When your talk about bilingualism in this country, the conversation is usually centered around Quebec and more specifically, Montreal.
In this city, the French vs English debate is usually a sensitive topic, but have you ever wondered what the rest of Canada thinks of the language laws?
Do they even care about French? Do they enjoy Canada's bilingual status or are they completely indifferent?
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Well it turns out that according to a national survey, the number of Canadians who support bilingualism is higher than most people expected.
- 84% of Canadian support bilingualism for all of Canada.
- 88% support the Official Languages Act.
- 86% of Canadians belive the Prime Minister of Canada should be bilingual.
- 87% believe that Ottawa should be officially bilingual.
- 82% want to use Canada's 150th anniversary celebration to promote bilingualism.
- 96% believe all federal services should be available in both official languages.
— OCOL of Canada (@OCOLCanada) August 31, 2016
This is fantastic news considering that just 2 days ago, CBC was concerned about the growing divide between young francophone and anglophones in Canada.
But in the rest of the world, bilingualism isn't an issue, it's just the way things are.
Estimates believe that between 60 and 75 percent of the world's population already speak more than one language and it has been proven to be very beneficial to your brain. That's because bilingualism reprograms you brain and actually boosts your cognitive reserve. It also provides you with social, psychological and lifestyle advantages.
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In fact, scientists believe the human brain has evolved to learn more than one language and that by only learning one, you're only limiting your own potential.
So maybe it's about time we fully embrace bilingualism across the entire country. And one of the first steps would be for Montreal to stop thinking of itself as a French city and join the rest of Canada and their love for bilingualism.