Linguistic Vitality

French spoken at home is doing well…

In 2006, 235 persons claimed to speak French most often at home in Nunavut, compared with 225 in 2001. Moreover, 180 persons say they speak French regularly at home, even though it is not their primary language of communication in the household.


The use of French by families in daily life is an important part of the Frenchspeaking dynamic in the Far North. In an environment where French is in increasingly close contact with English throughout the territory, the regular use of French at home is surprising. However, this can be explained by the annual influx north of the 60th parallel of Francophones who come from areas where French is the language of the majority, as is the case in Quebec.
 

French Spoken at Home, 1971-2006, Nunavut

French Spoken at Home, 1971-2006, Nunavut

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

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

… but the knowledge of French is not widespread...

Only 1,185 can speak French in Nunavut. At 4% of the total population, it is the lowest percentage in the country.


After English, the most commonly spoken language is Inuktitut, which had 22,480 speakers in 2006, amounting to 76.6% of the population.
 

Knowledge of French, 1951-2006, Nunavut

Knowledge of French, 1951-2006, Nunavut

Data from: Marmen and Corbeil, 2004 and Statistics Canada

… and French has a modest place in the workplace

A total of 340 Nunavummiut (i.e. residents of Nunavut) regularly or most often use French at work. Even though this figure may appear very modest, it represents 37% of the active population with knowledge of this language.

 

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

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

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census