There are over 2100 and by some counts over 3000 languages spoken natively in Africa in several major language families:
There are several other small families and language isolates, as well as obscure languages that have yet to be classified. In addition, Africa has a wide variety of sign languages, many of which are language isolates.
A multitude of languages are used in Canada. According to the 2011 census, English and French are the mother tongues of 56.9% and 21.3% of Canadians respectively. However, marking the steady decline in use of the French language by Canadians and new immigrants, the same census paints a gloomier picture of the survival of French as a second language for the country. Over 85% of Canadians have working knowledge of English while only 30.1% have a working knowledge of French. This is partly due to many French-speaking Canadians learning English and to more immigrants choosing to learn English as their second language rather than French. The steady decline in use of the French language led to the highly controversial Official Languages Act of 1969. The act was introduced to enforce use of the French language in an effort to preserve the culture of French Canadians who played a significant role in Canadian heritage. Under the Canadian Constitution, the federal government has both English and French as its official languages in respect of all government services, including the courts, and all federal legislation is enacted bilingually. New Brunswick is the only Canadian province that has both English and French as its official languages to the same extent, with constitutional entrenchment. Quebec's official language is French, although in that province, the Constitution requires that all legislation be enacted in both French and English, and court proceedings may be conducted in either language. Similar constitutional protections are in place in Manitoba.
Many Canadians believe that the relationship between the English and French languages is the central or defining aspect of the Canadian experience. Canada's Official Languages Commissioner (the federal government official charged with monitoring the two languages) has stated, "[I]n the same way that race is at the core of what it means to be American and at the core of an American experience and class is at the core of British experience, I think that language is at the core of Canadian experience."
Many countries have a language policy designed to favour or discourage the use of a particular language or set of languages. Although nations historically have used language policies most often to promote one official language at the expense of others, many countries now have policies designed to protect and promote regional and ethnic languages whose viability is threatened.
Language Policy is what a government does either officially through legislation, court decisions or policy to determine how languages are used, cultivate language skills needed to meet national priorities or to establish the rights of individuals or groups to use and maintain languages.
Given here are the ethnic origins of Canadian residents (citizens, landed immigrants, and non-citizen temporary residents) as recorded by them on their 2006 census form. The relevant census question asked for "the ethnic or cultural origins" of the respondent's ancestors and not the respondents themselves.
As data were collected by self-declaration, labels may not necessarily describe the true ancestry of respondents. Also note that many respondents acknowledged multiple ancestries. These people were added to the "multiple origin" total for each origin listed. These include responses as varied as a respondent who listed eight different origins and a respondent who answered "French Canadian" (leading to him/her being counted once for "French" and once for "Canadian"). As with all self-reported data, understanding of the question may have varied from respondent to respondent.
The official languages of Canada are English and French, which "have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada" according to Canada's constitution. Official bilingualism is the term used in Canada to collectively describe the policies, constitutional provisions, and laws which ensure the legal equality of English and French in the Parliament and courts of Canada, protect the linguistic rights of English and French-speaking minorities in different provinces, and ensure a level of government services in both languages across Canada .
In addition to the symbolic designation of English and French as official languages, official bilingualism is generally understood to include any law or other measure which:
French is the mother tongue of about seven million Canadians (22.3% of the Canadian population, second to English at 58.4%). Most native French speakers in Canada live in Quebec, where French is the majority and sole official language. About 80% of Quebec's population are native francophones, and 95% of the population speak French as their first or second language. Additionally, about one million native francophones live in other provinces, forming a sizable minority in New Brunswick, which is officially a bilingual province, where about one third of the population are francophone. There are also fairly large French-speaking communities in Manitoba and Ontario, where francophones make up about five percent of the population, as well as significantly smaller communities in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. Many, but not all of these communities are supported by French-language institutions.
By the Official Languages Act in 1969, Canada recognized English and French as having equal status in the government of Canada. While French, with no specification as to dialect or variety, has the status of one of Canada's two official languages at the federal government level, English is the native language of the majority of Canadians. The federal government provides services and operates in both languages. French is the sole official language in Quebec at the provincial level and is co-official with English in New Brunswick. The provincial governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Manitoba are required to provide services in French where justified by the number of francophones (those whose mother tongue is French). However, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires all provinces to provide primary and secondary education to their official-language minorities at public expense.
The Culture of Quebec emerged over the last few hundred years, resulting from the shared history of the French-speaking majority in Quebec. It is unique to the Western World; Quebec is the only region in North America with a French-speaking majority, as well as one of only two provinces in Canada where French is a constitutionally-recognized official language (New Brunswick being the other). For historical and linguistic reasons, Francophone Quebec also has cultural links with other North American French-speaking communities, particularly with the Acadians of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Franco-Ontarian communities in Eastern Ontario, and to a lesser extent with the French-Canadian communities of Northern Ontario and Western Canada and the Cajun French revival movements in Louisiana, United States. As of 2006, 79% of all Quebecers list French as their mother tongue; since French is the official language in the province, up to 95% of all residents are capable of speaking French.
History made Quebec a meeting place for cultures, where people from around the world experience America, but from a little distance and through a different eye.]citation needed[ The culture of Quebec is connected to the strong cultural currents of the rest of Canada, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. As such, it is often described as a crossroads between Europe and America. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes contemporary Quebec culture as a post-1960s phenomenon resulting from the Quiet Revolution, an essentially homogeneous socially liberal counter-culture phenomenon supported and financed by both of Quebec's major political parties, who differ essentially not in a right-vs-left continuum but a federalist-vs-sovereignty/separatist continuum.
French (le français [lə fʁ̥ɒ̃sɛ] ( listen) or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛz]) is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick (Acadia region) in Canada, the Acadiana region of the U.S. state of Louisiana, the northern parts of the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in the New England region, and by various communities elsewhere. Other speakers of French, who often speak it as a second language, are distributed throughout many parts of the world, the largest numbers of whom reside in Francophone Africa. In Africa, French is most commonly spoken in Gabon (where 80% report fluency), Mauritius (78%), Algeria (75%), Senegal and Côte d'Ivoire (70%). French is estimated as having 110 million native speakers and 190 million more second language speakers.
Canadian culture is a term that embodies the artistic, culinary, literary, humour, musical, political and social elements that are representative of Canada and Canadians. Throughout Canada's history, its culture has been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Over time, elements of the cultures of Canada's immigrant populations have become incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture. The population has also been influenced by American culture because of a shared language, proximity and migration between the two countries.
Canada is often characterised as being "very progressive, diverse, and multicultural". Canada's culture draws influences from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a just society are constitutionally protected. Canadian Government policies – such as publicly funded health care; higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing capital punishment; strong efforts to eliminate poverty; an emphasis on cultural diversity; strict gun control; and most recently, legalizing same-sex marriage – are social indicators of Canada's political and cultural values.