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Languages of Canada
Official language(s) English (67.1%) and French (21.5%)
Indigenous language(s) Abenaki, Algonquin, Babine-Witsuwit'en, Beothuk, Blackfoot, Broken Slavey, Bungee, Carrier, Cayuga, Chiac, Chilcotin, Chinook Jargon, Coast Tsimshian, Comox, Cree, Dene Suline, Dogrib, Gwich’in, Haida, Haisla, Halkomelem, Hän, Heiltsuk-Oowekyala, Innu-aimun, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inupiaq, Inuvialuktun, Kaska, Kutenai, Kwak'wala, Labrador Inuit Pidgin French, Malecite-Passamaquoddy, Michif, Mi'kmaq, Mohawk, Munsee, Naskapi, Nicola, Nitinaht, Nlaka'pamuctsin, Nuu-chah-nulth, Nuxálk, Ojibwe, Okanagan, Oneida, Onondaga, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Saanich, Sekani, Seneca, Sháshíshálh, Shuswap, Slavey, Squamish, St'at'imcets, Tagish, Tahltan, Tlingit, Tsuut’ina, Tuscarora, Tutchone, Western Abnaki, Wyandot
Minority language(s) Chinese (2.6%), Punjabi (0.8%), Spanish (0.7%), Italian (0.6%), Arabic (0.5%)
Sign language(s) American Sign Language,
Maritime Sign Language,
Quebec Sign Language
Common keyboard layout(s)
QWERTY
American
KB United States-NoAltGr.svg
Canadian French
KB Canadian French.svg

A multitude of languages are spoken in Canada. According to the 2006 census, English and French are the preferred language ("home language", or language spoken most often in the home) of 67.1% and 21.5%, respectively. English and French are recognized by the Constitution of Canada as "official languages." This means that all laws of the federal government are enacted in both English and French and that federal government services must be available in both languages.

Many Canadians believe that the relationship between the English and French languages is the central or defining aspect of the Canadian experience. Canada's Official Languages Commissioner (the federal government official charged with monitoring the two languages) has stated, "[I]n the same way that race is at the core of what it means to be American and at the core of an American experience and class is at the core of British experience, I think that language is at the core of Canadian experience."[1]

However, the official point of view gives only a partial perspective of Canada’s linguistic diversity. About 20% of Canadians (roughly 6.1 million people, most of whom are first-generation immigrants) have a language other than English or French as their first language or mother tongue[2]. Many immigrants and aboriginal Canadians use English or French more often than their native language, but nearly 3.5 of them continue to use a non-official language most often, when in home or social settings.[3] The five most widely-spoken non-official languages are Chinese (the home language of 2.6% of Canadians), Punjabi (0.9%), Spanish (0.7%), Italian (0.6%), and Dutch (0.6%). Aboriginal languages, many of which are unique to Canada, are spoken by less than one percent of the population, and are mostly in decline.

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Language composition by home language

The following are the top twenty languages spoken as a home language in Canada, shown as a percentage of total single responses:[4]

  1. English 20,584,775 (67.1%)
  2. French 6,608,125 (21.5%)
  3. Chinese[5] 790,035 (2.6%)
  4. Punjabi 278,500 (0.8%)
  5. Spanish 209,955 (0.7%)
  6. Italian 170,330 (0.6%)
  7. Arabic 144,745 (0.5%)
  8. German 128,350 (0.4%)
  9. Tagalog 119,345 (0.4%)
  10. Vietnamese 111,440 (0.4%)
  11. Portuguese 103,875 (0.3%)
  12. Urdu 102,805 (0.3%)
  13. Polish 101,575 (0.3%)
  14. Korean 101,500 (0.3%)
  15. Persian 97,220 (0.3%)
  16. Russian 93,805 (0.3%)
  17. Tamil 92,680 (0.3%)
  18. Greek 55,100 (0.2%)
  19. Gujarati 52,715 (0.2%)
  20. Romanian 51,060 (0.2%)

Geographic distribution

The following table details the population of each province and territory, with summary national totals, by language spoken most often in the home (“Home language”).

Province/Territory Total population English % French % Other languages % Official Language(s)
 Ontario 12,028,895 9,789,937 81.4% 304,727 2.5% 1,934,235 16.1% English (de facto), French (de jure)
 Quebec 7,435,905 787,885 10.6% 6,085,152 81.8% 562,860 7.6% French
 British Columbia 4,074,800 3,380,253 83.0% 19,361 0.5% 676,911 16.6% English (de facto)
 Alberta 3,256,356 2,915,867 89.5% 21,347 0.7% 319,142 9.8% English (de facto)
 Manitoba 1,133,515 997,598 88.0% 20,515 1.8% 115,398 10.1% English (de facto), French (de jure)
 Saskatchewan 953,850 900,231 94.4% 4,318 0.5% 49,301 5.2% English (de facto)
 Nova Scotia 903,090 868,408 96.2% 17,871 1.9% 16,811 1.9% English (de facto)
 New Brunswick 719,650 496,850 69.0% 213,878 29.7% 8,913 1.2% English, French
 Newfoundland and Labrador 500,605 494,695 98.9% 740 0.1% 5,170 1.0% English (de facto)
 Prince Edward Island 134,205 130,270 97.1% 2,755 2.1% 1,175 0.9% English (de facto)
 Northwest Territories 41,055 36,918 89.9% 458 1.1% 3,678 9.0% English, French, Other aboriginal languages
 Yukon 30,195 28,711 94.8% 578 1.9% 985 3.3% English, French
 Nunavut 29,325 13,120 44.7% 228 0.8% 15,950 54.5% Inuktituk, English, French, Inuinnaqtun
 Canada 31,241,446 20,840,743 66.7% 6,691,928 21.4% 3,710,529 11.9% English, French
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. (Figures combine single and multiple responses. Multiple responses for “French/English”, “French/Other” and “English/Other” were allocated with one-half of all respondents placed in either linguistic category. Multiple responses for English/French/Other” were allocated with one-third of all respondents being placed in each of the three categories.).

The two Official Languages

Use of English

In 2006, just under 20.6 million Canadians spoke English at home. English is the major language everywhere in Canada except Quebec. In Quebec, English is the preferred language of only 10.5% of the population. Only 3.6% of Canada's English-speaking population resides in Quebec—mostly in Montreal. Most Canadians who use English, use a dialect that is more like the English spoken and written in the United States than Great Britain (British English).

Use of French

In 2006, just over 6.6 million Canadians spoke French at home. Of these, 91.2% resided in Quebec. Outside Quebec, the largest French-speaking populations are found in New Brunswick (which is home to 3.5% of Canada’s francophones) and Ontario (4.4%, residing primarily in the eastern and northeastern parts of the province and in Toronto). Smaller indigenous French-speaking communities exist in some other provinces. For example, a vestigial community exists on Newfoundland's Port au Port Peninsula; a remnant of French occupation of the island.

In addition to francophones of French-Canadian and Acadian origin, many francophones from Haiti, France, Belgium, Morocco, Lebanon and Switzerland have emigrated to Quebec since the early 1960s. As a result of this wave of immigration and the assimilation of many earlier generations of non-francophone immigrants (Irish, English, Italian, Portuguese, etc.), Canadian-born francophones of Quebec are of diverse ethnic origin. Five francophone Premiers of Quebec have been of British ethnic origin, as defined by Statistics Canada: John Jones Ross, Edmund James Flynn, Daniel Johnson, Sr., Pierre-Marc Johnson and Daniel Johnson, Jr.

The assimilation of francophones outside Quebec into the English-Canadian society means that outside Quebec, over one million Canadians who claim English as their mother tongue are of French ethnic origin. (1991 Census, ethnic origin and mother tongue, by province).

Bilingualism and multilingualism versus French-English bilingualism

According to the 2006 census, 98% of Canadian residents are able to speak at least one of the country’s two official languages,[6] As well, at least 35% of Canadians speak more than one language. However, bilingualism in the two official languages is much less widespread; of these multilingual Canadians, less than a quarter (5,448,850 persons, or 17.4% of the Canadian population) are able to speak both the official languages.[7]

However, in Canada the terms "bilingual" and "unilingual" are normally used to refer to bilingualism in English and French. In this sense, nearly 83% of Canadians are "unilingual".

Geographic distribution of French-English bilingualism

Knowledge of the two official languages is largely determined by geography. Prime Minister Stephen Harper once summarized the situation this way: “Canada is not a bilingual country. It is a country with two languages. And there is a big difference.” [8].

Nearly 95% of Quebecers can speak French, and 40.6% know how to speak English. In the rest of the country, 97.6% of the population is capable of speaking English, and 7.5% know how to speak French.[9] Because knowledge of English in Quebec is over five times higher, in percentage terms, than knowledge of French in the rest of the country, personal bilingualism is largely limited to Quebec itself, and to a strip of territory sometimes referred to as the “bilingual belt”, that stretches east from Quebec into northern New Brunswick and west into parts of Ottawa and northeastern Ontario. Thus, a majority of bilingual Canadians are themselves Quebecers, and a high percentage of the bilingual population in the rest of Canada resides in close proximity to the Quebec border.

French-English bilingualism is highest among members of local linguistic minorities

As the table below shows, rates of bilingualism are much higher among individuals who belong to the linguistic minority group for their region of Canada, than among members of the local linguistic majority.

Rates of French-English bilingualism among linguistic groups.[10]
Anglophones Francophones Allophones
Quebec 66.1% 36.6% 50.4%
Rest of Canada 7.1% 85.1% 5.7%

Non-official languages that are unique to Canada

Aboriginal languages

Main articles: Canadian Aboriginal syllabics, Inuit language and Eskimo-Aleut languages

Canada is home to a rich variety of indigenous languages that are spoken nowhere else. There are 11 Aboriginal language groups in Canada, made up of more than 65 distinct languages and dialects.[11] Of these, only Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway have a large enough population of fluent speakers to be considered viable to survive in the long term.[12] Two of Canada's territories give official status to native languages. In Nunavut, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are official languages alongside the national languages of English and French, and Inuktitut is a common vehicular language in territorial government.[13] In the NWT, the Official Languages Act declares that there are eleven different languages: Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich’in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey and Tłįchǫ.[14] Besides English and French, these languages are not vehicular in government; official status entitles citizens to receive services in them on request and to deal with the government in them.[12]

According to the 2006 census, less than one percent of Canadians (just over 250,000 individuals) know how to speak an aboriginal language. About half this number (129,865) reported using an aboriginal language on a daily basis.[12]

Aboriginal language No. of speakers Mother tongue Home language
Cree 99,950 78,855 47,190
Inuktitut 35,690 32,010 25,290
Ojibway 32,460 11,115 11,115
Montagnais-Naskapi (Innu) 11,815 10,970 9,720
Dene 11,130 9,750 7,490
Oji-Cree (Anishinini) 12,605 8,480 8,480
Mi’kmaq 8,750 7,365 3,985
Siouan languages (Dakota/Sioux) 6,495 5,585 3,780
Atikamekw 5,645 5,245 4,745
Blackfoot 4,915 3,085 3,085
Tłįchǫ or Dogrib 2,645 2,015 1,110
Algonquin 2,685 1,920 385
Carrier 2,495 1,560 605
Gitksan 1,575 1,175 320
Chilcotin 1,400 1,070 435
North Slave (Hare) 1,235 650 650
South Slave 2,315 600 600
Malecite 790 535 140
Chipewyan 770 525 125
Inuinnaqtun 580 370 70
Kutchin-Gwich’in (Loucheaux) 570 355 25
Mohawk 615 290 20
Shuswap 1,650 250 250
Nisga’a 1,090 250 250
Tlingit 175 0 0
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship Ottawa, 2007, pp. 2, 6, 10.

Pidgins, mixed languages, & trade languages

In Canada as elsewhere in the world of European colonization, the frontier of European exploration and settlement tended to be a linguistically diverse and fluid place, as cultures using different languages met and interacted. The need for a common means of communication between the indigenous inhabitants and new arrivals for the purposes of trade and (in some cases) intermarriage led to the development of hybrid languages. These languages tended to be highly localized, were often spoken by only a small number of individuals who were frequently capable of speaking another language, and often persisted only briefly, before being wiped out by the arrival of a large population of permanent settlers, speaking either English or French.

Michif

Michif (also known as Mitchif, Mechif, Michif-Cree, Métif, Métchif and French Cree) is a mixed language which evolved within the Prairie Metis community. It is based on elements of Cree, Ojibwa, Assiniboine and French. Michif is today spoken by less than 1,000 individuals in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota. At its peak, around 1900, Michif was understood by perhaps three times this number.

Basque pidgin

In the 16th century, a Basque pidgin developed in coastal areas along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Strait of Belle Isle as the result of contact between Basque whalers and local aboriginals.

Chinook Jargon

In British Columbia, Yukon and throughout the Pacific Northwest a pidgin language known as the Chinook Jargon emerged in the early 19th Century which was a combination of Chinookan, Nootka, Chehalis, French and English, with a smattering of words from other languages including Hawaiian and Spanish.[15] Certain words and expressions remain current in local use, such as skookum, tyee and saltchuck, while a few have become part of worldwide English ("high mucketymuck" or "high muckamuck" for a high-ranking and perhaps self-important official).

Sign Languages found in Canada

American Sign Language

Canada is a diverse mix of many Deaf cultures and their own sign languages. The main sign language in Anglophone Canada is American Sign Language. According to the Canadian Association of the Deaf, there are approximately 3.1 million Deaf people who use ASL.

Maritime Sign Language

Maritime Sign Language is a language from the BANZSL Language Family. It was used to educate the Deaf in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island before ASL showed up in the mid-Twentieth Century. It is still remembered by some elderly people, but moribund.

Quebec Sign Language

The major sign language of the Deaf in Quebec and other major Canadian cities is Quebec Sign Language (LSQ). In some major cities, American Sign Language is also used. Although approximately 10% of the population of Quebec is deaf or hard-of-hearing, it is estimated that only 50,000 to 60,000 children use LSQ as their native language.

Inuit Sign Language

Inuit Sign Language (also called Inuktitut Sign Language or Eskimo Sign Language) is used by the deaf Inuit peoples in northern Canadian territories and other Arctic Circle countries. Little is known about its history or signers.

Canadian dialects of European languages

Canadian Gaelic

Scottish Gaelic was spoken by many immigrants who settled in the Maritimes and Glengarry County, Ontario. Scottish Gaelic was spoken predominantly in New Brunswick's Restigouche River valley, central and southeastern Prince Edward Island, and across the whole of northern Nova Scotia--particularly Cape Breton Island and a few speaks in Ontario primarily Glengarry County.

While the Canadian Gaelic dialect has mostly disappeared, regional pockets persist. These are mostly centred on families deeply committed to their Celtic traditions. Nova Scotia currently has 500-1000 fluent speakers, mostly in northwestern Cape Breton Island.

There have been attempts in Nova Scotia to institute Gaelic immersion on the model of French immersion. As well, formal post-secondary studies in Gaelic language and culture are available through St. Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary's University, and the Gaelic College.

In 1890, a private member's was tabled in the Canadian Senate, calling for Gaelic to be made Canada's third official language. However, the bill was defeated 42-7.

Franglais and Chiac

A portmanteau language which is said to combine English and French syntax, grammar and lexicons to form a unique interlanguage, sometimes ascribed to mandatory basic French education in the Canadian anglophone school systems. While many Canadians are barely conversant in French they will often borrow French words into their sentences. Simple words and phrases like "c'est quoi ça?" (what is that?) or words like "arrête" (stop) can alternate with their English counterparts. This phenomena is more common in the Eastern half of the country where there is a greater density of Francophone populations. Franglais can also refer to the supposed degradation of the French language thanks to the overwhelming impact English Canadian has on the country's Francophone inhabitants, though many linguists would argue that while English vocabulary can be freely borrowed as a stylistic device, the grammar of French has been resistant to influences from English[16] and the same conservatism holds true in Canadian English grammar[17], even in Quebec City. One interesting example of is Chiac, popularly a combination of Acadian French and Canadian English, but actually an unmistakable variety of French, which is native to the Maritimes (particularly New Brunswick which has a large Acadian population).

Newfoundland Irish

Some of the original immigrants to Newfoundland were native speakers of Irish, who passed on a version of their language to their children. As a result, Newfoundland became the only place outside Europe to have its own Irish dialect. Newfoundland was also the only place outside Europe to have its own distinct name in Irish: Talamh an Éisc, which means 'land of the fish'. The Irish language is now extinct in Newfoundland.

Welsh language

Some Welsh is found in Newfoundland. In part, this is as a result of Welsh settlement since the 17th century. Also there was an influx of about 1,000 Patagonian Welsh migrated to Canada from Argentina after the 1982 Falkland Islands War. Welsh-Argentines are fluent in Spanish as well as English and Welsh.

Acadian French

Acadian French is a unique form of Canadian French which incorporates not only distinctly Canadian phrases but also nautical terms, English loan words, linguistic features found only in older forms of French as well as ones found in the Maritimer English dialect.

Canadian Ukrainian

Canada is also home to Canadian Ukrainian, a distinct dialect of the Ukrainian language, spoken mostly in Western Canada by the descendants of first two waves of Ukrainian settlement in Canada who developed in a degree of isolation from their cousins in what was then Austria-Hungary, the Russian Empire, Poland, and the Soviet Union.

Doukhobor Russian

Canada's Doukhobor community, especially in Grand Forks and Castlegar, British Columbia, has kept its distinct dialect of Russian. It has a lot in common with South Russian dialects, showing some common features with Ukrainian. This dialect's versions are becoming extinct in their home regions of Georgia and Russia where the Doukhobors have split into smaller groups.

Bungee

The meagerly documented Bungee language (also known as Bungy, Bungie, Bungay, and as the Red River Dialect) is a dialect of English which evolved within the Prairie Metis community. It is influenced by Cree and Scots Gaelic. Bungee was spoken in the Red River area of Manitoba. In 1989, at the time of the only academic study ever undertaken on the language, only six speakers of Bungee were known to still be alive.

Demolinguistic descriptors

Mother tongue: The language spoken by the mother or the person responsible for taking care of the child is the most basic measure of a population's language. However, with the high number of mixed francophone-anglophone marriages and the reality of bilingualism and trilingualism, this description does not allow to fully determine the real linguistic portrait of Canada. It is, however, still essential, for example in order to calculate the assimilation rate.

Home language: This is the language most often spoken at home. This descriptor has the advantage of pointing out the current usage of languages. It however fails to describe the language that is most spoken at work, which may be a different language.

Knowledge of Official Languages: This measure describes which of the two official languages of Canada a person can speak informally. This relies on the person's own evaluation of his/her linguistic competence and can prove misleading. It was developed by Statistics Canada.

First Official Language Spoken: This is a composite measure of mother tongue, home language and knowledge of official language. It was developed by Statistics Canada.

Official language minority: Based on first official language learned, but placing half of the people equally proficient in both English and French into each linguistic community; it is used by the Canadian government to define English- and French-speaking communities in order to gauge demand for minority language services in a region.

Official bilingualism

Language policy of the federal government

A bilingual sign in Montreal.

English and French have equal status in federal courts, Parliament, and in all federal institutions. The public has the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either English or French. Immigrants who are applying for Canadian citizenship must normally be able to speak either English or French.

The principles of bilingualism in Canada are protected in sections 16 to 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of 1982 which establishes that:

  • French and English are equal to each other as federal official languages;
  • Debate in Parliament may take place in either official language;
  • Federal laws shall be printed in both official languages, with equal authority;
  • Anyone may deal with any court established by Parliament, in either official language;
  • Everyone has the right to receive services from the federal government in his or her choice of official language;
  • Members of a minority language group of one of the official languages if learned and still understood (i.e., French speakers in a majority English-speaking province, or vice versa) or received primary school education in that language has the right to have their children receive a public education in their language, where numbers warrant.

Canada's Official Languages Act, first adopted in 1969 and updated in 1988, gives English and French equal status throughout federal institutions.

Language policies of Canada's provinces and territories

Officially bilingual or multilingual: New Brunswick and the three territories

New Brunswick and Canada's three territories have all given official status to more than one language. In the case of New Brunswick, this means perfect equality. In the other cases, the recognition sometimes amounts to a formal recognition of official languages, but limited services in official languages other than English.

The official languages are:

Officially French-only: Quebec

Until 1969, Quebec was the only officially bilingual province in Canada and most public institutions functioned in both languages. English was also used in the legislature, government commissions and courts. With the adoption of the Charter of the French Language by Quebec's National Assembly in August 1977, however, French became the sole official language of the government of Quebec. However, the French Language Charter also provides certain rights for speakers of English and aboriginal languages and most government services are available in both French and English. Regional institutions in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec offer services in Inuktitut and Cree.

De facto English only, or limited French-language services: the other eight provinces

Most provinces have laws that make either English or both English and French the official language(s) of the legislature and the courts, but may also have separate policies in regards to education and the bureaucracy.

For example, in Alberta, English and French are both official languages of debate in the Legislative Assembly, but laws are drafted solely in English and there is no legal requirement that they be translated into French. French can be used in some lower courts and education is offered in both languages, but the bureaucracy functions almost solely in English. Therefore, although Alberta is not officially an English-only province, English has a higher de facto status than French. Ontario and Manitoba are similar but allow for more services in French at the local level.

See also

Further reading

  1. ^ Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser is quoted in the Hill Times, August 31, 2009, p. 14.
  2. ^ 6,147,840 Canadians have a non-official language as their mother tongue. See Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, p. 2, line 5.
  3. ^ 3,472,130 Canadians use a non-official language as their home language. See Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, p. 6, line 120.
  4. ^ Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, pp. 6-10. Data available online at: "Detailed Language Spoken Most Often at Home". 2006 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations. Statistics Canada. April 8, 2008. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rp-eng.cfm?TABID=0&LANG=E&A=R&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=01&GID=837928&GK=1&GRP=1&O=D&PID=94817&PRID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=702&Temporal=2006&THEME=70&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&D1=0&D2=0&D3=0&D4=0&D5=0&D6=0. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ This includes 300,590 persons listed as speaking Cantonese, 143,385 listed as speaking Mandarin, 4,580 listed as speaking Taiwanese, and 341,480 speaking other dialects, or else simply filling out the relevant question on their census forms by noting “Chinese” without indicating a dialect. See Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, p. 8 and note no. 1 on p. 503.
  6. ^ Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, p. 6, line 108. In 2006, Canada’s population was 31,241,030. Of this, 520,385 Canadians, or 1.7%, did not speak either official language.
  7. ^ Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, pp. 2, 6. Statistics Canada collects data on mother tongue, on “first official language spoken,” and on bilingualism in French and English. However, the agency does not collect data on bilingualism in non-official languages (either persons who speak more than one non-official language, or who have an official language as their mother tongue and afterwards learn a non-official language). Thus, it is possible only to determine that 6,147,840 Canadians have a non-official language as their mother tongue (see p. 2, line 5), and that 520,385 Canadians do not speak either official language (see p. 6, line 108). Since all persons who speak neither official language must have a non-official language as their mother tongue, simple subtraction shows that 5,627,455 Canadians, or 18.0% of the population, are bilingual in a non-official language plus an official language.
  8. ^ Stephen Harper, Speech to the Council for National Policy, Montreal, June 1997. In Brian Busby (ed.), Great Canadian Speeches: Words that Shaped a Nation. London: Arcturus, 2008, p. 90.
  9. ^ Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Profile of Federal Electoral Districts (2003 Representation Order): Language, Mobility and Migration and Immigration and Citizenship. Ottawa, 2007, pp. 6, 60.
  10. ^ [1], Bilingualism Rate in Canada, Site for Language Management in Canada (SLMC).
  11. ^ "Aboriginal languages". Statistics Canada. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-589-x/4067801-eng.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  12. ^ a b c Gordon, Raymond G Jr. (2005) (Web Version online by SIL International,formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), Ethnologue: Languages of the world (15 ed.), Dallas, TX: SIL International, ISBN 1-55671-159-X, http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=CA, retrieved 2009-11-16 
  13. ^ "Nunavut's Languages". Office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut. http://www.langcom.nu.ca/languages/en_index.html. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  14. ^ "Official Languages Act" (pdf). Legislation Division, Department of Justice. 1988. http://www.justice.gov.nt.ca/PDF/ACTS/Official_Languages.pdf. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  15. ^ Chinook Jargon website
  16. ^ Poplack, Shana (1988) Conséquences linguistiques du contact de langues: un modèle d’analyse variationniste. Langage et société 43: 23-48.
  17. ^ Poplack, Shana, Walker, James & Malcolmson, Rebecca. 2006. An English “like no other”?: Language contact and change in Quebec. Canadian Journal of Linguistics. 185-213.

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