Languages of Canada

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Lots of languages are used in Canada. English and French are used by most Canadians. Only New Brunswick uses both English and French as its official languages. Quebec's official language is French. English and French are recognized by the Constitution of Canada as "official languages." This means that all laws of the federal government are in both English and French and that federal government services can be available in both languages.

Many Canadians believe that the relationship between the English and French languages is important.

To know how many people speak them, Canada's census collects a lot of kinds of information not collected in most other countries, including home language, mother tongue, first official language and language of work.

People speak other languages. About 18% of Canadians (about 6.1 million people, most are immigrants) have a language other than English or French as their first language or mother tongue. Nearly 3.5 million Canadians continue to use their other language most often, like when at home or in social settings. The biggest ones are Italian, German, Chinese, Punjabi, Arabic and Dutch.

Canada also has many native languages. But they are not spoken by many people (less than one percent of Canada), and fewer people speak them every year.