Canada is the northernmost country in North America and has a population size of approximately 35.15 million. This population has been made up of a large number of indigenous groups, European settlers and recent immigrants. Together, these individuals have created a rich cultural environment in the country, with a wide range of customs practiced and languages spoken.
Of these many languages, only French and English have been granted official status by the federal government of Canada. All public services, legislative decisions and judicial proceedings are conducted in both French and English. Approximately 56.9% of Canada’s population speaks English as a native language, while 21.3% speaks French as a native language. In addition, 85.6% of the population can communicate in English and 30.1% can speak and understand French. In all provinces, English is the language most used in the home. Quebec and Nunavut are the exceptions to this statistic. In Quebec, almost 80% of the population uses French at home, and in Nunavut almost 53% of the population uses an indigenous language at home.
Indigenous languages of Canada
Canada has a large indigenous population made up of several groups, each with its own language. These languages, many of which are endangered, can be divided into 11 specific language groups. Less than 1% of Canada’s population claims an Indigenous language as their mother tongue. The majority of these people reside in Nunavut. The most widely spoken indigenous languages in this country are Ojibwa, Cree and Inuktitut.
Ojibwa belongs to the Algonquian language family and has over 100,000 speakers. In Canada, it can be heard in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and in some areas of the U.S. It is considered the second most common native language in Canada.
Cree is spoken by approximately 120,000 people, making it the most common indigenous language in Canada. This Algonquian language can be heard throughout Canada, from Labrador to the Northwest Territories. It is considered an official language by the provincial government of the Northwest Territories and by the regional government of the Baie-James Territory in Quebec.
Inuktitut has about 32,000 native speakers in the northernmost areas of Canada. It is one of the official languages of the province of Nunavut and considered one of the most important Inuit languages in this country. This term is also used to refer to Inuit cultural education, which occurs informally in the home and in everyday life.
Minority languages of Canada
Canada is also home to a large immigrant population, which has retained its native languages. Because of this, a large number of minority languages are used in Canada today. The most widely spoken of these languages are Spanish (758,280 speakers), Italian (660,945 speakers) and German (622,650 speakers). Other minority languages spoken in this country include Cantonese (434,720), Punjabi (430,705), Arabic (365,085), Dutch (350,470) and Tagalog (324,120). At least 11 other minority languages are spoken here by populations of less than 300,000.
What languages are spoken in Canada?
English and French are the two official languages spoken in Canada.
Fuente de información: World Atlas