English and French in Manitoba

Canada has two official languages: English and French.  

English is more widely spoken in Manitoba. English is the mother tongue of 74% of Manitobans, French the mother tongue of 3.4%, and 9% of the population speak both English and French.   

There are some communities in which French is frequently the language of choice.  The Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages provides information on the French presence in Manitoba and in what areas Francophones liveAcross Manitoba, many public services can be accessed in both official languages. 

Where you choose to live and work will determine which language you will use most frequently. 

Strong communication skills in one of the official languages are essential to the success of newcomers to Manitoba.  

Before you move to Manitoba

Think realistically about what level your skills are in the official languages.

Sometimes newcomers overestimate their English or French proficiency or underestimate how long it will take to perfect their language after they arrive.

The CLB-OSA is an online tool available to help you self-assess your English language proficiency. The site also provides information on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), a frequently used method of describing language proficiency in Canada.

Use as many opportunities available to you to improve your communication skills before you arrive in Manitoba.

  • Start reading about Manitoba and practicing your English with resources on English Online’s Live and Learn
  • Listen to Canadian radio and television online and watch Canadian movies. CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Practice as much as possible by talking to first language speakers or taking language classes.

After you arrive in Manitoba

There are many opportunities to study and practice English and French once you are living in Manitoba. To find out about possible language learning opportunities go to a settlement agency near you.