Most Canadians like bilingual country

Feb. 28, 2004 at 8:19 PM
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TORONTO, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Research shows most Canadians love the idea of the country's dual language culture, even if most people outside of Quebec can't speak French.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports a survey shows that even if they can't speak French, they would like to, and most love the idea of their children learning the language. Nearly 75 percent of the respondents believed it would be personally fulfilling and career-furthering for their children to be bilingual.

The poll, conducted by Environics on behalf of Canadians for Research and Information on Canada, shows only 7 percent of Canadian Anglophones outside Quebec consider themselves proficient in French.

Canadians appear to believe bilingualism is key to the spirit and identity of their country. Two of every three Canadians agreed the country's two official languages is one of the defining factors of being Canadian, and two-thirds of Anglophones outside Quebec say that learning to speak French is an important way to keep the country united.

The poll found that immigrants also value Canada's bilingual character, which they see as making the country more welcoming and hospitable.

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