Linguistic Vitality

A recent stabilization of French at home...


In 2006, 21,550 people declared French as the language spoken most often at home. The fact that this number has barely changed since 2001 would tend to indicate a relative stabilization. It should be noted, however, that in 1971 French was the language spoken most often at home by 39,600 people.

As the French language is in close contact with English in almost all Franco-Manitoban environments, the decline in spoken French at home is not surprising. While there are Franco-Manitobans who speak English at home, however, some of them also speak French in other contexts.

As a matter of fact, a total of 17,930 people, among them over 6,500 Anglophones, say they speak French regularly at home, even though it is not the most frequently used language.
 

French Spoken at Home, 1971-2006, Manitoba

French Spoken at Home, 1971-2006, Manitoba

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

* Statistics Canada started collecting data on other languages spoken regularly at home in 2001

... And knowledge of French is more wide spread


In Manitoba, the number of people who say they know French (French only or French and English) has almost doubled in less than 50 years. More than 105,000 people, or 9.3 percent of the population, now say they can speak French. This is evidence that French is seen as prestigious and the province benefits from the presence of Francophiles.

German (77,000 speakers), Tagalog (close to 29,000 speakers) and Ukrainian (28,000 speakers) follow French on the list of most popular languages.
 

Knowledge of French, 1951-2006, Manitoba

Knowledge of French, 1951-2006, Manitoba

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

French in the workplace remains a minority phenomenon


In 2006, close to 24,000 Manitobans said they used French most often or at least regularly in the workplace. Even though this number accounts for more than 38 percent of the people who have a knowledge of French, only 4 percent of Manitoba's active population uses French at work.
 

Use of French at Work, Active Population with Knowledge of French, 2006, Manitoba

Use of French at Work, Active Population with Knowledge of French, 2006, Manitoba

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census