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Language Rights and Policies in Canada Essay


Canada can be used as an example of a country that is not dominated by a single language. Although English remains the most used language of this nation, some French-speaking population lives in most provinces of Canada. Thus, the government has the responsibility of including these languages in projects and making sure that they are represented. However, the complexity of this issue lies in several other factors.

The indigenous population of Canada also has languages that can be considered inherent in this territory. While earlier acts and laws from the Canadian government ignored the value of indigenous traditions, recent advancements of the government officials show that they are willing to create a multilingual nation, where all cultures can feel represented.

Moreover, the growing presence of immigrants and their various languages also shapes the policy-related decisions of the Canadian government. Thus, Canada continues to move away from its bilingual and bicultural environment towards a more inclusive approach. Linguistic connections become more and more important to people as globalization influences the world. Therefore, future policies may give languages other than English more rights and people will be able to use this opportunity to either preserve or regain their cultural knowledge.

Language Reclamation

Language plays a significant role in one’s connection to his or her heritage. Thus, the process of reclamation can be viewed as a part of learning or preserving a fading culture. However, this process is somewhat complicated, especially in the modern world, which is characterized by change and unification. Most cultures that are not represented by significant numbers of people or some type of contemporary advancement suffer from possible extinction.

Their languages, while not the only part of their culture, are often considered to be the most representative as they harbor many details and traditions of these peoples. The complexity of language reclamation is also corroborated by the fact that the spoken and written word can be hard to preserve.

One can think about several ways of language reclamation. Most importantly, teaching the language in official settings may not be the best way of preservation as it offers no insight and does not create any cultural connections. On the other hand, various tradition-driven events and media pieces can help people relate to the language and encourage them to use it in their daily lives. Arguably, every-day use of a language in-home and group settings is the best way to teach it to both children and adults as it allows them to create memories and connect to the language on an emotional level.

Language Revitalization

Preserving the language can prove to be extremely hard. The process of revitalizing one can be even more difficult. The desire to recreate a language in contemporary settings brings up many issues. Reintroducing it to the people whose ancestors used it a long time ago can be difficult also because of the difference in people’s cultural identities. People change, and so do their means of interaction. Thus, recreating an old language is complicated by the fact that some aspects of the culture are gone and cannot be brought back as well.

Although linguistic development allows scholars to revitalize seemingly every part of a dead language, its reintroduction and distribution among the prospective users pose new challenges because of their already established identities.

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IvyPanda. (2020, November 7). Language Rights and Policies in Canada. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/language-rights-and-policies-in-canada/

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"Language Rights and Policies in Canada." IvyPanda, 7 Nov. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/language-rights-and-policies-in-canada/.

1. IvyPanda. "Language Rights and Policies in Canada." November 7, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/language-rights-and-policies-in-canada/.


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IvyPanda. "Language Rights and Policies in Canada." November 7, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/language-rights-and-policies-in-canada/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Language Rights and Policies in Canada." November 7, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/language-rights-and-policies-in-canada/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Language Rights and Policies in Canada'. 7 November.

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