French, Canada

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Summary

French ( or ) is a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European family that is an official language in 29 countries, most of which form la francophonie (in French), the community of French-speaking countries. It is an official language of all United Nations agencies and of a large number of international organizations, including the European Union, NATO, WTO, and the ICRC. In 2011, French was deemed by Bloomberg Businessweek to be one of the top three mos

Details

French is the second most common language in Canada, after English, and both are official languages at the federal level. French is the sole official language in the province of Quebec, being the mother tongue for some 7 million people, or almost 80.1% (2006 Census) of the province. About 95.0% of the people of Quebec speak French as either their first or second language, and for some as their third language. Quebec is also home to the city of Montreal, which is the world's fourth largest French speaking city, by number of first language speakers. New Brunswick and Manitoba are the only officially bilingual provinces, though full bilingualism is enacted only in New Brunswick, where about one third of the population is Francophone. French is also an official language of all of the territories (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon). Out of the three, Yukon has the most French speakers, comprising just under 4% of the population. Furthermore, while French is not an official language in Ontario, the French Language Services Act ensures that provincial services are to be available in the language. The Act applies to areas of the province where there are significant Francophone communities, namely Eastern Ontario and Northern Ontario. Elsewhere, sizable French-speaking minorities are found in southern Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and the Port au Port Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador, where the unique Newfoundland French dialect was historically spoken. Smaller pockets of French speakers exist in all other provinces.

About 9,487,500 of Canadians speak French as their first language, or around 30% of the country, with 2,065,300 constituting secondary speakers. Due to the increased bilingual school programs and French immersion classes in English Canada, the portion of Canadians proficient in French has risen significantly in the past two decades, and is still rising.

The difference between French spoken in Quebec and French spoken in France is similar in degree to that between American and British English.

In Quebec, where the majority of French-speaking Canadians live, the Office québécois de la langue française () regulates Quebec French and ensures the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101 & 104) is respected.

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External Links

  • WikipediaFondation Alliance françaiseAgence de promotion du FLEFrançais interactifTex's French GrammarFree online French grammarLearn French at AboutFrench lessons at Wikiotics

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