Canadian Slang Sony Employees Should Know Before They Move To Vancouver, Eh?

Poutine

Sony Imageworks has decided to move headquarters from California to Vancouver and a considerable number of employees will relocate from the US to Canada. Even as Canadians speak English, they have their own lingo, and Americans have some learning to do before they can talk like Canucks…

According to The Vancouver Sun, Sony Pictures Imageworks will move its head office from Culver City, California to Vancouver, Canada, and many relocated US employees will need to learn the customs of their northern neighbors.

Canadian locals speak a combination of English and French, but before Americans think they’ve got the language down, they need to appreciate Canada’s special brand of English. Here are 15 Canadian phrases that will help employees of Imageworks avoid kerfuffles in Van.

How’s she bootin’er?


This need-to-know phrase is Canadian slang for “How’s it going?” or “How are you doing?”

Eh?

Canadians use “eh” instead of “huh” or “ya know,” or when they want someone to repeat something. “Eh” is tacked onto the end of sentences to indicate “Don’t you agree?”

Loonie and Toonie

“Loonie,” or Loony, means a dollar, with the plural being loonies, and a “Toonie” is a two-dollar coin.

Canuck

Canuck is the popular nickname for a Canadian.

Two-four

A “two-four” is a case of 2 beers, also pronounced as “two-fer.” By contrast, Americans count beer in terms of six-packs.

Mickey

Canadians refer to the small sized bottles of liquor (374ml) as “mickies,” whereas Americans say “pints.”

Toque

Pronounced “took,” a toque is a knitted hat or beanie used to keep warm during icy winters.

Poutine

Poutine is a traditional Canadian dish made with fries, gravy, and curd cheese.

Canadian bacon

This delicacy is made from back bacon cured in maple syrup.

Washroom

This is the Canadian word for bathroom or loo.

Van

“Van” is short for Vancover; locals use the abbreviation when indicating different areas like East Van, West Van, or North Van.

Kerfuffle

A kerfuffle is an awkward or stressful situation.

Knapsack

A knapsack is a backpack or bookbag.

Serviette vs. Napkin

Whereas Americans generally use the term “napkin,” Canadians tend to say both “serviettes” and “napkins.”

Bill vs. Check

While Americans usually request the “check” after a meal, Canadians ask for the “bill.”

There’re a surprising number of phrases and words particular to Canada! Learning the slang will help non-locals understand what Canucks are saying and integrate into the community.

Putting a little effort into learning the lingo will go a long way with locals, building relationships inside and outside the workplace. On top of learning slang, investing time brushing up French language skills will give Americans a serious advantage navigating French Canada. Sony Imageworks employees might consider signing up for French Language Courses to deeply explore the hybrid culture. For non-English speakers seeking fluency, Language Trainers’ English Courses will give employees the foundation they need to function up north.

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