Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Canada has three official languages: Inuit language, English and French

There has been some recent discussion in the media of whether bilingualism has failed in Canada.

Most of the stories focus on how few people speak French in, say, Alberta. Great emphasis is put on the costs of maintaining French services across the Federal Government (the cost of having English services available in rural Quebec is seldom commented on).

Surveys show most Canadians support maintaining French and English services.

But all the articles overlook (or are unaware) that Canada has more than two "official" languages.

The Nunavut Official Languages Act recognises three official languages: Inuit language, English and French.

The following rights are guaranteed:

Use of any official language in the Legislative Assembly debates or other proceedings;

Use of any official language in Nunavut Court of Justice and appeal court proceedings;

Anyone can communicate with or receive services in an official language from the head or central office of any territorial institution, and

If there is a significant demand, other territorial institutions that are not head or central offices also have a duty to provide a service in an official language.


Anonymous said...

Who determines what is and what isn't Inuit language?

James C Morton said...

It's Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun