One-fifth of Canada’s population speaks a different language besides English at least some of the time. This means that one out of every five households in Canada speaks a language other than an official Canadian language. Canada is trying to impose stricter language requirements after this data was revealed through the 2011 census. The census showed that over 200 languages were being spoken regularly throughout Canada, and surprisingly enough, Chinese was the most dominate language out of them all. Though English and French are still one of the most commonly spoke languages as well, people shouldn’t be surprised to find an abundance of Chinese translation materials in schools and government offices in many large Canadian cities.
New Language Requirements for Canadian Immigrants
The Canadian government is making an effort to crack down on the inflow of immigrants who aren’t dexterous in at least one specific language. Jason Kenney, Canada’s Immigration Minister, says that strong language skills will make immigrants more likely to become integrated into society and motivated to learn at least one of Canada’s official languages. The country can’t provide professional translation services for every language spoken in Canada, so it’s important for people to learn one of Canada’s official languages so that they have an easier time finding jobs and assimilating.
Language crackdowns in recent years seem to be working as well, because 11.5% of the population reported on the newest census that their household spoke both English and a second language. This is higher than the 9.1% reported in 2006. Asian languages have become much more common since 2006 as well, and Asian languages account for 56% of all non-official languages spoken throughout Canada. Because the Asian population is so high and they tend to group together in communities, it’s much easier to find translation services for languages like Mandarin Chinese or Tagalong than it is for some lesser spoke European languages that are decreasing in frequency of use, such as Italian and Polish.
Different Cities Have Higher Concentrations of Specific Language Groups
Language groups tend to clump together in certain cities or areas throughout Canada. Asian languages among others are most heavily concentrated in Toronto and Vancouver as well as Calgary and Edmonton. Spanish and Arabic are most common in the National Capitol Region and in Montreal. Translator services for these languages will be most common in these areas and schools will most likely have classes taught in these languages as well, but Canadian officials are still heavily encouraging people to learn one of Canada’s official languages to prevent large language barriers that can isolate communities.
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