Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
French in Canada
French is one of Canada's two official languages; the other is English and is the language of the majority (see Canadian English). According to the 2001 Census, Canada has seen a rise in francophones outside Quebec — about 4.4 percent of Canadians outside Quebec are francophones. About 17.7 percent of Canadians are bilingual.
Quebec is the only province whose sole official language is French. Quebec French is substantially different in pronunciation and vocabulary, though easily mutually comprehensible, with the French of the Académie française. This is due to the long history of French in Canada and the fact that French immigrants to Canada kept speaking the French of the Ancien Régime while in France the French revolution led to the standardization of bourgeois Parisian French . Today, 81.4 percent of Quebeckers are francophone.
French is one of the two official languages of the province of New Brunswick. Acadian French is spoken in the Canadian Maritimes (Acadia), and is ancestor of Cajun French. New Brunswick has the largest Acadian population, and is the only province that is officially bilingual. About one-third of New Brunswickers are francophone.
French is the native language of just over half a million French-Canadians in Ontario. Franco-Ontarians are mainly found in the regions of Northeastern Ontario and Eastern Ontario, although they are present in smaller numbers throughout the province as well. However, a third of them no longer speak the language at home.
The province has no official language, however it is de facto an English-speaking province. Government services are provided in French "where numbers warrant" as with the federal government.
Michif, a unique language mixing French and Cree is spoken by a small number of Métis living mostly in the province of Manitoba. Manitoba also has a significant Franco-Manitoban community, centred especially in the St. Boniface area of Winnipeg. Saskatchewan also has a large Fransaskois community.
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