January 15


Canadian English Please!

By Tracey Arial

January 15, 2022

This week I ordered a new transcription/course/video platform I’m really excited about. The company is owned by a Canadian; so imagine my surprise when the service didn’t allow me to choose Canadian English.

It offered Canadian French and France French, which I appreciate. Canadian English-speakers, however, had to choose either British or American English. Neither works.

They aren’t unusal. I’ve noticed that lots of companies offer Canadian French but not Canadian English. There are some notable exceptions. Libre office, which is free, offers Canadian English. For the most part, it seems to be accurate. Regional exceptions across the country exist, but this software doesn’t try to spell colour and neighbour incorrectly.

Other services–like Antidote, which is Canadian and Google, which is American–have users select English or French without specifying which kind of English and French they are using. I haven’t had any big problems with either so I suspect their dictionaries accept all the types of spellings and uses in the three countries. I prefer that solution to specifying types of languages and excluding English Canada.

So I sent the software operators an email to ask them to “please consider adding Canadian English to your languages.”

You can do the same.

What’s the difference, you ask? Sentences in Canada tend to be shorter than those in the UK and we use a lot of the same words that Americans use. Spellings are usually British. This translation company gives a short historical synopsis of some of the differences, which it says stem from trade and political history.

I don’t know all the ways that Canadian English is different from the other types, but I know that I get a lot of problems occur when I’m using the other dictionaries.

I’m not alone in my request. These users had similar requests for Microsoft in 2017.

Please join me in my campaign. Let’s get all the software companies to add Canadian English to their language selections.

Tracey Arial

About the author

Tracey Arial helps Canadians create meaningful lives with true stories about ancestors, businesses, communities and ecology.

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