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Canadian French

Canadian French is an umbrella term for the different "dialects" of French spoken in Canada, namely Québécois French and Acadian French. French is one of Canada's two official languages; the other is English (see Canadian English). First-language speakers of French make up about 24% of the population of Canada and 95% of them live in Quebec. Quebec is the only province where French is the only official language and is the only part of Canada where the population is not in decline.

Quebec French is substantially different in pronunciation and vocabulary, though easily mutually comprehensible, with the French of France. This is due to the long history of French in Canada and the fact that French immigrants to Canada were largely from areas outside Paris, whose dialect eventually became the national language of France during the French revolution. Quebecois French is also partly rooted in the Royal French spoken at the court of King Louis XIV via the King's Daughters or Filles du Roi, orphan girls who were sent to New France.

Acadian French is spoken in the Canadian Maritimes (Acadia), and is ancestor of Cajun French. New Brunswick has the largest Acadian population, and is the only province that is officially biligual.

French is also spoken by nearly half a million French-Canadians in Northern Ontario, however a third of them no longer speak it at home. The mining boom of the early 20th century attracted many French speaking Quebecers to Northern Ontario. Ontario has no official language, however it is de facto an English-speaking province. Government service is provided in French "where numbers warrant", but provincial laws are enacted in English.

Also related to French in North America is Michif, a unique language mixing French and Cree. It is still spoken by a small number of Métis living mostly in the province of Manitoba.



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