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Canada

North America

To which language should you translate to localize in Canada?

Canada has two official federal languages, English and French, eight provinces in which English is the official language, one in which French is the official language, one province and one territory in which both French and English are official languages, and two territories with different mixes of English, French and Aboriginal languages (from the Dene, Inuit and Cree families) counted as official. To simplify.

In practice, almost everyone in Canada speaks one of the two federal official languages (and a bit under 80% as a mother tongue). A large majority of Canadian French speakers live in Québec, but they are present through Canada, with significant communities in Ontario and the Maritime provinces on the eastern coast (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). Most English speakers are not bilingual, and while a larger amount of French speakers are, localizing in Canada still means localizing in both languages. In fact, in some cases it’s illegal not to : the Charte de la langue française (Charter of the French language) mandates the use of French by businesses operating in the province of Québec (nearly a fourth of the population).

Canadian English is fairly close to American English, though it retains some elements of British spelling. We use localize like the Americans, but colour like the British. French Canadian has a more complicated relationship to its European variant, and the differences are strongly dependent on register. The differences are small in technical, academic or administrative contexts, but a natural, somewhat informal voice in Canada is very different from the same in France, from the use of pronouns like tu and on, to the use of anglicisms (and which anglicisms), to preferences in structure. In both cases, speakers will generally understand the variants, but they will notice the differences and those differences will grow more jarring the more a text has creative or marketing intent.

Now, if you need others information about that country to make your decision, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data

Introduction


Language

Official language
English and French

Approximately 56.9% of the population of Canada speaks English as a native language, while 21.3% speak French as a first language. Additionally, 85.6% of the population is able to communicate in English and 30.1% are able to speak and understand French.

T-index
2.2%

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Demography

Capital: Ottawa
Currency: Canadian dollar
Population: 38.17m
Population density: 4/km2

Economy

GDP: 1.99 trillion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 52,051.4 USD ‎(2020) ‎
Exports: $371 billion (2020)

Statistics

Internet users: 96.5% penetration, 36.89 million
Unemployment rate: 13% (2020)
Urbanisation:  81.41% (2020)
Literacy: 99% (2019)

Conventions

Numbering system
Arabic numbering system, point as decimal separator and comma as separator of thousands

Date format: yyyy-mm-dd / mm-dd-yyyy
Time: 12h time system (am/pm) – except Quebec (24h)
Country code: 001


Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal


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Facts and data


Economy

Imports
$395 billion (2020).  Cars ($21.7B), Vehicle Parts ($14.6B), Delivery Trucks ($11.6B), Broadcasting Equipment ($9.74B), and Gold ($8.98B), importing mostly from United States ($218B), China ($49.5B), Mexico ($16.1B), Germany ($10.9B), and Japan ($8.14B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 48% have an account with a financial institution
• 24% have a credit card
• 2.4% have a mobile money account
• 19% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
Very easy to conduct business (rated 79.6 out of 100). 14th out of 34 countries in the OECD and High income group, 23rd worldwide out of 190 countries (2020, World Bank)

Exports
$371 billion (2020).  Crude Petroleum ($47.2B), Cars ($31.8B), Gold ($14.4B), Vehicle Parts ($9.06B), and Sawn Wood ($7.69B), exporting mostly to United States ($264B), China ($19.3B), United Kingdom ($13.2B), Japan ($9.44B), and Mexico ($5.26B).

Main local online stores
Amazon Canada, Ebay Canada, Walmart Canada, Best Buy Canada, Canadian Tire, Costco Canada, Home Depot Canada, Etsy Canada, Hudson’s Bay, Newegg Canada 

Economic freedom
‘Mostly free’ (77.7 out of 100) 1st amongst 2 countries in North America 8th worldwide out of 186 countries (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)

Global Innovation Index

Ranked 2nd out of 2 Northern American countries, 16th out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.


Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal


Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC


Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC


Most Complex Products by PCI

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC


Most Specialised Products by RCA Index

Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Canada observed and expected exports in each product

Source: OEC


Export Opportunities by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Canada is not specialized in

Source: OEC


Preferred payment method for online shopping in Canada from 2014 to 2018

Source: TSYS


Most popular online stores in Canda in 2018, by e-commerce net sales

Source: eCommerceDB.com


Media

Media language
French, English, Spanish, Arabic

Information channels
Canada has a long history of public broadcasting. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was set up in the 1930s in response to the growing influence of American radio. Broadcasting in French and English, CBC’s radio networks carry speech-based and cultural programmes. It operates two national TV channels and TV and radio services for indigenous people in the north. There are hundreds of licensed radio stations in Canada, many of them commercial. There is extensive take-up of multichannel TV. The broadcasting regulator rules that quotas of Canadian material must be carried by TV and radio stations. The media are free to present a wide range of views and opinions. Media freedom “has slipped in ranking due to government transparency issues and controversial antiterrorism legislation”, Reporters Without Borders said in 2019.

The press

The Globe and Mail – Toronto-based national daily
La Presse – Montreal-based daily
Toronto Sun – daily
National Post – daily
Le Journal de Montreal – daily
Vancouver Sun – daily
Montreal Gazette – daily
Maclean’s – weekly news magazine

Television

CBC – public, operates English-language national network
Société Radio-Canada – public, operates national French-language
CTV – major commercial network
TVA – major French-language commercial network
Aboriginal People’s TV Network (APTN) – Winnipeg-based national network, via cable and satellite
CPAC – parliamentary and political channel
CRTC – regulator; its website has information about the main TV groups

Radio

CBC – public, operates English-language network Société Radio-Canada – public, operates French-language Ici
Radio-Canada Premiere and Ici Musique
Radio Canada International
– CBC external online outlet, in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic
Los 40 Principales – private FM music network
CRTC
– regulator; its website has information about the main radio groups

News agency

The Canadian Press


Media data source: BBC


Internet Data

Internet users
96.5% penetration, 36.89 million

Share of web traffic by device
37.18% mobile phones, 57.11% computers (laptops and desktops), 5.66% tablet devices, others 0.05%

Median speed of mobile Internet connection
72.87 Mbps

Median speed of fixed Internet connection
97.51 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 101.8%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 99.4%

Most popular web search engines
Google (92.21%), Bing (4.54%), Yahoo (2.03%),   DuckduckGo (0.86%), Ecosia (0.13%), MSN(0.08%)

Most used social media
Facebook (45.9%), Pinterest (19.55%), Twitter (18.14%), Instagram (12.81%), YouTube (1.6%), Tumbrl (0.89 %)


Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter


Leading sources trusted for news and information in Canada from 2012 to 2018 (share of respondents)

Source: Edelman


Weekly newspaper reach in Canada as of March 2019, by format

Source: Totum Research News Media Canada


Leading websites in Canada as of January 2020, by average monthly traffic in million visits

Sources: We Are Social; Hootsuite; Digital Report


Social statistics

Life expectancy
82.52 years (2020)

Heathcare expenditure
11.6% of GDP (2019)

Glass Ceiling Index
65.9 out 100, ranked 11th out of 29 countries.

The glass-ceiling index measures the environment for working women combining data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications, and representation in senior jobs.

Graduates (tertiary education)
In Canada, in 2018, 62% of 25–34 year-olds had completed a tertiary degree compared to 44% on average across OECD countries.


Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF


Change in employment, month over month (in 2020)

FebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
Canada0.2%-5.3%-11.0%1.8%5.8%
Newfoundland and Labrador0.3%-2.6%-13.4%5.3%3.0%
Prince Edward Isalnd0.4%-2.6%-11.7%3.8%2.4%
Nova Scotia0.8%-5.3%-11.3%2.2%7.1%
New Brunswick0.0%-4.2%-9.9%5.4%6.8%
Quebec0.5%-6.0%-13.5%6.5%6.5%
Ontario0.0%-5.3%-9.6%-1.0%5.9%
Manitoba0.5%-3.8%-10.0%2.3%4.9%
Saskatchewan0.1%-3.6%-9.4%0.1%6.0%
Alberta0.5%-5.0%-11.0%1.4%4.6%
British Columbia -0.3%-5.2%-11.0%2.0%5.4%
Source: Statistics Canada

Total number of jobs dependent on U.S. trade with Canada by job

Source: Embassy of Canada


The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translated.com


Languages research


English and French in Canada




Most spoken languages in every Canadian Province or Territory besides English and/or French

Legend

  • Inuktitut

  • Innu

  • Arabic

  • Mandarin

  • Tagalog

  • Punjabi

  • Dogrib


Immigrant languages in the 6 major census metropolitan areas

Size and percentage of population that reported speaking one of the top 12 immigrant languages most often at home in the six largest census metropolitan areas, in 2011
Toronto: languages spoken most oftenNumber Percentage Montreal: languages spoken most often NumberPercentageVancouver: languages spoken most oftenNumberPercentage
Cantonese156,4258.8Arabic107,91017.2Punjabi126,10017.7
Punjabi142,3458Spanish95,02015.2Cantonese113,61016
Chinese124,9607Italian50,5008.1Chinese85,58012.2
Urdu105,5455.9Chinese34,4405.7Mandarin83,82511.8
Tamil 102,7005.7Creole 35,0155.4Tagalog 47,6406.7
Tagalog 99,9805.6Greek 25,2354Korean38,8705.5
Spanish94,3155.3Romanian24,7253.9Persian28,9704.1
Mandarin 91,6705.1Vietnamese22,3753.6Spanish22,5053.2
Italian81,3904.6Russian20,3353.2Hindi18,3552.6
Persian69,5703.9Portuguese17,9952.9Vietnamese18,2252.6
Portuguese65,8103.7Persian15,5302.5Russian11,7651.7
Russian64,7003.6Tamil 13,7302.2Japanese9,9201.4
Other immigrant languages 587,59032.9Other immigrant languages163,21526.1Other immigrant languages105,14014.8
Total 1,786,995100Total626,045100Total711,515100
Source: Statistics Canada
Calgary: languages spoken most oftenNumberPercentageCalgary: languages spoken most oftenNumberPercentageCalgary: languages spoken most oftenNumberPercentage
Punjabi27,43512.1Tagalog19.64511.8Arabic28,26520.4
Tagalog23.71010.4Punjabi18.16510.9Spanish11,3258.1
Chinese20,8359.2Chinese14,8108.9Chinese10,4907.5
Spanish17,9007.9Cantonese11,2606.8Mandarin 6,2054.4
Cantonese16,9207.4Spanish10,8656.5Somali5,4053.8
Urdu12,3205.4Arabic9,7555.9Persian5,2253.7
Arabic11,6255.1Vietnamese6,6504Vietnamese5,2103.7
Vietnamese10,8004.7Mandarin6,4253.9Cantonese4,7903.4
Mandarin9,9004.4Hindi5,4603.3Russian4,5503.2
Korean6.5652.9Urdu5,4603.3Italian4,1102.9
Russian5,7552.5Polish5,2053.1Tagalog3,7352.7
Persian (Farsi)5,4952.4German3,7702.3Portuguese3,5702.5
Other immigrant languages58,52525.6Other immigrant languages48,68029.3Other immigrant languages47,39533.7
Total227,515100Total166,145100Total140,675100
Source: Statistics Canada

The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to imminent.factbook@translated.com


Photo credit: Nick Reynolds, Unsplash