Manitoba is a bilingual province

Canada: one country. Two national languages.

With "Welcome to Canada" you greet newcomers in Vancouver. In Québec, however, it is called “Bienvenue au Canada”. Whether the greeting is in English or French depends on where you arrive in Canada.

The reason is historical: from the year 1600 the French and English founded colonies in what is now almost 10,000 square kilometers in North American territory - and imported their languages, customs and habits to Canada. The coexistence between English and French speakers has a long tradition and is largely free of conflicts in everyday life.

Since 1969, English and French have been recognized as official languages ​​at federal level. The ten provinces and three territories of Canada can choose their official languages. There are no comprehensive English and French classes in Canada's schools, so that only about a fifth of all residents are fluent in both languages.

Anglophone Canadians make up the majority in the country, at around sixty percent. You have English roots and are growing up with English as your first language. In the west of the country and in centrally located provinces such as Manitoba and Ontario, English is predominant, and its pronunciation is similar to American English.

For 6.5 million of the almost 32 million Canadians, French is the mother tongue. Most of them live in the east of the country, in the province of Québec (with the provincial capital of the same name). French is the only official language here that is home to eighty percent of Francophone Canadians. Road signs are only found in French in Québec, while they are bilingual in Canada's capital Ottawa and mostly in English in other parts of the country. The provinces of New Brunswick and Ontario also have larger francophone population groups who speak regionally different dialects.

In the far north of Canada, on the border with Greenland, is the Nunavut Territory. Here, Eskimo-Aleut Inuktitut is the third official language alongside English and French. 25,000 of the 31,000 inhabitants of Nunavut belong to the Inuit Eskimo ethnic group. Indigenous peoples such as the First Nations and the Métis (descendants of Europeans and Indians) have also preserved their linguistic traditions to this day. While the First Nations have over fifty different languages, the Métis have retained a form of Creole.

based on an article by H. Daiminger: