In recent years, Canada has risen to become one of the prime destinations for immigration. Canada hosts a strong economy, thriving industry, abundant natural resources, and has worked hard to position itself as an open, friendly nation eager to better itself. But why are so many international travelers choosing Canada? Immigrants do not typically cast themselves out into the world with no plan or landing place; they want a location and culture where they can help support the community and build a prosperous life for themselves. Language is an enormous factor here, influencing school and work life. As we’ll see, translation services of all kinds are a vital resource.
Our target group today is the international student community in Canada. Where do students coming to Canada come from? What languages do they speak? How can Canada attract more students from around the world? Most importantly, how can you target Canada’s international student market? Let’s look at some answers backed by research.
Canada is the Group of Seven member with the highest international population growth. The Group of Seven is composed of nations considered to have the most advanced economies; the other six members are France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and Germany, in no order. Canada is also now the 4th most popular target country for international students. How popular is that? Between 2015 and 2018, international student entry to Canada rose by 60% to a total of 570,000 individuals per data from Bloomberg and the International Monetary Fund. In the year leading up to September of 2018, Canada accepted 425,000 newcomers, making this the largest rise in international entry in over one hundred years of Canadian history. Many of these are students, alone or with their families. That’s a lot of transcripts, textbooks, brochures, and syllabi in need of professional document translation, whether English to Canadian French, Traditional Chinese translation, Spanish to English translation, and more.
The primary source nations for Canada’s international students are China and India. About 28% hail from China, 25% from India, with a sharp drop-off to the third nation, South Korea, at 5%. France contributes 4% of foreign students in Canada, and the United States 3%. However, nations with small percentages of the total student population, like Vietnam and Bangladesh, are growing most rapidly and may soon outstrip their counterparts, according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada and the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
The languages spoken by these students run the gamut from French to Bengali to Cham, a Vietnamese dialect. Dialects make the linguistic landscape even more complex, increasing the need for professional translation and localization. Let’s use French as an example. Did you know that French has seven major dialects in France alone? It is also Canada’s second official language (English is the other) and makes up a large part of the legal, academic, and commercial language sectors. With that status and Canada’s size, regional dialects develop. Conflict, colonialism, and oppression also leave their linguistic marks on the world, as seen in Vietnam where forms of French have been spoken for over a century. This only illustrates the extreme need for translation services of all kinds, from certified document translation to legal translation.
A student pursuing higher education and possibly a career in a foreign country is fighting a high-stakes battle. Their endeavor represents a large investment of time, effort, and money. Accurate document translation services are absolutely crucial to making sure the student can enter that university and get that job. What sort of document translation do students need?
Without effective language and document translation services in Canada, universities and workplaces cannot hope to attract or retain international students. What material does the school need to translate for the students? Here are some important university publications needing professional translation:
International students in Canada report a vibrant educational scene with friendly people and freedom to explore. Canada’s universities are top-notch, turning out scientists, engineers, and professionals of all sorts every year. Though exciting changes are taking place, and brilliant minds are entering the country desiring to stay, Canada has long had a job market that has been slow to catch up to them. Mediocre job prospects arise from real or assumed language barriers and can force people to settle for jobs below their skill level and pay grade. That is not only unfair but leads to the country missing out on invaluable labor, insights, and innovations. Translation service providers are working to get rid of those biases by making it effortless to transition from one language to another for documents and speech.
Canada’s government has recognized the problems people are facing with integration and is working to help students in hopes that they will stay and use their skills in Canada. Canada has long had an appetite for sharp skillsets from other shores. In 2017, over 65% of resident adults born outside Canada had at least a post-secondary degree. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is delighted by this, citing that Canada is better positioned for globalization and development. The province of Quebec is looking to attract international students as part of a solution for job vacancies caused by retirements and thin domestic population growth.
Students need more language translation services immediately available to them to reduce stress and save time. Translation services need to be more widespread at all levels- academic, commercial, public- to support the new professionals Canada wants these students to be.
The University of British Columbia plans to add 30% more international students by 2022. The Institut Du Quebec reports that the province has historically had a rough time attracting and retaining international students and graduates. Part of the problem was that the school taught primarily in French, when many nations are transitioning to English or something else as their language of academics and commerce. In 2018, with increased awareness and government backing, Quebec set out to add 25% more international students by 2021, and plans to encourage graduates to stay through strategies like job fairs and assistance getting work permits.
Some universities have individual language-sharing programs, like Prince Edward Island University. These provide a more personal approach, using a buddy system with frequent meetups. P.E.I.U currently works with 11 languages, including Spanish, Korean, and Japanese. Using a language in conversation helps it translate better to writing.
Today’s students are today and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Through them, your business can form strong connections with international communities in Canada and in your clients’ countries of origin. These mobile, tech-savvy students possess tremendous buying power. International students contribute about $8 billion CAD to the economy every year, and generate thousands of jobs and untold amounts of opportunity. They cannot and will not be ignored. Boost your company’s international presence by letting Canadian students know that your business is ready to serve their needs by using professional language translation services.