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Monday, February 11, 2008

Punjabi language set to become fourth most spoken language in Canada

News presented by Gurmukh Singh, Indo-Asian News Service
Vancouver, February 11, 2008
Latest census showing a 35 percent increase in its speakers since 2001, Punjabi is set to become the fourth largest spoken language in Canada.

It is the 6th largest spoken language after English, French, Chinese, Italian and German, though it is already at the fourth position in the province of British Columbia.

But as India overtakes China as the largest source of immigration for Canada this year, Punjabi is projected to surpass Italian and German by 2011 to become the fourth largest spoken language in the country.

According to Balwant Sanghera, president of the Punjabi Language Education Association (PLEA) - 'Punjabi is growing by leaps and bounds in Canada, and within the next three to four years it will become Canada's fourth largest spoken language.'Citing the latest census figures, he said 367,505 people said Punjabi was their mother tongue, showing a growth of 35 percent since 2001.

'This places Punjabi as the sixth most spoken language (after English, French, Chinese, Italian and German). The difference between the number of Punjabi speakers and those of German and Italian is very small.

Sanghera, who retired as a school psychologist in British Columbia, said Punjabi is one among ten most spoken languages out of a total of 6,000 in the world.

'More than 150 million people in 150 countries speak this language. Mini Punjabs in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Singapore are testaments to it. Here in Surrey and Abbotsford cities, Punjabi is the second most spoken language after English,' he said.

In British Columbia province, Punjabi is taught in the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University, University College of the Fraser Valley, Kwantlen University College and many schools. Hospitals, city halls, airports and markets carry Punjabi signs. And it is common see the Punjabi sign of 'Aseen Punjabi Bolde Haan' (We speak Punjabi) at banks.
Guidelines on provincial issues - elections, health, old age and education - come out in Punjabi, as do government bills and notices.

Both Binning and Sanghera have pioneered the Punjabi movement in British Columbia province, which has the largest concentration of Punjabis outside Punjab.

Punjabi has been in Canada for over a hundred years, yet it is not recognized by the Canadian government because of its two-language policy,' said Binning.


Anonymous said...

Punjabi will rock. We need to send our kids to Punjabi classes especially in places like BC where its available in Govt schools..

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ਰਮਨਦੀਪ ਸਿੰਘ said...

well... gud to here that ... any thing about status of punjabi in australia. well chk out my blog

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KANG Gurpreet said...

Awesome ji. Great news. Punjabi rocks.....Simply greatttt.....I will follow the blog from now onward.

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Gurpreet Matharu said...

Punjabian di shaan vakhri...

It is pity that Punjabi language is being ignored in its home.

Punjabi Poetry said...

Punjabi Poetry
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