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Languages Spoken in Canada

Name the most commonly-spoken languages in Canada, either as a first language or additional language.
2016 Census
Chinese and Hindustani dialects must be guessed separately
Language-specific Creoles of any varieties are not included on this list
Last updated: November 05, 2017
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# Speakers
Language
29,748,265
English
10,242,945
French
995,255
Spanish
814,450
Mandarin
699,125
Cantonese
668,240
Punjabi
629,055
Arabic
612,735
Tagalog
574,725
Italian
502,730
German
433,365
Hindi
# Speakers
Language
322,220
Urdu
295,955
Portuguese
269,465
Russian
252,320
Persian
214,965
Polish
198,895
Vietnamese
189,860
Tamil
172,755
Korean
150,965
Greek
149,045
Gujarati
132,115
Ukrainian
+2
level 71
Jan 4, 2015
Are you sure that Celtic and Breton shouldn't be here as well? The road signs in parts of Nova Scotia are in both English and those languages.
+2
level 46
Jan 6, 2015
This data is based on the 2011 NHS, the latest census figures available. There are 7,195 Gaelic language speakers in Canada.
+2
level 56
Jul 3, 2017
Celtic is a family of languages that includes Breton. I assume you mean Scottish Gaelic, which was at least spoken in large numbers in Cape Breton in the past, and still holds on today.
+1
level 34
Feb 28, 2018
Gaelic is a big part of Cape Breton culture but I don't believe that many people actually speak it.
+1
level ∞
Apr 20, 2017
We divided "Chinese, not specified" between Cantonese and Mandarin.
+2
level 73
Apr 20, 2017
More Cantonese than Mandarin in Canada, huh? That seems odd.
+1
level 76
Apr 20, 2017
When I was growing up (I'm 32) what we called 'Chinese' was Cantonese, and Mandarin was pretty rare – not sure if it's because of the Brits in Hong Kong, but the Mandarin speakers only started outnumbering the Cantonese-speakers among new migrants pretty recently.
+3
level 45
Jul 1, 2017
It's because Cantonese is the primary language spoken in Hong Kong, and a vast portion of Canada's Chinese population is composed of immigrants from Hong Kong (especially in the 80s/90s when many were fleeing Hong Kong becoming part of Communist China)
+2
level 78
Apr 20, 2017
All these languages, and not a single indigenous language among 'em...
+1
level 60
Apr 20, 2017
Cree would be the closest (all varieties).
+2
level 58
Nov 5, 2017
Yeah, Cree has almost 100k speakers.
+1
level 74
Nov 8, 2017
Unfortunately, wiping out Indigenous languages was a central objective of Residential Schools (and Mission schools in the USA). http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/the_residential_school_system/
+1
level 34
Feb 28, 2018
I tried Cree and Inuktitut and was sad that neither made the list :(
+1
level 49
Jul 1, 2017
Great quiz! I'd love to see more like it, maybe longer ones!
+2
level 50
Jul 1, 2017
I find it odd that Punjabi is the least commonly guessed one considering how common it has become. (Third most spoken first language in the parliament)
+1
level 66
Jul 1, 2017
I'm more surprised by the fact that it beat Hindi and Urdu. I'm not very familiar with foreign languages spoken in Canada, so I wouldn't have guessed that.
+2
level 45
Jul 1, 2017
It all depends on the region! Many immigrants from India to Canada are Sikhs from Punjab, so that's why they're disproportionately represented in the Indian-Canadian community compared to their demographics in India. Same goes for Cantonese (tiny minority language in China, but a ton of immigrants to Canada are from Hong Kong, thus Cantonese predominance).
+2
level 70
Jul 1, 2017
I stupidly entered just "Punjab", then moved on after that wasn't accepted. D'OH!
+1
level 63
Nov 6, 2017
No you didn't
+2
level 77
Sep 20, 2018
He probably did. I've certainly been that stupid before. We all have, if we're being honest.
+1
level 38
Jul 1, 2017
I've never even heard of Punjabi
+1
level 65
Jul 3, 2017
They even do a broadcast of "Hockey Night in Canada" in Punjabi now... that's what made me think of it.
+1
level 65
Jul 1, 2017
I more or less hoped that there would be an Inuit language among these, but apparently there are not enough Inuit in Canada to make the list.
+1
level 45
Jul 1, 2017
It's the official language of Nunavut and predominately spoken there, but still only about 35,000 speakers.
+1
level 59
Jul 1, 2017
I thought really really hard for my last two guesses, but as soon as I thought of Punjabi, and then Polish, I knew I had them right.
+2
level 45
Jul 1, 2017
Really good quiz! I agree that I would be interested in more Canada language quizzes with more languages!
+3
level 75
Jul 1, 2017
Surprised Japanese didn't make it. Disappointed that Kannada didn't.
+1
level 55
Nov 5, 2017
Japanese like their own culture so much that they wouldn't like to move. They can't speak English well
+1
level 75
Nov 6, 2017
There are tons of Japanese living on the west coast of North America and Hawaii. Quite a lot in Brazil, too. Most are not recent immigrants, but rather the descendants of immigrants, so maybe they no longer speak Japanese.
+1
level 34
Feb 28, 2018
I was surprised too. There's a long history of Japanese people in Canada.
+1
level 77
Sep 20, 2018
Kannada would have been amazing.
+1
level 54
Jul 19, 2017
We need Immigrants in Canada but we have too many, our yearly immigration intake is overkill.
+1
level 27
Oct 6, 2017
Missed all of the obvious stuff... Well, most of it. Got Punjabi, Urdu and Persian, but not Russian, Portuguese, Korean and Greek
+2
level 30
Nov 7, 2017
Very neat quiz.
+1
level 71
Nov 9, 2017
odd that japanese didnt make the list
+1
level 76
Jul 10, 2018
Newfinese is basically a foreign language.