How do people living in Ottawa react when they meet people with foreign accents

How do people living in Ottawa react when they meet people with foreign accents

What do you mean by “foreign accent”?Here in Ottawa 20% of our residents were not born in Canada and another 20% are French Canadian, whose first language is French which is one of our official languages.I’m not sure of the percentage of First Nations but we have lots of indigenous folk from up north as well as the many reserves in the area.

A lot of people speak Cree for example.That’s not really a “foreign” language since they call us white folk “settlers”, but they do speak English with a distinct rhythm and intonation.Your question really doesn’t have much meaning in our present day context.

In my federal riding of Ottawa South, 55 languages are spoken.Do you mean speaking English with a non-standard accent?Or speaking their own birth language best, and learning English as a second language?

We have lots of those folks and we try to help them out, knowing how difficult it is to communicate in a language in which you are not confident.The more you communicate with a native speaker of any language, the faster you learn.My Mandarin is appalling for example.

The main job of language is effective communication so the first imperative is to make sure we all understand each other and can communicate effectively in whatever accent we employ.Sometimes I like to play a game in my mind and figure out which country folks come from by their accent.People whose first language is Hindi for example have a bit different English accent from people whose first language is Punjabi; same with different areas of England (London versus Midlands) or Caribbean ( which island) I’m getting pretty good at it.

Some people think I have an English accent -or traces of it – but I was born here in Ontario.Sometimes you can figure out which part of Ontario people come from through their accents.The Ottawa Valley in particular has a strong regional accent.

You can also tell whether someone is from Quebec, France, or is Franco -Ontario, by their accent sometimes.I’m starting to figure out some American accents too – people from Delaware and New York have a very different accent from people from Vermont, the south or Texas for example.