English hardly makes a dent in Laval in ten years

Thursday, November 01, 2012

That's not the title of this article in French, but it could be. The actual title: Le français perd toujours du terrain. But to what? Answer: to other languages besides English and French. This is only a problem for French if the second language spoken by the growing population is English instead of French, and which language these people are most proficient in after their mother tongues is not indicated in the article. Non-English and -French speakers are generally easier targets than monolinguals, as they are already used to having one language at home and at least one used outside. On the other hand, good didactic materials are very important and may be lacking in other languages.

What it says:
The native French population in Laval has experienced a significant decrease in Laval in favour of English and other languages in the past ten years, acording to data published by Statistics Canada last week. The figures show that the French mother tongue population has gone from 74% in 2001 to 62% in 2011. English has increased slightly, from a bit under 7% to 8% in 2011. But it is other languages that have shown the largest increase (12%) in 10 years.

French is also spoken less at home, down to 67% after a decrease of 10%.

The data for the entire region show that French has lost ground in the island of Montreal, but less significantly than in Laval.
The other language population isn't indicated in the article, but is probably 30%, and 18% before.

For a proponent of French this is both a risk and an opportunity. The risk is that the 30% could end up relying on English, and the opportunity that they could be well integrated into the province and prefer to use French, which would mean an increase in the total number of proficient speakers, regardless of which language they prefer to use at home.

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