Importance of French Language in Canada



One of Canada’s two official languages is French. French is the official language in all Canadian provinces, yet only Québec is a French-speaking province. 7,054,975 persons in Canada (21 per cent of the total population) identified as first-language French speakers in 2011.
A wide range of demographic portraits of Francophones in Canada can be derived from the answers to three language-related questions in the census: native language questions (the first language learned at home as a child), Proficiency in two official languages ​​(these two languages) and the most commonly used languages ​​at home.

Francophones in Canada

According to the 2011 census, Canada’s population includes 7,054,975 people who speak French as their first language, which is 21 per cent of the total population. Within this group, 6,102,210 live in Québec, with the rest at 493,295 in Ontario, 233,530 in New Brunswick, 38,775 in the other three Atlantic states, and 181,190 in four states in western Ontario. It is distributed. In the 2011 census, native French speakers were the majority in Quebec (78% of the state’s population) and a minority in nine other states (0.49% in Newfoundland, 3.42% in Newfoundland). It is also shown to be in. Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick 31.56%, Ontario 3.88%, Manitoba 3.53%, Saskatchewan 1.6%, Alberta 1.9%, British Colombia 1.2%).

Knowledge of the Official Languages

In Quebec, 38.2 per cent of those who speak French as their first language are able to express themselves in English, compared to those who use English as their first language, according to the 2011 Census. Other than English or French, 67 per cent of native speakers can communicate in French. As a result, in this state, where the Francophone population predominates, individuals of linguistic minorities are far more likely to speak in French than the Francophone majority does in English.
In all nine other Canadian states, the average percentage of non-French speakers who can speak French is only 6%, with little variation from this average between states. However, in the same state, the percentage of native French speakers who can express themselves in English is very high, well above 71% in New Brunswick and 80% in other states. As a minority language group in Canada’s nine English-speaking states, Francophone has little choice but to learn and master English. For non-Francophone people in these states, learning French is a personal choice rather than a necessity.

Use of French Language

Census data on the most commonly spoken languages ​​at home is whether Canadians who use French as their first language continue to speak French at home or one of the other languages ​​that compete with French. Can provide insight into whether you are likely to speak (usually in Canada). Means English). Conversely, the same data could indicate the pressure French can exert in this social space at the expense of other languages.

According to the 2011 census, French is the first language in Quebec, and the percentage of people who speak the most common language at home is as high as possible (97.65%). That percentage is 87% in New Brunswick, but it’s much lower in other states. For example, Ontario has 53%, Manitoba has 39%, and Saskatchewan has 21%.

History of French in Canada

The late 1960s and the next 20 years marked a turning point in the history of the Francophone in Canada. During this period,
Québec Francophone regained control of the fate of the language by enacting a series of laws, including the 1977 French Charter (the French Charter, commonly known as Bill 101). This made Québec in French the only official language. The law gives Francophones the right to communicate in French at work, especially in the areas of the economy where English was once prevalent. It is also necessary for immigrants to send their children to French schools (see also Québec’s language policy), as French is predominant on public signs.

Effects of Quebec’s Charter of the French Language

The main purpose of all these measures was to encourage non-French-speaking migrants to integrate into the French-speaking community rather than the English-speaking community they had done in the past, especially in Montreal. After Quebec’s Francophone birth rate fell below the turnover rate in the 1980s, immigration integration has become one of the most important prerequisites for maintaining and, in some cases, expanding the state’s Francophone population rice field.

According to 2011 census statistics, about 40 years after the French Charter was passed, the French were putting a lot of pressure on Quebec’s ethnic minorities. Of the 599,225 Quebec who used English as their mother tongue, 10% spoke mainly French at home. Of the 904,185 Quebec people whose native language is neither French nor English, the percentage who speaks French at home exceeds the percentage who speak English. This pattern was first discovered in the census. According to linguist Julie Auger, these developments indicate that French could become the main language spoken by members of Québec’s linguistic minorities.

Outside of Quebec, Francophone Minority Language Rights

Outside Quebec, since the 1960s, nine English-speaking Canadian states and several jurisdictions in two regions have been against the Francophone minority, including the right to education in French, which was previously abolished. We have taken steps to recognize the rights of a particular language (see Ontario). School Questions; Manitoba School Questions; Northwest School Questions; New Brunswick School Questions). This right was later adopted in 1982 (see The 1982 Constitution) and was guaranteed by the new Canadian Constitution, which came into force in all English-speaking Canadian provinces and territories.

New Brunswick was the state that most recognized the rights to the Francophone language: the state passed a law in 1969, making French one of the two official languages, and in 1981 the state’s Francophone and Anglophone communities. Recognized the equal rights of. In this official bilingual state, Francophone institutions enjoy a high degree of autonomy (see Bilingualism).

Another important part of linguistic law is a federal law on official languages, first passed in 1969 and updated in 1988. Its general purpose is to give Francophone and Anglophone access to French and English services from national agencies such as the Federal Government and Air Canada. However, the Commission on Public Languages office, which oversees the enforcement of this law, said in its annual report that French services provided by federal officials outside Quebec are necessary to serve Francophones. We regularly point out that it is far below quality. To ensure full access to such services.

Home French Use Declining, but Francophone Minorities Remain Active

For francophone minorities outside Québec, winning official backing for the French represented a significant victory, but it did not stop their integration into the English Canadian mainstream. As previously mentioned, Canadians whose mother tongue is French exhibit a notable tendency to discontinue using this language in their households outside of Québec and New Brunswick. According to census data, this development surged between 1971 and 2011.

Another important part of linguistic law is a federal law on official languages, first passed in 1969 and updated in 1988. Its general purpose is to give Francophone and Anglophone access to French and English services from national agencies such as the Federal Government and Air Canada. However, the Commission on Public Languages office, which oversees the enforcement of this law, said in its annual report that French services provided by federal officials outside Quebec are necessary to serve Francophones. We regularly point out that it is far below quality. To ensure full access to such services.

The data also show that at 650 French schools outside Québec, some students come from families who speak little or no French. Where Francophone is a minority, most Francophone parents rely primarily on the school to teach their children French. As a result, children are more accustomed to English than French. A 2006 study of the vitality of minorities in the official language also showed that French schools other than Québec did not attract all Francophone students who could attend. For example, in New Brunswick, 82% of Francophonie’s parents send their children to French-speaking elementary schools, while the rest send their children to English-speaking schools. Only 58 per cent of Francophone parents enrol their children in French-speaking schools in Ontario. In Alberta, that percentage is even lower, at 28 per cent. The enrolment rate of French primary schools in each of the nine English-speaking Canadian states is very close to the usage rate of French families in the same state. This close correlation is not surprising, as schools and homes are the two major social spaces that determine the re-enactment of the minority language community.

English-Speaking Quebecers Learning French

In 2013, 35% of English-speaking students in Quebec schools enrolled in these bilingual programs, while other students attended real French-speaking schools. As mentioned earlier, in 2011, nearly 70% of Quebec whose first language was English could speak French. This is about 30 percentage points more than in 1971. The increase in Quebec people with a first language other than English or French is in the same order. An increase in bilingual education may have contributed to this increase, but a long-term study with Francophone outside of school, according to a study by Hélène Blondeau, Naomi Nagy, Gillian Sankoff and Pierrette Thibault on how Anglophone learns French in Montreal. Interaction also helps these anglophones to be bilingual.

Several bilingual education programs were established outside Quebec in the 1970s, but their growth was modest. In 2013, just under 10% of English-speaking students enrolled in these programs.

Over the last 40 years, the proportion of Bilingualism in Canadian Anglo-Saxons other than in Québec has been much lower than in Québec’s Anglo-Saxons. Since 2011, prices have dropped even further, except in Québec. According to Statistics Canada’s Jean-François Lepage and Jean-Pierre Corbeil, one reason could be that French is no longer a required subject at school in three English-speaking Canadian states.

The low number of bilingual English Canadians outside Québec is due to several factors. Other than Québec, the percentage of students studying French in immersion courses is relatively small. Anglophone usually has little opportunity to interact with Francophone who lives in a minority area. Moreover, knowledge of French is not of great economic value outside Québec. Federal and state government public services, and companies operating nationwide, typically have a very limited number of jobs that require Bilingualism. Most Francophones except Québec are bilingual, so that you can compete with Anglophones for these positions. Some Anglophones do not have much practical motivation to become bilingual. B. The desire to get closer to French Canadians or to learn more about their culture. But, as we have seen, these reasons have not resulted in a significant increase in Bilingualism among English Canadians.

The French Spoken in Canada

In Canada, two main types of French are spoken.

  1. French spoken in Quebec, French spoken by Quebec descendants in the western provinces of Quebec
  2. Acadians speak French.

French is spoken in other varieties.

  1. By the people of Metis, descendants of the 18th-century association between French voyagers and Aboriginal women.
  2. Descendants of immigrants who arrived in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from France, Belgium, and Switzerland.
  3. The Madawaska region of New Brunswick, where Francophones of Québec origin and Francophones of Acadia origin coexist.
  4. Through the bilingual Anglophone;
  5. By Francophone and non-Francophone immigrants.


What are the official language/s of Canada?

English and French are the two official languages of Canada.

Which province give preference to French over English?


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