Language in Canada has traditionally been broad and diverse. Though historically, it’s long since been loaded in favour of its two official languages. They remain the dominant forces to this day.

Wikipedia clarifies – “According to the 2016 census, English and French are the mother tongues of 56.0% and 21.4% of Canadians respectively. In total, 86.2% of Canadians have a working knowledge of English, while 29.8% have a working knowledge of French.” 

And Canada retains its close ties with Europe, especially with the UK. Canada and the UK are fellow members of the Commonwealth of Nations. And Queen Elizabeth II is Canada’s head of state, (despite massive groundswells of Canadian opinion in favour of getting rid of the UK monarchy and becoming a republic, with its own elected head of state).

And truthfully, language in Canada is closely aligned to America, which isn’t surprising. After all, Canada is geographically in the North American continent. In fact, it might have become part of the USA if the Americans hadn’t signed it over to the British in 1783, to bring the Civil War to an end.

Canada Day on 1st July is the perfect excuse to celebrate everything that’s great about this beautiful country; from maple syrup to mousse (the stag-like creature, not the fluffy dessert); Rush to the Rocky Mountains, and The Biebs to poutine.

In addition, it’s also the ideal opportunity to take a closer look at how language in Canada has evolved to the point that “… Standard Canadian and American English are largely indistinguishable.” Charles Boburg, associate professor of linguistics at McGill University in Montreal.

How Language in Canada has Become More Stateside than Sovereign State

The shift of the use of the English language in Canada hasn’t escaped the notice of Richard Nordquist, professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University. So much so that he quizzed an array of authoritative linguistic voices (including Charles Boburg, as above) about the matter for ThoughtCo.

Here’s a few examples of how language in Canada has leant more towards its nearest neighbour:-

  • “the ‘d’-like pronunciation of bottle”
  • “the use of American alternatives like ‘tomayto’ for British English ‘tomahto”
  • “’skedule’ for British English ‘shedule’”


At La Academia, Manchester’s award-winning language school, we’re experts in all languages and cultures. We wish you a very Happy Canada Day. And we look forward to hearing from you if you’re interested in learning English as a foreign language English as a foreign language or French .

Languages of Canada, Wikipedia
The Distinctive Characteristics of Canadian English, Richard Nordquist, ThoughtCo