Jack & Naree wrote:
Well I'm familiar with the Canadian immigration
procedure, and I know that
it's hard to get in without decent qualifications and useful work experience
(unless you speak French).
Canadian immigration policy is a subject best left for another time. :-$
So all these Commonwealth English-speaking immigrants
(including those from
the British Isles) go into important jobs where they have input into the
language that gets written down in the Canadian media; on websites; and
If you review the important statistics that you cited India and Pakistan
are Commonwealth countries that provide considerably more immigrants
than either the UK or US. A form of American English is also widespread
in the Philippines. The English of the subcontinent has a distinctive
flavour of its own, and if put in a position of influence those
immigrants may have an influence on Canadian English that could be quite
different from what you would expect. Immigrants from the UK will
include people with many other skills that just linguistic ones. Those
other skills are more important for immigration policy. Although the
same might be true for Americans it must be remembered that the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is also a factor there that will
facilitate higher level migration within an established company
The podgy working-class Canucks, on the other hand may
indistinguishable from podgy working-class Yanks, but they can't have as
disproportionate an effect on written English in Canada as these
Television, and products advertised on television are more influential.
Most mass marketed books are from the USA. Those less educated persons
who continue to read are more likely to be influenced by American
The number of Commonwealth English speakers combined is by far the largest
Plus the fact that you've got the French influence on spellings - it's
cheaper (for advert/sign-writing) and more efficient to use one spelling, so
why have an American and French version when you can have an English one
that suits both.
The French spelligs do tend to be closer to the British for reasons that
go back to the Norman conquest, but if the context requires full
translation this is not likely to be noticed. The bulk of the
translation is from English to French so that becomes an exercise in
protecting French from the corruption of anglicisms of which ever type.
The politically correct tendency in Quebec French is sometimes toward
having a language that is more correct than what you might find in France.
On 19/09/05, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
>Jack & Naree wrote:
>>The thing aboot (!) Canada is that there's a steady stream of recent (and
>>educated) British immigrants as with Australia, maintaining the standards.
>>I would not be surprised to find Americanisms more a feature of urban
>>working-class Canadians near the US border.
>Some 80% of the Canadian population lives within 150km of the US
>border. (That's about 90 miles for you Brits and Yanks that don't
>understand that.) British and Australian immigrants have not been
>dominant among those who choose to come live in Canada; we see far more
>newcomers from India. I understand that years of British influence have
>resulted in a peculiar form of hypercorrect English, but I don't see how
>this influx of Raj English will help maintain standards among Disneyfied
>Canadians. I think that a continued practice of smug linguistic aikido
>will be more effective Come to think of it, that strategy may work as
>well in cricket as in baseball.