10/01/2008

Vancouver, Canada: More Speakers of Chinese than of French

In the Vancouver Sun, last Monday:

Vancouver has strong ties to other Pacific Rim communities, with statistics indicating a higher proportion of residents speak Mandarin or Cantonese fluently than speak French.
More than 125,000 Metro Vancouver residents said Cantonese is their native tongue, according to the 2006 census, and roughly 69,000 said it's Mandarin.
Only 24,130 residents said French is their first language.

2 comments:

Snake Oil Baron said...

Interesting that so many more Chinese in Vancouver speak Cantonese rather than Mandarin - it is the reverse in China isn't it? I wonder what that means for the hope that the Canadian Chinese communities will preserve their language skills to provide business links between Canada and China. While those cultural and commercial links may still be established, having different languages might mean that those contacts will be made in English.

Unfrench said...

snake oil baron said...
"Interesting that so many more Chinese in Vancouver speak Cantonese rather than Mandarin - it is the reverse in China isn't it? I wonder what that means for the hope that the Canadian Chinese communities will preserve their language skills to provide business links between Canada and China. While those cultural and commercial links may still be established, having different languages might mean that those contacts will be made in English."

Very pertinent comment. This is the kind of thing that helps understand why English is bound to acquire such prominence globally. This being said, it would be useful for Canadian commerce if in the future at least some of the youth from the Chinese community that graduate from Canadian universities still retained some command of either Cantonese or Mandarin on entering the Canadian job market.