Nearly one in five speak foreign language in Canada

And Canada’s one-fifth population admitted conversing in a foreign language at some point of time at their home. These revelations come at a time when Canada government is working to toughen language requirements for immigrants in Canada.

20 percent Canadians don’t speak English or French—Around 6,630,000 don’t converse in French or English at home, states census data for the year 2011. And the percentage of Canadians speaking only English is said to be 58.0 percent. French is spoken by just 18.2 percent(or 6,043,000) of Canadians.

All these figures show a down trend in the use of Canada’s official language by majority of Canadian population over the census data for 2006.

Proficiency in Canada’s official languages, namely French or English, proves beneficial in getting jobs and better settlement for newcomers in Canada.

The number of people in Canada regarded as bilingual individuals is said to be 17.5 percent and its almost same as the figures for 2006 census data. So, those who speak in both official languages of Canada are said to be 5,795,000.

Top 10 foreign languages spoken often—As per 2011 census data, Punjabi is among the top 10 foreign languages spoken quite often by immigrants at home. Apart from Punjabi, other languages included Chinese (other than Cantonese or Mandarin), Cantonese, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, Urdu and German

While Chinese languages dominated among most commonly spoken foreign languages by immigrants at home, Punjabi emerged as the next top foreign language spoken by around 460,000 Canadians. And Punjabi also reportedly has the highest rate of retention.

Strong language abilities improve job prospects in Canada—Although foreign languages still dominate the scene in terms of being spoken most commonly at home by immigrants, the fact is that proficiency in either of the two official languages of Canada does improve job prospects for immigrants.

Language skills of immigrants make them better suited for Canada job market as well as settlement in Canadian society and way of life.

And the fact that Canada has already introduced tougher language requirements for aspirants of Canada permanent residency or Canada citizenship reinstates the need for proficiency in any of the two Canadian official languages.