Where Da Heck Did Michigan’s “Yooper” Dialect Come From, Eh?
The "Yooper" dialect is one of the most recognizable speech patterns anywhere.
Anyone who lives in Michigan knows about the "Yooper" dialect. Heck, even most of the country knows that you will only hear this dialect in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and parts of Wisconsin. But, where did it come from?
When asked where or how the Yooper accent started, it might be hard for most people to identify if they are not in the know. However, it is actually a pretty simple answer. It's Fin, don't cha kno?
Most southern Michiganders assume that the accent just evolved as those weirdos in the Upper Peninsula secluded themselves from the rest of the state while living under 60 feet of snow. However, the reality is far less exciting. The dialect is mainly influenced by the Finnish heritage of those that live there.
Mix the Finnish language with a little bit of French Canadian, Cornish, Scandinavian, German, and a few others, then boom! You have the Yooper dialect. I had no idea that the accent was influenced so much by the Finnish language. I just figured it was the result of trying to speak in the mouth-numbing cold and snow in the Upper Peninsula. The more you know, I guess.
The Yooper dialect can be tricky to understand and is the arch nemesis of video subtitles, which is why it is always good to know someone that can translate. Big thanks to my co-worker Kedron for the Yooper dialect lesson today. I'm slightly less confused now.
Source: MichigansUP Wiki
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