(NC) With our country being one of the most multicultural in the world, many of us speak more than one language. Being bilingual has many benefits, including better decision-making, improved memory and protection against illnesses like dementia. Check out the top five languages spoken in Canada, and if you already aren’t bilingual, consider learning a second language as it’s never too late to start. Why not one of the two official languages?
- English. As you may have guessed, English is the most commonly spoken language at home in our country. In fact, a whopping 98 per cent of Canadians say they have the ability to conduct a conversation in English, French or both.
- French. Our other official language, French, is the second-most commonly spoken language in Canada. But it’s not just those in Quebec — there are many communities outside la belle province with large French-speaking populations. That’s why the federal government ensures it provides services in both official languages at many points of service.
- Mandarin. While a fifth of us speak a mother tongue other than English or French, only 6.2 per cent of Canadians speak a language other than English or French as their sole home language. Mandarin is most commonly spoken in the major metropolitan areas.
- Cantonese. Also popular in large cities, Cantonese is another Chinese language that is commonly spoken in Canada.
- Punjabi. The fifth-most common language spoken at home across the country is the most frequently reported immigrant language in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. Overall, the number of Canadians who speak more than one language is growing.
Do you have ideas about how our two official languages can remain relevant in more diverse Canada? The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages is holding public consultations and invites you to share your ideas online at officiallanguages.gc.ca.