October 31, 2014
Fun Fact Friday Update: The Languages in Canada
Have you ever wondered which top five languages are spoken across Canada, a country known worldwide for its socio-cultural diversity? According to CBC News, these are English, French, Chinese, Italian, and Punjabi. But in each of Canada’s provinces and territories, the main languages spoken are not limited to these. The following lists a few others, along with the meanings behind the names of some of the country’s provinces and territories.
Alberta: English, Chinese, French, German, and Punjabi
British Columbia: English, Chinese, Punjabi, German, French, Tagalog (Filipino), Korean, Spanish, Persian, and Italian
Manitoba: English, French, German, Tagalog (Filipino), and Cree; the name originated from ‘manitou bou’, which in Cree means ‘strait of the Great Spirit’
New Brunswick: English, French, Micmac, Chinese, and German; Did you know that this is the only officially bilingual province in Canada?
Newfoundland and Labrador: English, French, Montagnais-Naskapi Cree, Inuktitut, and Chinese
Northwest Territories: English, Dogrib (Tlicho), South Slavic, French, and North Slave (Hare)
Nova Scotia: English, French, Arabic, Micmac, and German; in Latin, ‘Nova Scotia’ means ‘New Scotland’
Nunavut: Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, English, French, Chinese, and Tagalog (Filipino); in the Inuktitut language, ‘Nunavut’ means ‘our land’
Ontario: English, French, Chinese, Italian, Punjabi, Tagalog (Filipino), and Portuguese; ‘Ontario’, or ‘Kanadario’ in the Iroquois language means ‘sparkling water’ or ‘beautiful lake’
Prince Edward Island: English, French, Dutch, Chinese, and Arabic
Quebec: French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic; the province’s name originated from ‘kepék’, an Algonquin word meaning ‘the place where the river narrows’
Saskatchewan: English, Cree, French, German, and Ukrainian; the name came from ‘Kisiskatchewani Sipi’, which in Cree means ‘swift flowing river’, a reference to the Saskatchewan River
Yukon: English, French, Athapaskan languages, German, and Chinese; ‘Yukon’, or ‘Yu-kun-ah’ means ‘great river’