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English and French: Canada’s Official Languages

Moving to a brand new country can be a difficult transition for anyone. Integrating into a new community, attending a new school, and getting a job are all intimidating challenges. On top of these hurdles, a new arrival to Canada may also have to learn a new language.

To help you integrate into Canadian society, it is very helpful to know one of Canada’s two official languages: English and French. There are numerous reasons why speaking the language is important and helpful. Knowing English or French (or both) can help you land a job, enroll in school, get social services, and make new friends. If you have children, knowing the language can help you make the transition to living in Canada much smoother for them.

French is widely spoken in Quebec, whereas English is the most commonly spoken language across the country, as well as the United States. Furthermore, the Official Languages Act specifies that all government publications, including laws, are to appear in English and French.

Furthermore, certain immigration candidates, such as those applying for Express Entry, must demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada’s two official languages in a language test. If you want to apply for Canadian citizenship, you must be able to speak and read English or French.

Do I Have to Give Up My Native Language When I Move to Canada?

Canada is home to millions of immigrants – all with unique cultures, religions, customs, and languages. In fact, a 2011 census revealed that more than one in five Canadians speaks a language other than English or French at home. This translates to 7 million people in the country.

Although you certainly do not have to abandon your culture – or its language – to live in Canada, studies show that language barriers often cause immigrants to encounter significant hardships, such as difficulty finding a job, lower wages, and trouble accessing health care services. If you are interested in immigrating to Canada, it is never too soon to begin studying English or French.

Butkowsky Immigration Law

With more than two decades of experience focused exclusively on immigration and refugee law, Larry Butkowsky has earned the respect of the Toronto legal community and the gratitude of many satisfied clients. He is committed to protecting his clients’ rights and making sure that they achieve their Canadian immigration dreams. Call (416) 979-2127 to discuss your immigration matters.

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