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Certified Translation Services for Canada’s Immigrants

certified translations canada immigrants

Last updated on August 3rd, 2022 at 07:37 pm

Canada’s linguistic landscape has always been a mosaic of different languages and dialects.  The passage of time has seen changes in the country’s linguistic makeup, as the share of Canadians speaking a language other than French or English at home increases.  Driving this trend is immigration, a process which often requires submission of certified translations of documents.

The linguistic trends noted in Canada’s latest census offers great insight into which languages are in demand or growing in demand for certified translation services.  Here’s a look at some of the data.   

Share of Non-Official Language Speakers:  Up by 14.5%

The percentage of Canadians who speak a language other than English and French has gone up by 14.5% since 2011, to 7.6 million speakers. Out of the 213 other languages reported in the census, the most spoken are Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic and Italian.  Below, is a list of the top 20 non-official languages spoken in the country-

top non-official languages canada
One of the factors behind a large amount of
 Chinese language speakers is the number of Chinese students studying abroad in Canada.  According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, China is the country’s largest source market for international students.  To accommodate the college application process for Chinese students, certified translations from Chinese to English or Chinese to French may be required for documents including diplomas and transcripts. 

As Canadian universities continue to attract more international students, there will be a rising need for certified translations for other language pairs such as Arabic to English and Tagalog to English.

Tagalog and Arabic Language Growth Driven by Immigration

The number of people speaking Tagalog as a native language has grown by 35% since 2011. This trend is influenced by immigration patterns, with the Philippines being the top source country for Canada’s residents.  In 2015 alone, over 50,000 Filipinos became permanent Canadian residents. 

The number of Arabic Speakers grew by 30% and is the top non-official language spoken in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Native Arabic speakers coming to Canada are traveling from different regions, and are also settling in different Canadian regions.  For instance, in Quebec, the majority of Arabic language speakers come from North Africa.  In Ontario, most of them arrived from the Middle East. 

The immigration process requires certified translations into English or French of personal documents including birth certificates, marriage certificates and any other required documentation that is in a non-official language.  For Arabic and Tagalog speakers, getting a professional certified translation from Arabic to English and Arabic to French, or Tagalog to English and Tagalog to French is one of the important steps to ensure their application is properly filed. 

Canada’s Most Multilingual Cities

Where do the majority of Canada’s non-official language speakers live?  Nearly 75% of people who speak an immigrant-native tongue reside in one of the six largest metropolitan areas in Canada.  They are Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.  The impact of offering document translation services document translation services for residents in these locations could be significant.  As an example, multilingual translation services in Toronto could benefit the 40% of its population whose first language is neither English nor French. 

New residents in Canada will likely be subjected to document translation requirements established by the Government of Canada.  Processes such as applying for citizenship or permanent resident card require applicants to provide a certified translation for any document that is not in English or French.   As Canada’s linguistic landscape continues to change, professional Translation Companies in Canada will be ready to accommodate the certified translation needs of all who seek residence.   

Flora Yu
Flora Yu
Flora was born and raised in New York to parents from Hong Kong and Taiwan. She has a degree in Accounting. She is fluent in Mandarin, and contributes a unique perspective as someone who was raised in 2 different cultures. She finds humor and opportunities to learn as she constantly searches for the balance between the East and West.