Languages in Canada
According to the 2011 census in Canada, more than 200 languages are currently spoken in Canada. As well as English and French, increasing numbers of people speak Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic, Persian, Spanish and Tagalog, with the numbers of Tagalog speakers growing most in recent years.
Some 20% of the population, 6.6 million people, speak a language other than English or French at home. The majority speak an immigrant language, while 213,000 speak an aboriginal language, and 25,000 use sign language. In comparison, 58% of the population (19.2 million) speak only English at home, while 18.2% (6 million) only speak French. The proportion of people in Quebec who only speak French has decline somewhat to 72.8%. In Quebec the number of people bilingual in French and English has increased slightly, while elsewhere it has decreased slightly.
Most of the immigrant languages are spoken in the major cities, so if you’re learning or planning to learn Punjabi, you’ll find plenty of people to practise with in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. In Montreal and Ottawa there are plenty of Arabic and Spanish speakers; there are concentrations of Tagalog speakers in Calgary and Edmonton, and quite a few Italian speakers in Montreal, and there are lots of people who speak Chinese languages in all these cities, except Montreal.