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Translation Portland Maine

Native Mainers are said to have the most original accent of all other Americans, and has been spotlighted as a distinct and favorite accent among many! Generally speaking, the Maine accent exhibits non-rhoticity,  unlike other American accents, Mainers drop the “r” at the end of syllables. The Maine accent more specifically known as the “Downeast accent” is difficult to define. It ranges from something very similar to French in the northern parts of Maine, and to a Boston accent in areas around the New Hampshire border.

Below are some tips on how to talk like a Mainer.

1) Dropping the final “r” is one of the most distinct patterns required when mastering a  Maine accent. Examples would be “chowdah” for chowder, “cah” for car, “theah” for there, ”fah” for far, and “togetha” for together.

2) Words that end in “a” are often pronounced with “er” at the end. For example, California becomes “Californier,”  idea becomes “idear”.

3) All “a” and “e” sounds have an elongated sound; i.e., calf becomes “cahf,” and  bath becomes “bahth”.

4) Use the adjective “wicked” often.

5) Use Maine Slang.

Apiece: A measure of distance. “He lives down the road apiece.”

Ayuh: Equivalent to yep.

Bean’s: Reference to the L.L. Bean store in Freeport Maine.

Bug: Lobster

CANDLEPIN BOWLING:  Very similar to bowling, but with much smaller pins.

Cah: Car.

Chout: As in watch out!

Chowdah: Chowder

Cunnin’: Cute. Sometimes used to describe little children.

Deeah: Dear, a term of endearment, as in, “How you doin’ today, deeah?”

Dite: As in, “just a dite” , meaning, just a little.

From Away: Not from Maine

Gawmy: Awkward, clumsy or klutzy.

Glom: To be greedy; “He glommed up all the chocolate.”

Honkin’: Really big.

Idear: An Idea

Italians: Submarine sandwiches.

Jimmies: Sprinkles for your ice cream.

LEAF PEEPAHS: People who come to Maine in the fall to look at all our leaves.

OUT IN THE WILLIE-WACKS: Out in the middle of nowhere.

Pot: Lobster Trap

Right Out Straight: Really busy.

Quahog: Thick-shelled clam (pronounced co-hog)

Scrod: A tiny piece of fish that is kind of ambiguous. Might be haddock. Might be cod.

Stoed or staved:  To be  messed up; “That lawn mower doesn’t work, it’s all stoved up.”

Steamers: Clams

Swig: To take a drink of something.Hey, can I have a swig of that?”

Wicked: Very. To a high degree, such as wicked good, wicked bad, wicked exciting, etc.

You can’t get theya from heah – a Mainer’s disinterest in providing you directions..

Interpreting Slang Color

One of the challenges in interpreting slang rests on the interpreter’s perception of the speaker’s intent. For the interpreter, it is important to have the appropriate cultural framework to comprehend what the person is trying to express. For example, if the speaker’s use of slang is just the way they talk, it’s probably better to use a neutral tone, lest the audience thinks you are making fun of the speaker. On the other hand, if the speaker is using slang for some effect, then the interpreter might try to juice up the translation somewhat.
In reality, the message should always come first, and some interpreters can pull this off beautifully , while others struggle because the slang does not come naturally. This is probably a situation where the voice matters just as much as the words, and an interpreter might be able to translate meaning through expression to match the speaker’s perceived intent.

About  Maine

Maine, the northeasternmost U.S. state, is known for its rocky coastline, maritime history, and a leading producer of lobster and blueberries. There are more than 60 lighthouses in Maine, each unique and storied. Maine has  3,478-miles of coastline, which is longer than California’s!  One of Maine’s claims to fame is its 47,000-acre national park, the first national park established east of the Mississippi River.  Acadia National Park is a visual marvel and one of New England’s most visited national parks.

Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820, and is bounded by the Canadian provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and by New Hampshire. With a population of just a dite over 1.3 million, Maine is one of the least populated states in the USA.


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Be different! Give the VOVF translation agency team a call for a free quote or contacting us online