By Rebecca Zamon, Huffington Post |
Canadians are understandably proud of the diversity of our country — the people who have chosen this land, through the generations, to call their home, and continued to honour their traditions throughout their lives here.
And nowhere is that more apparent than in the languages we speak. Take a ride on transit or a walk through a park in any of Canada’s major cities, and you might only hear a smattering of English or French, mixed in with a variety of other languages and dialects from around the world.
The recent information from Statistics Canada about Canadians’ mother tongues showed that the percentage of the population that speaks English is currently almost 60 per cent, while the percentage that speaks French is 21 per cent. Aboriginal languages made up 0.6 per cent.
That means there are plenty of people in Canada who don’t speak in any of the official languages at all, which corresponds to the 2011 Census finding of one in five Canadians not speaking English at home.
Here’s the breakdown of the next eight most common “immigrant” languages in the country, by percentage of the population: