understandable, but a noticeable accent. For most Canadians, though, you never know until they say “aboot” or something like that. I can see how people from outside N. America would find that hard to notice. Now, many Francophones whom I’ve met have strong accents, but that’s more of French (Canadian) accent type thing.

Home counties brit here (with some input from an Argentine woman, whoes grasp of English is better than mine)
I first bumped into Canadians from Nova Scotia and Labrador, to me the accent was Irish/ west coast isle of scotland. My wife found the accent easy to understand (when they were not excited, after that thnigs went downhill), personally I would have struggled had I not spent several years in Aberdeen.

I recently spent a fair bit of time with Albertans (albertians abersatians ?) and I would have said a slight scandinavian speaking english lilt, the good lady figured they were a drunken version of chef from the mupets.

WRT people from Torornto I just figured somewheresville CANUSA until all things Canadian were interjected into the conversation along with the aboot. My wife asked ´hows ya´ll doing down there in Texas?´

Canada, bear in mind, is a country of relatively recent creation, and has spent the majority of its existence in a time when there is radio and sound recording, and a substantial fraction of the country’s existence has happened during the era of TV. Canada simply hasn’t had the time, pre-mass transit and communications, to develop as many regional accents as did the British or, to a lesser extent, Americans.

That’s why they put those big, red maple leafs on their backpacks and other gear.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to distinguish as well. I was going to a class twice a week for six weeks before a classmate said “aboot” and I said with surprise, “You’re Canadian!”

“Curses, I am found out,” she shot back.

I don’t understand this “aboot” thing. To me it’s quite clearly “aboat”.

Canadians are lucky…at least no one accuses you of being Australian! :smiley: