New program helps students finally understand their GTA friends

New program helps students finally understand their GTA friends

Language group closes cultural gap

One of the greatest parts about coming to university is being able to learn from the experiences and perspectives of people from all walks of life. However, one of the greatest hurdles to overcome in order to make these connections happen is the language barrier. Even students who grew up only hours apart can come face to face with this unfortunate obstacle. Fortunately, a new language pairing program at the University of Guelph, Its A Learning Ting, is looking to close this cultural gap.

“It wasn’t until I came to Guelph that I realized this difference even existed,” says second-year participant and long-time Thunder Bay resident Grace Longley. “I have no clue what my friends from the GTA are saying — ever.”

The group aims to first spread awareness of the slang that students from the Toronto, Brampton, and Mississauga area use in order to help students better understand each other. As commonplace as some of the phrases may be to students coming from the GTA, the slang often doesn’t make it outside the area.

Group founder Kevin Adams realized there was a need for this service on campus after he experienced several misunderstandings with his own friends at U of G.

“I would sometimes feel snaked by my friends, like if it had been a minute since I had last seen them and would ask them to reach the library, they wouldn’t show up,” said Adams.

After starting the group, Adams received great support from his peers. Currently, there are more people participating than their meeting space can handle; the club will be looking to obtain their own office on campus next year.

“I think this group is also settling a lot of misconceptions about people who use this slang,” Adams said. “Of course I know how to speak proper English, I’m in university. But this is how I speak when I’m in a chill situation, and I want my friends to know what I’m saying.”


Six slang terms to help you understand your GTA friends.

  1. SCRAP – fight
  2. REACH – meet me there
  3. SNAKE – to betray someone
  4. BARE – a lot
  5. I RATE IT – I appreciate that
  6. CHEESED  – Angered

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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