In this series of articles we overview languages present in any given country. This time we are looking at the languages spoken in Canada

The biggest languages present in Canada include:

  • English – 32.84 million speakers;
  • French – 11.32 million speakers;
  • Chinese – 755 thousand speakers;
  • Punjabi – 642 thousand speakers;
  • Spanish – 528 thousand speakers;
  • Filipino – 491 thousand speakers;
  • Arabic – 453 thousand speakers;
  • German – 415 thousand speakers;
  • Italian – 377 thousand speakers;

The following languages are legally recognized as the “official languages” of the country:

  • English
  • French

Below you will find summaries for the languages supported by our translation services.

English

English belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is one of the official languages of Canada, alongside 2 other.

English language summary
Number of speakers worldwide1.15 billion
Language familyIndo-European
WritingEnglish alphabet
Major English-speaking populations in:35 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

English is spoken by around 1.15 billion people around the world. Countries with a significant number of people speaking the language include:

  • Kenya
  • Germany
  • Canada
  • Singapore
  • Italy
  • Poland
  • Brazil
  • Egypt
  • New Zealand

More than three quarters of the population of Canada understands English.

Writing

English uses the Latin alphabet. It employs the standard version of the script with no additional, language-specific symbols. It is written from left to right.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the English language, you might be interested in the following services:

French

French is a Romance language, closely related to Romanian, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, and other languages of the same branch of the language family. It is one of the official languages of Canada, alongside 2 other.

French language summary
Number of speakers worldwide274 million
Language familyIndo-European
WritingFrench alphabet
Major French-speaking populations in:49 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

French is spoken by around 274 million people around the world. Examples of countries, where French has a major presence, include:

  • Vietnam
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Albania
  • Burkina Faso

Less than 50% of the population speaks French on a daily basis, but the number of speakers is still significant for the country – around 11.32 million.

Writing

French employs the French script, which in itself is a sub-type of the Latin script. It is written in the left-to-right fashion.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the French language, you might be interested in the following services:

Chinese

Chinese is a Sino-Tibetan language, distantly related to as well as a number of other languages. It has no country-wide official status in Canada.

Chinese language summary
Number of speakers worldwide1.20 billion
Language familySino-Tibetan
WritingHanzi logograms
Major Chinese-speaking populations in:6 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

More than a billion people use Chinese as their language of day-to-day communication. Examples of countries, where Chinese has a major presence, include:

  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Malaysia

In Canada approximately 2% or 755 thousand people use Chinese in their day-to-day communication.

Writing

The Hanzi logograms is used for writing the Chinese language. It employs the standard version of the script with no additional, language-specific symbols.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the Chinese language, you might be interested in the following services:

Spanish

Spanish is a Indo-European language, distantly related to Macedonian, Croatian, Urdu, Bulgarian, as well as a number of other languages. It has no country-wide official status in Canada.

Spanish language summary
Number of speakers worldwide558 million
Language familyIndo-European
WritingSpanish alphabet
Major Spanish-speaking populations in:20 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

Approximately 558 million people in more than 20 countries speak Spanish as either the first or a second language. With regard to the number of speakers, the most notable 3 countries are Spain, Argentina, and Mexico.

In Canada approximately 1.4% or 528 thousand people use Spanish in their day-to-day communication.

Writing

Spanish uses the Latin alphabet. It employs the extended version of the script, however, with 9 additional symbols. It is written from left to right.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the Spanish language, you might be interested in the following services:

Arabic

Arabic is a Afro-Asiatic language, distantly related to Somali, Maltese, Hebrew, as well as a number of other languages. It has no country-wide official status in Canada.

Arabic language summary
Number of speakers worldwide422 million
Language familyAfro-Asiatic
WritingArabic abjad
Major Arabic-speaking populations in:22 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

More than a hundred million people use Arabic as their language of day-to-day communication. With regard to the number of speakers, the most notable 3 countries are Algeria, Bahrain, and Comoros.

Around 1.2% of the population of Canada speak Arabic.

Writing

Arabic employs the Arabic abjad. It is written in the right-to-left fashion.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the Arabic language, you might be interested in the following services:

German

German is a Germanic language, closely related to Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, English, and other languages of the same branch of the language family. It has no country-wide official status in Canada.

German language summary
Number of speakers worldwide230 million
Language familyIndo-European
WritingGerman alphabet
Major German-speaking populations in:12 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

Approximately 230 million people in more than 12 countries speak German as either the first or a second language. With regard to the number of speakers, the most notable 3 countries are Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Around 1.1% of the population of Canada speak German.

Writing

The German alphabet is used for writing the German language. Being a subset of the Latin script, it uses some non-standard characters like ä, ö, ü, ß, overall 4 symbols.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the German language, you might be interested in the following services:

Italian

Italian belongs to the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family. It has no country-wide official status in Canada.

Italian language summary
Number of speakers worldwide85 million
Language familyIndo-European
WritingItalian alphabet
Major Italian-speaking populations in:9 countries

Demographics and geographic distribution

There are major Italian-speaking populations in more than 5 countries of the world. Examples of countries, where Italian has a major presence, include:

  • Malta
  • Italy
  • Monaco
  • Vatican

Less than a quarter of the population speaks Italian in Canada, 377 thousand people in total.

Writing

Italian uses the Latin alphabet. It employs the extended version of the script, however, with 7 additional symbols. It is written from left to right.

Translation services

If you intend to expand to the Canadian market via the Italian language, you might be interested in the following services:

Related services

We hope you have found the answers to the question about what languages are spoken in Canada“. If you wish to know more about these languages or would like to inquire about our translation services, please contact us at [email protected].

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Arabic Translation Services

13.07.2020
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