Canada is a bilingual nation that speaks both English and French. Quebec, in particular, is the only official language of Canada. Most Canadians speak French as their first language and English as their second language.
There are many theories explaining why Canada has adopted a dual language system. Here are some of the reasons why Canada speak French:
1. French Were The First Colonizers
The French explorers were the first settlers to Canada. They established their first colony at Quebec City in the 1600s. The French dominated the entire North American continent.
2. The Early French Settlers Were Not Immigrants
The early French settlers in Canada were not immigrants. They were born in Canada and spoke French as their first language. Many of them lived outside of Quebec and continued to speak French at home.
3. The Official Language Act of 1969
The Official Language Act of 1969 was passed to make both English and French the official languages of Canada. The primary language of communication in the country was French. That is why Canada speaks French.
4. The Bilingualism Policy
Because Miramichi, a city in New Brunswick, is only three hours away from Moncton, which has a significant population of Acadians in its population, New Brunswick decided to adopt a bilingual policy.
5. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was adopted in 1982 by the government of Canada. The charter is the supreme law of Canada. It protects the citizens from unconstitutional laws. The charter also guarantees Canadian citizens their rights to culture, language, and personal matters.
6. The Listening of French in the House of Commons
The Listening of French in the House of Commons was passed in 2006 by the government to encourage Canadians to learn both English and French. This policy introduced the tradition where members of parliament must listen to questions and comments in both languages.
7. The Official Languages Act of 1969
The Official Languages Act of 1969 became law to ensure that English and French are equally used in Canada. It guaranteed this equality for all Canadians, not only those born in Canada or who lived there before the law was passed.
8. The Quebec Act of 1774
The Quebec Act of 1774 guaranteed the use of the French in Canada. The Quebec Act of 1774 officially made French the official language of Quebec. This is one of the theories that explain why Canada speaks French.
9. The Education Act of 1867
The Education Act of 1867 guaranteed bilingual education in Canada. It guaranteed equality in the use of English and French in all schools. This is another theory about why Canada speaks French.
10. The Official Languages Act
The Official Languages Act established policies to ensure that Canada’s other languages were respected and valued by the government. It promised bilingualism for all Canadians regardless if they were born here or not.
11. Aboriginal Peoples Speak French
The Aboriginal peoples of Canada have lived in Canada for thousands of years in relative isolation and have thus preserved their culture. Many aboriginal people still speak their native language as a first or second language.
12. French Is The Language Of The Country’s Royal Family
Most Canadians have heard of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, but not of a Duke of Edinburgh or a Prince Edward. They are all members of the British Royal Family, and many Canadians have no idea that British royalty speaks French in private.
13. The Constitution Act Of 1867
The Constitution Act of 1867 guarantees the bilingualism of all federal officials. In addition, all the federal institutions must serve both official languages, English and French.
14. Canada’s Early History
Canada was mostly controlled by France for more than two centuries. French rule went up until the mid-1700s when Britain took over Canada. Later, it became part of the British North American colonies.
15. Amendment of part VII of the Official Language Act 2005
Part VII of the Official Language Act of 1969 was adopted in 2005 to allow French and English in all federal institutions. This amendment was added to allow bilingualism regardless of where a person was born in Canada or whether they had lived there before this amendment was passed.
16. The Act Of Union 1841
The Act of Union of 1841 joined the three colonies of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, and Nova Scotia. This act allowed the French to be used in Ontario and Quebec. French is still used in Quebec.
After the War of 1812, several small communities joined each other to become a province called Canada. French was the official language in this new province, and the parliament now worked in both languages. As a result, most Canadian provinces have French as their official language.
18. Religious and Legal Practices
Catholicism is one of the main religions in Canada, and its followers practice their religion in French. This is why many of the laws in Canada are based on French legal precedents. It has also influenced Canadian legislation.
The same thing happens with the legal practices of lawyers in Canada. Most of the law firms in Canada are bilingual because it is a necessary skill for lawyers as well as other professionals working in Canada.
19. The Linguistic Union
The Linguistic Union comprises all the people who work and study in French. Even though Canada does not have any special organizations for the French community, it is made up of individuals from all over Canada who are united by their love of the French language.
20. The Heritage Language Act Of 1988
The “Official Languages Act” is amended every year to ensure that Canada’s other languages are respected, valued, and developed in such a way to work together with the French language.
As we can see, many factors have played an important role in developing French as the official language of Canada. These factors include the country’s early history.
Canada was under French rule for more than two centuries, and French settlers first founded many large Canadian cities over one hundred years ago.
The biggest factor contributing to the growing popularity of listening to French is its government support.