Diversity and Language
As shown in the infographic published by Statistics Canada about the Language projections for Canada to 2036:
It is possible that in 2036, the share of the population with an English or French mother tongue could decrease in Canada, while the share of the population with a mother tongue other than English or French might increase. The changes for these populations wouldn’t be the same depending on their first official language spoken (FOLS).
Approximately 18.3% to 18.8% of Canada’s population might be bilingual by 2036, up from 17.5% in 2011. The bilingualism rate may fluctuate between 2011 and 2036.
Image source: statcan.gc.ca
With a potential one-third of the population’s mother tongue being something other than Canada’s official languages how do we ensure that we’re communicating effectively and minimize challenges in the communications aspects of our businesses when the competency levels of employees and customers can vary?
- Multi-Languages employee handbooks – this reduces communication gaps and ensures employees are right on the game.
- Specialized DTP: design of documentation in multiple formats utilizing accessibility features, i.e., a PDF document that is accessible for reading with software´
- Multilingual translation and interpreting: making information available to populations that can’t communicate in either official language.
- Audio format/ Voice Over: This is an alternative format for people with a vision, intellectual or developmental, or learning disability who are unable to read print.