Languages in Canada


Although in any given day you may be able to listen to over 150 languages in the streets of the major cities in Canada, the official languages are English and French.

At Federal level all communications in Canada are available both in English and French. At the Provincial level the story changes and each province has a unique set of regulations that indicate what the “official” language in the province is. For instance, in Quebec the official language is French, while in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario it is English. In Canada, the only province that is truly bilingual according to its provincial law is New Brunswick.

Other languages spoken in Canada

Even before English and French were spoken in Canada, there were many native languages spoken in different regions of the country. 2001 Canadian census data shows three major aboriginal languages reported as a mother tongue: Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway

Canada is also home to many first, second and third generation immigrants from many corners around the world. It is not rare to find a neighbourhood where there is a large concentration of people from single countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Italy, France, Greece, Germany, Japan, Korea, China, Portugal, Poland, Mexico, etc. That means that there is a large likelihood that in most major cities you will be able to speak, at least sometimes, your own language.

Most of the large cities also have major language academies for Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, etc. and can be easily found in the Yellow Pages of every city.

Further reading

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