Over 200 languages spoken in multicultural Canada

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-10-25 15:11:47

Over 200 languages are spoken in multicultural Canada, where Asian languages have shown the strongest growth in recent years, according to census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday.

One-fifth of Canada's population - or nearly 6.63 million - speak a language other than the country's two official languages, English and French, at home either alone or in some combination with English or French, said the 2011 census.

Of that group, almost one-third, or 2.1 million people, only speak a non-official language at home.

While 20.6 percent of Canadians, or 6.8 million people, have a mother tongue other than English or French, only 6.2 percent speak a language other than those two official languages as their only home language.

Asian languages showed the fastest growth between 2006 and 2011, with the Philippine-based Tagalog increasing the most at 64 percent, or nearly 279,000 people.

Seven other linguistic groups also saw a rise, including Mandarin, which experienced a 50-percent increase, Arabic at 47 percent, and Hindi at 44 percent.

Toronto, Canada's largest city, had the highest proportion with nearly 1.8 million people speaking an immigrant language most often at home, or 32.2 percent of the city's population.

The census also recorded more than 60 Aboriginal languages grouped into 12 distinct language families.

Almost 213,500 people reported an Aboriginal mother tongue and nearly 213,400 reported speaking an Aboriginal language most often or regularly at home.

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