October 24, 2012
Bilingualism on the Rise
Census 2011 reports that bilingualism is on the rise in Canada, however not in its official languages. Statistics Canada has reported on the 200 languages that create a linguistic binding in Canada. The census showed that just over 17% of the population speaks, at minimum, two languages at home. Of the 17%, less than a quarter are using Canada’s official languages at home – French and English. A decline in the usage of Aboriginal languages is saddening despite the efforts on behalf of the First Nations to revive their culture and language.
The data was collected through a short form that had been sent out to every household within Canada. Punjabi was reported as the most common immigrant language in Canada, its users making up 460,000. It also quite interesting to note that two thirds of these second language speakers have adopted English and French as a secondary language in their home. As well, bilingualism in the Country’s two official languages has grown very minimally.
The statistics show a level of diversity that is changing within Canada, now in terms of linguistic use. What is interesting to note is that the changes are also effective within Quebec, showing how the province has shifted with its use of language. That being said, English and French are still the dominant languages being used in Canada – 22 million people are reported to be speaking English at home, and just over 9 million speak French. The statistics showed that non-official language users are most densely located in metropolitan cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
Overall it goes without saying that Canada is welcoming in its multiculturalism.
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