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#1 Posted by BisonHero (6194 posts) -

I'm Canadian. For whatever reason, I assume that just about everybody I talk to on the internet is an American (unless the site is clearly UK-based). When mentioning a Canadian city on the internet, I'm never sure whether I should bother to include the province/territory name, or if that's a waste of time because maybe most Americans don't know our provinces/territories in the first place.

On the other hand, I consume so much American media that I'm familiar with the American states. Not a useful comparison.

Thus the question posed in the title of this topic. And by all means, I'd like non-North Americans to chime in too, as I'm used to living on a continent with very few individual countries, so I'm curious how this shakes out in other continents.

#2 Posted by Stepside (508 posts) -

I'm Canadian also - I can pretty much point out every state on the map (aside from Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas, always forget those)...but yeah, American media consumes my life so that's not a surprise.

#3 Edited by NTM (7266 posts) -

Is there a province called Bacon? Canadian Bacon? Mwahahahah...ha...ha. OK, that wasn't funny. Anyways, I'm pretty sure a lot of us Americans (or at least I can, and think and hope others) know the provinces in Canada, whether they can point them out on an unnamed map or not, I'm not sure. I have the feeling most don't care about geography, so they never took the time to focus their mind hard enough on where things are in the world. I at least know. That's all I can tell you, then again, I live here in WA, very close to Canada.

#4 Posted by President_Barackbar (3434 posts) -

I'd say that most Americans really don't know that much about the different provinces of Canada. If I was talking to someone from another country and I mentioned something about Atlanta for example, I wouldn't expect that saying Atlanta, Georgia would get my point across better as they still probably wouldn't know what I was taking about.

#5 Edited by Animasta (14648 posts) -

I know all of the canadian provinces, I'm not sure on where most of them are though, besides BC yukon and the northwest territories. and PEI

yellowknife is the best name for a town ever though

#6 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia Saskatchewan. Sorry but I can't name all 10 provinces off the top of my head. I just know that more people tend to live in the east side of canada and near the Us border because it gets pretty cold. The thing is exposure to places in media really helps with familiarity. There are probably only 10 cities most people can name in the US besides the one they live in. (maybe that is being a bit cruel)

That being said, I'm sure I could come up with some random facts about Canada if I had to.

#7 Posted by BisonHero (6194 posts) -

@Animasta said:

I know all of the canadian provinces, I'm not sure on where most of them are though, besides BC yukon and the northwest territories. and PEI

yellowknife is the best name for a town ever though

Were you aware that a large portion of the Northwest Territories split off to become a separate territory, Nunavut, about a decade ago? I ask because it seems odd that you would be sure of only 2 out of the 3 northern territories. Process of elimination and all that.

Agreed on Yellowknife.

#8 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

As an American, I know the Canadian Provinces well enough to know what you're talking about if you mention one by name, but I'm not sure I could name all of them on my own.

#9 Edited by mandude (2669 posts) -

Geographically, I know everything about Ireland, a lot about the UK, and then quite a bit about the EU, and some things about Asia. I'll admit that my knowledge of North America stops at Alaska, even though I'm currently living in Seattle. I could probably name all the states and point to a good number, though. Media consumed is nearly entirely European, so I guess there's that.

Playing Risk in my youth gave me the general idea...

#10 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@BisonHero said:

@Animasta said:

I know all of the canadian provinces, I'm not sure on where most of them are though, besides BC yukon and the northwest territories. and PEI

yellowknife is the best name for a town ever though

Were you aware that a large portion of the Northwest Territories split off to become a separate territory, Nunavut, about a decade ago? I ask because it seems odd that you would be sure of only 2 out of the 3 northern territories. Process of elimination and all that.

Agreed on Yellowknife.

oh yeah (I didn't know it happened that late though), I was just tired D:

#11 Posted by Xeiphyer (5596 posts) -

As a Canadian, i'm never quite sure if I can just say Calgary, Alberta and people will know where it is. Saying Calgary, Alberta, Canada is so longwinded and I don't want to insult the intelligence of others!
 
Sometimes I just say Alberta, Canada, but that's a pretty wide area.

#12 Posted by YoThatLimp (1880 posts) -

@Xeiphyer said:

As a Canadian, i'm never quite sure if I can just say Calgary, Alberta and people will know where it is. Saying Calgary, Alberta, Canada is so longwinded and I don't want to insult the intelligence of others! Sometimes I just say Alberta, Canada, but that's a pretty wide area.

I think most of us in the US are taught the different Canadian provinces in primary school, whether they stick is wholly dependent on the individual. To be totally honest I could only really name 6 or 7 off the top of my head (maybe 8 on a good day hah). I almost never remember PEI or NL.

#13 Posted by Xeiphyer (5596 posts) -
@YoThatLimp said:

@Xeiphyer said:

As a Canadian, i'm never quite sure if I can just say Calgary, Alberta and people will know where it is. Saying Calgary, Alberta, Canada is so longwinded and I don't want to insult the intelligence of others! Sometimes I just say Alberta, Canada, but that's a pretty wide area.

I think most of us in the US are taught the different Canadian provinces in primary school, whether they stick is wholly dependent on the individual. To be totally honest I could only really name 6 or 7 off the top of my head (maybe 8 on a good day hah). I almost never remember PEI or NL.

As long as everyone knows British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, that'd be just dandy. The other provinces aren't noteworthy.
#14 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

I always forget how fucking big Canada is. Hell, it goes from west to east just like the United States, not to mention the North. I live in North Carolina by the way.

#15 Posted by Brackynews (4045 posts) -

@Xeiphyer: Ass. :p

#16 Posted by BisonHero (6194 posts) -

@Xeiphyer said:

As a Canadian, i'm never quite sure if I can just say Calgary, Alberta and people will know where it is. Saying Calgary, Alberta, Canada is so longwinded and I don't want to insult the intelligence of others! Sometimes I just say Alberta, Canada, but that's a pretty wide area.

That is the exact problem that prompted me to make this topic, but swap Calgary for Edmonton. One way sounds long winded, but saying "[city name, country name]" sounds weird for any U.S. or Canadian city. However, saying "Paris, France" or "Tokyo, Japan" sounds normal, so I imagine this is heavily based on what country you're from, or the relevance of territory names changes dramatically depending on the size of your country.

#17 Posted by mosespippy (4036 posts) -

@BisonHero said:

@Xeiphyer said:

As a Canadian, i'm never quite sure if I can just say Calgary, Alberta and people will know where it is. Saying Calgary, Alberta, Canada is so longwinded and I don't want to insult the intelligence of others! Sometimes I just say Alberta, Canada, but that's a pretty wide area.

That is the exact problem that prompted me to make this topic, but swap Calgary for Edmonton. One way sounds long winded, but saying "[city name, country name]" sounds weird for any U.S. or Canadian city. However, saying "Paris, France" or "Tokyo, Japan" sounds normal, so I imagine this is heavily based on what country you're from, or the relevance of territory names changes dramatically depending on the size of your country.

Maybe it only seems long winded because you're both in Alberta and people in Alberta talk really fucking slow. I hear people from Vancouver say Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada all the time and it doesn't seem long winded at all because they speak with a good pace. They don't talk as fast as those of us out here in Newfoundland but it's still faster than the population from Ontario to Alberta.

@Animasta said:

I know all of the canadian provinces, I'm not sure on where most of them are though, besides BC yukon and the northwest territories. and PEI

yellowknife is the best name for a town ever though

As someone who grew up living 45 minutes away from Dildo I disagree.

#18 Edited by ProjektGill (752 posts) -

I live in Canada and a year or so ago was one of the weirdest moments because I was talking to a guy in Starcraft 2 and I said I live in Ontario to which he replied "CA?" and I said "Yup" because I assumed by CA he meant Canada. Turns out there is a city named Ontario in California which is abbreviated to CA. It confused the hell out of me.

Other than that, I'm pretty good with the US states and cities but I literally know nothing about other close by countries. I just looked up Mexico and it turns out it has 31 states and a Federal District, so there is that....

#19 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@BisonHero: Honestly I couldn't tell you about my own country, let alone the ones surrounding me.

Theres a fucking ton of places in England, and I could probably just tell you what the major cities are but not what county they are in.

As far as Scotland, Wales and Ireland I have no fucking clue. Again, major cities.

As far as France, Spain, Holland. Even less.

I don't see why it matters where you say you're from. If you say you're from Calgary just say that. Even less, on the internet you kinda only really need to say your country, and extrapolate if somebody asks further.

When I deal with the internet, I assume they are men and women of the internet not America. Their country of origin has never really mattered to me and if they mention it nothing really changes.

#20 Posted by TheHT (10891 posts) -

Um. Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon?

Let's see... Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta. If you guys didn't exist I woulda been right.

I probably would have remembered Newfoundland, maybe not Nova Scotia and Alberta. Guess not, OP.

#21 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

Isn't Canad split into two big states? The one is full of those jolly, maple syrup loving folks and the others are those Frenchy asshole types?

#22 Posted by Xeiphyer (5596 posts) -
@Brackynews said:

@Xeiphyer: Ass. :p

Heheheh. I knew that'd get someone! =P
#23 Posted by BisonHero (6194 posts) -

@McGhee said:

Isn't Canad split into two big states? The one is full of those jolly, maple syrup loving folks and the others are those Frenchy asshole types?

To seriously answer your question, yes, English Canada and French Canada can feel like two completely separate places.

There were times in the country's history where tensions were much, much higher between them. Despite having two official languages, the country isn't very bilingual (at least compared to how I imagine some European countries to be). English Canadians are taught French in school, but it's hard to become fluent or retain the language unless you live in a French community (all of Quebec, some small parts of New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba). Knowing English is more common among French Canadians, largely because it's something of a necessity if they ever want to travel anywhere in Canada or the U.S., plus English is kinda the language to know if you live in the Western world.

But French and English media are almost completely separate in Canada. To my knowledge, there's never been a bilingual news anchor or sports commentator who broadcasts to English and French Canadians alike (that's probably just unrealistic since those are live events and he'd have to say everything twice). It's almost unheard of to have a bilingual actor or TV personality who frequently appears in English TV shows and French TV shows. As an example, looking at a pamphlet about being an organ donor, the English side had a picture of a well known (English Canadian) sports commentator who is a household name essentially going "Yeah, do the right thing, be an organ donor", while the French side had the same deal but with a picture of a (French Canadian) comedian I've never heard of before or since.

#24 Posted by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

I think most Americans probably know the provinces better than the cities with the exceptions of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Big things are easier to point to on a map than little things, so provinces and territories are remembered while the location of cities are at best "some place in Canada".

This rule only applies to Canada though. I doubt many Americans know any of the states in Mexico and don't even start on Europe.

#25 Posted by Herocide (440 posts) -

As a Nova Scotian I pretty much always have to clarify where I am to foreigners. That's what I get for not being American (though I did live in Columbus for a while (and people probably know where that is)).

#26 Posted by Video_Game_King (36033 posts) -

What "nearby countries"? Where I live, there's only one country, and it's a Kingdom. And I rule it.

#27 Posted by Papa_XIV (149 posts) -

Well, i know the regional division of BiH, but i couldn't say about Slovenia,Montenegro,Serbia or Hungary.

#28 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

Yeh, Europe is pretty easy. 

#29 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

I don't have to deal with this problem because I'm from Toronto. Just gotta say "I'm from Toronto". Boom. Ontario or Canada doesn't factor into my life much. I never really visit other parts of Canada, I find it boring compared to most places I've been.

#30 Posted by falling_fast (2189 posts) -

@TheHT said:

Um. Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon?

Let's see... Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta. If you guys didn't exist I woulda been right.

I probably would have remembered Newfoundland, maybe not Nova Scotia and Alberta. Guess not, OP.

xd, you forgot Ontario.

#31 Posted by LTSmash (603 posts) -

I'm an American but things like http://harkavagrant.com/and the book The Civil War of 1812 have me interested in learning more about Canada and its history.

#32 Posted by ShockD (2393 posts) -

Coming from Europe myself, I don't need to bother with provinces and states. 
 
What I really hate however is when I ask someone on the Internet "What country are you from?" and they reply with "Wisconsin" or "New Jersey".

#33 Posted by Milkman (16531 posts) -

I could probably match a couple Canadian cities with their provinces. 

#34 Edited by Akyho (1585 posts) -

Let me go over what happens with me and Americans. They ask one of three things on voice at least goes. "Are you Irish" No "are you English?" No "Are you British?" Yes however thats a very broad term.

I then say "I am Scottish I live in Scotland born and raised in Scotland." they then often say "So your in England!" "noooooooo. I am In Scotland, Scotland is attached to England to the north, England is south of Scotland." I have had "I thought that was Wales/Ireland." I even had "So Scotlands next to Switzerland?" to which I look in all direction out of confusion.

So even telling them of all four countrys around me, dosnt help. Let alone provinces/countys/shires/states. Then to explain the difference from UK to the term British. As I am from the UK, I am British and I am Scottish. I am from the United Kingdom which is Scotland England Wales and the North of Ireland. As they are split in two. You then have Britain as the the British Isles. This is Scotland, England , the whole of Ireland and Wales. Scotland is a separate country within all of this.

Even after all this I get "So your English!?"

One thing is. "I HATE THE BRITISH WISH THEY WOULD DIE!!" I go "Woah! I am British!" "No your not you Scottish love the Scottish! I have Scottish blood!." "I am British aswell." "Well the English....." "Yes you hate the English! They are not all the British people."

#35 Edited by VisariLoyalist (2990 posts) -

okay okay okay I understand what you're getting at. 3 points.

  • Canadian provinces have much less political power compared to the american state->federal government relationship
  • Several American states have a population comparable to Canada
  • America exports its media and imports very little media from elsewhere. The comparison is not fair can you name all the local governments of russia, germany or france off the top of your head? No? So the issue you're bringing up is more about how you as well as the rest of the world is obsessed with american culture. So the fact that americans don't have the same level of knowledge you do about america, about your home country is just a symptom of the empire of american culture.

Edit: I think I'm being a dick... uh I don't know the territory names of anywhere other than america. Quebec?

#36 Posted by AlexW00d (6186 posts) -

I would say I have better than average knowledge of the geography of a lot of Western countries, except England, my own. I know all the US states and the Canadian provinces and most of the major cities there etc. It's a nice bit of general knowledge to have.

#37 Posted by DeF (4805 posts) -

Hell no!

why do I need to concern myself with names of provinces of Poland, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, England, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, etc unless I wanna travel or live there. Capital cities I get (although my memory is a little hazy in that regard as well) but anything besides that? Why?

#38 Posted by DarkShaper (1321 posts) -

I live in the USA, I would recognize most places in Canada and a fair amount across Europe by name but I couldn't get more specific than countries while using a map.

#39 Posted by believer258 (11642 posts) -

@Claude said:

I always forget how fucking big Canada is. Hell, it goes from west to east just like the United States, not to mention the North. I live in North Carolina by the way.

Hey! That's where I live! Cool, I don't remember meeting anyone else on the internet from this state.

As for Canada's geography? No, unfortunately. Some names sound familiar but I couldn't tell you where they are. I just know about where the country begins and about where it ends.

#40 Edited by theguy (796 posts) -

I can barely point to a few UK counties. I'm sure most people can't name counties in Ireland except maybe some Irish-Americans or other emigrants.

EDIT: Provinces on the other hand are easier. There are only four and at least two are well known for their rugby teams in Europe.

#41 Posted by Slay3r1583 (600 posts) -

I'm an ignorant American who didn't pay much attention to history or geography when I was in school. So I don't really know much about Canada or Mexico.

#42 Posted by Vinny_Says (5687 posts) -

The only provinces that matter are the ones with hockey teams with the exception of Manitoba. What does England have? Provinces? Counties?No idea really...like what is Cornwall? Or Devon? Or north wershire? We like to talk about how Americans suck at geography but let's see you name a province in Iran without the Internet.

#43 Posted by TheHT (10891 posts) -

@damnable_fiend: nah, that's just where I am. :P

#44 Posted by spudtastic (542 posts) -

I would just say "Saskatoon, in Western Canada'" to give a general locale when making a comment. Most peeps know Toronto and Montreal are in the east; the provinces themselves are not much of a topic inducer in the lower 48 states.

Don't forget - St. Pierre and Miquelon Islands are ~French~ possessions, and yet are in N.A.

Also, you should check out "Central America". There are a number of countries south of Mexico that are technically North America , at least 'by continent'.

#45 Posted by BoG (5181 posts) -

I can name most Canadian provinces, and could label them on a map. Mexico? No way.

#46 Posted by spudtastic (542 posts) -

@Akyho: Methinx alot of peeps are not sure whether Scotland USED to be a country - or still is. Another is Northern Ireland and 'regular' Ireland. Most would think N.I. is simply the northern reaches of Ireland, rather than part of the UK.

#47 Edited by Stepside (508 posts) -

@MikkaQ: Oh wow. That's the most ignorant Torontonian thing I've ever read. Nice going playing directly to the Toronto stereotype though, cheers!

@spudtastic: Dude, just say "I'm from the Paris of the Prairies ;)

#48 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -

@BisonHero said:

I assume that just about everybody I talk to on the internet is an American (unless the site is clearly UK-based).

Only about half of the GB community is American, you know.

#49 Posted by Wolverine (4280 posts) -

I know a few provinces. Ontario, Alberta, Vancouver, Quebec....New Foundland? So I guess I know five and I've gone to Canada twice (once to Toronto, once to Montreal). Actually wait, is Tim Horton's considered a province xD? Most Americans no nothing about Canada though, from the provinces to the Prime Minister.

#50 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

@MysteriousBob said:

@BisonHero said:

I assume that just about everybody I talk to on the internet is an American (unless the site is clearly UK-based).

Only about half of the GB community is American, you know.

Even less if you count America as only USA.