We asked. You answered.

Do you speak more than one language? If so, which ones and why?

Knowing more than one language opens up all kinds of opportunities! Hear what our readers have to say about how language has played an important role in their lives. We would like to thank everyone who took time to respond.

[This answer was originally sent in French. Following is our translation.]

I speak two languages: French and English

French is my mother tongue and nothing can take that away from me. It’s too important for me not to lose it. It’s also the most beautiful language to speak, in my opinion.

I live in a bilingual country. So I feel I should speak the other official language as well. I enjoyed learning English, and it comes in very handy since I live in Alberta.

Edmonton, Alberta

My mother tongue is Cantonese, which I learned from my parents, but my first official language is English as I was born in Canada. I am also continuously learning French in hopes of being able to communicate proficiently in our other official language. I think that learning French opens up opportunities, not only career-wise but also culturally. I hope to also be able to maintain and improve my Cantonese so that my own heritage stays with me. It’s always beneficial to learn the official languages of Canada and any other language because of the growing diversity of Canada and the increasing languages in which business and communication are being conducted in the world.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

[This answer was originally sent in French. Following is our translation.]

I speak two languages: English and French. My parents were Francophones, and learning both official languages was a given for them. I am proud of my son, my daughter-in-law and my grandson, who are also mastering both languages. In a minority situation, this takes commitment!

Cornwall, Ontario

[This answer was originally sent in French. Following is our translation.]

I speak English and French. I learned English because I needed to and also because for me it was an asset. I live in the National Capital Region. I have been surrounded by Anglophones my whole life, so it was relatively easy for me to learn English, even if I had to work at it. Being able to speak more than one language opens up all kinds of opportunities, whether you’re looking for a job or wanting to talk to the natives when you’re travelling abroad.

Spanish is the next language I want to learn. Being able to speak that language will open up a big part of the world to me!

Gatineau, Quebec

I was born in Hong Kong and Cantonese is my mother tongue. English is also taught at school from kindergarten onwards. Later I learned Portuguese while I lived in Portugal where I also had to learn French. After arriving in Canada, I continued with my French education in high school and in university. As I have friends who speak Mandarin, I decided to learn it as well by taking night courses.

After graduating with a Bachelor's degree from UBC, I obtained a job with the government as I wanted to use French at work. Unfortunately, most jobs in BC are unilingual English. But this did not prevent me from searching for other opportunities. I then applied to the Management Trainee Program (MTP) and got accepted. As per the Program's requirements, I had to become fully bilingual with French SLE level CBC. Consequently, I attended full-time language training in Vancouver and moved to Montréal, Quebec, and Ottawa, Ontario, for my bilingual assignments.

I have since graduated from the MTP with level EEC and successfully obtained a bilingual government job back in Vancouver. I take every opportunity to practise French at work with the few bilingual colleagues I have and at my volunteer work. I believe that, because I know these languages, I am more curious and open to other cultures and their traditions.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Discover Online

These three featured websites will help you learn more about our official languages and our official language communities.

It’s the place to go to find out what’s happening in Francophone Canada. If you’re looking for news on politics, culture, the economy, education or sports (in French only) in the French-speaking community in your region, across Canada or around the world, this site has it.

Created by a number of organizations from Montréal’s English-speaking community, this new web magazine will help you discover the city’s cultural scene in a whole new light. Among other things, you’ll find some reflections on the diverse identities and lives of English-speaking Montrealers.

Until recently, Termium, the Government of Canada’s terminology and linguistic data bank, was available free of charge only to public servants. Everyone else had to pay to access Termium. Now, the Translation Bureau offers free access not only to this valuable resource but also to a wide range of tools that will be indispensible to writer and anyone interested in language.

Published on Monday, July 19, 2010

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