Newfie accent

Newfoundland is a province on eastern Canada, known for the friendliness of its people. Newfies are supposed to be the nicest Canadians around. They are also known for their accent, not that noticeable in the big cities but as you move inland and to smaller communities it becomes more pronounced. I had heard about it but never actually head a newfie speak until the movers came to move our stuff from our apartment in Toronto into storage. There was a young guy among the movers who was very pleasant but whenever he would ask me something or talk to the other guys I would just stare at him and think “that sounds vaguely like English but I don’t understand any of it!”. It was then that Alan told me that he was from Newfoundland. Anyways, Nissan has released a commercial in Canada featuring a Newfie carsalesman and I decided to post it here for those among our non-Canadian friends who are curious to hear for themselves:

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

14 thoughts on “Newfie accent”

  1. don’t understand a thing. never heard of the newfies before. very funny.
    To answer your email about Vall de Nuria I had a look on their website and we stayed up in the vall itself. It was nice – very family and walker friendly.
    beijinhos

  2. I am very suprised that people are so ignorant to fact there are several different accents exist n the province of NL, which originate from all over the world, places like, England,Ireland, Nissan should do further research before making such a commercial. I have travelled Canada & parts of the United States , & forsure Newfoundlanders are the most friendly & expressive of their language.
    Renee Stanley

  3. The problem that I have with the Nissan commercial is that Nissan bastardizes a language and stereotypes a unique culture at the expense of Newfoundlanders. Another part of the equation is Nissan does not even provide the service for their products province wide (only poor service in St. John’s). They have one dealership in St. John’s O’Neil Motors and they run that operation providing substandard service implying to Nissan owners “you listen to us! You have no choice because you have nowhere else to get service for your product.” Service anywhere in Nova Scotia is on a scale of 1-10 is a 10 where the customers leave the dealership content that a maximum effort was placed on their service. The rude and ignorant service department in St. John’s avoids at all costs WORK and especially province wide service. It’s not Nissan Canada but Nissan 9 Provinces. Even the territories receive optimal service comparing to Newfoundland. So if you’re not even a supporter of the province how can you ridicule and mock the culture and expect zero retort. Yes Ontario Nissan’s hired production company made a commercial to the expense of and once again ridiculing Newfoundlanders and that is defiantly wrong! Nissan in St. John’s Newfoundland (not the people of Newfoundland) are also wrong for retaliating with an immature “you make fun of us we’ll make fun of you,’ radio spot. And yes you may argue that it was all in good fun and the positives out way the negatives. Well a rapist would assume the same. It felt good and the positives outweighed the negatives. (Facetiously.) Must be right!

  4. Here’s the problem with the Nissan commerical. The guy isn’t a Newfoundlander. He sounds nothing like one either. Why, with all the strong-accented people in Newfoundland would they have to get an actor to do a really bad one?

  5. I suspect that the actor is not a Newfie but I still enjoyed the commercial as reminded me of my days growing up in a small fishing village on the Avalon peninsula. Newfoundland is a beautiful place and Newfoundlanders are some of the nicest people in the world.

  6. Very very like the Irish accent especially County Wexford where a lot of the Newfoundland people originally came from. Worth checking out the Wexford accent for a comparison. Uncanny.

  7. I *AM* a Newfoundlander. Pay no mind to those who are ‘gettin up in arms’ over the Nissan ad. It does indeed sound like the actor was not a native and was imitating one of the stereotypical Newfie accents. His performance isn’t that bad though. I’ve heard many a fellow Newfoundlander with that accent. As one of the previous posters mentioned there are many “Newfie” dialects, with the Nissan ad using only one of them. Practically every coastal community in Newfoundland has their own flavour of speech. “Newfoundland English” is actually a distinctive form of English with it’s own syntax and a wealth of unique words and phrases.

    You won’t find many real Newfoundlanders complaining about this ad. One of the prevalent cultural traits we have is the ability to laugh at ourselves and not take everything too seriously. Thus, while some cultures would be offended by this ad, most Newfoundlanders will not. To be honest, one shouldn’t expect more than what Nissan did. It was a 30 second ad, not a documentary on the linguistics and cultural history of Newfoundland! :-) Relax! I thought it was funny, and I’M A NEWF! :-)

  8. Hey Adam,

    I’m glad to hear Newfoundlanders are not offended! I don’t think the ad makes fun of Newfies at all and was surprised to see some of the reaction to it.

    Thanks for the comments!

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