Travel English: Canada
Preparing for a trip to Canada? Here’s the travel English you’ll need to prepare yourself.
Canada is geographically adjacent to America and is also a bilingual country (with French as its second language) and as result its English is a mixture of these various influences.
Canada has a preference for the British spelling of ise and isation but its pronunciation is closer to American English.
If you are going on a trip to Canada here is a vocabulary guide to help you out:
Food and Drink
Poutine is a dish made with homemade fries topped with melted cheese and gravy.
Pickerel is a type of fish.
If you are looking for a napkin with your meal, you might have to call it a serviette.
To order a soft drink, ask for pop.
A two-four refers to a 24 pack of beer.
Small size bottles (375ml) of beer are called mickies.
If you want a complete pizza, it’s said to be all-dressed.
When you want to pay for a meal in a restaurant, ask for the bill.
If you want the bathroom, ask for the washroom.
If you go to the fair you will hear cotton candy called candy floss.
A donut might be called a jambuster or a Bismarck or a Burlington bun depending on which part of the country you visit.
A double double is a coffee with two creams and two sugars.
A regular is a coffee with one sugar and one milk.
If you hear the word tuque, this actually means a woolen hat.
Housecoat refers to a robe.
Knapsack is a backpack.
A bunnyhug is a sweater with a hood.
Runners refer to sports shoes.
Don’t be surprised if you hear every sentence end with the expression eh? It doesn’t have any particular meaning.
Chesterfield refers to a couch.
A Loonie is a one-dollar coin which carries the image of a loon (a bird).
A Toonie is a two-dollar coin.
A Canadian will refer to university while an American will call it college.
A post office is called a po.
A special price for travel is called a seat sale.
A chinook is a warm dry wind experienced along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains.
A garburator is a garbage disposal unit underneath the kitchen sink.
A joe job is a low class, low paying job.
As we learn vocabulary for travel to Canada, let’s listen to one of the country’s well-known musical exports, Avril Lavigne, sing one of her biggest hits, Complicated (which English is not, of course).
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