GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Canada’s ages-old struggle between French and English is suffering a surprise attack from immigrants, who are bringing in, in growing numbers, their own languages, new census figures show. The Globe and Mail reports that 17.5 percent of Canadians in 2011 spoke at least two languages at home, up from 14.2 percent in 2006, with 94 percent saying they speak at least one of the two official languages at home.
Census data for 2011 was released 24 October.
“Although the gap closed slightly, 21 per cent of Canadians identified French as their mother tongue in 2011, still slightly more than the 20.6 per cent who say another language is their mother tongue,” the newspaper reports.
The immigrant languages most commonly spoken are Punjabi, followed by Chinese, Cantonese, Spanish and Tagalog, with the last, spoken by immigrants from the Philippines, the fastest-growing.