Number of Tagalog speakers soars across region

English overwhelmingly remains the language of Red Deer and Central Alberta, but the Filipino language Tagalog is now the city’s second most spoken mother tongue.

English overwhelmingly remains the language of Red Deer and Central Alberta, but the Filipino language Tagalog is now the city’s second most spoken mother tongue.

Statistics Canada’s 2011 census language information released on Wednesday identified English as the mother tongue of 87.5 per cent — or 78,220 — of Red Deerians and more than 90 per cent for people who live in other Central Alberta communities. Mother tongue is the first language learned at home and still understood.

Across Canada, a total of 57.8 per cent of respondents spoke English, 21.7 per cent spoke French and 20.6 per cent spoke other languages.

Red Deer’s population reporting a mother tongue other than English or French rose to 11 per cent from 8.9 per cent in 2006.

Tagalog was named mother tongue by 2,150 city residents, or 2.4 per cent, up from 1.1 per cent in 2006 and a third more than Spanish speakers, who remained at 1.7 per cent.

Since the 2006 census, Tagalog numbers increased tenfold in Olds and Rocky and doubled in Ponoka. Sylvan Lake and Innisfail, which had no Tagalog speakers in 2006, recorded .7 and 1.7 per cent respectively last year.

Nationally, 64 per cent more Canadians reported speaking Tagalog at home.

The proportion of Canadians who reported speaking two or more languages at home was 17.5 per cent in 2011, up from 14.2 per cent.

Sid Selirio, a Philippine-Canadian Association of Red Deer and District board member, credited the Tagalog increase to more immigration from the Philippines.

“There’s so many, especially with the arrival of temporary foreign workers,” said the Lacombe man, adding “Even if the kids are going to school, they’ll still speak it at home.”

The Central Alberta Refugee Effort’s executive director echoed those thoughts.

“We’ve noticed a big uptick in the number of Filipinos, part from immigration, part from temporary foreign workers,” said Victor Doerksen.

CARE provides Tagalog interpreters to help school teachers and immigrant parents talk, yet the majority seeking the agency’s help speak Spanish.

“If they already have a knowledge of English, they wouldn’t necessarily seek out our services.”

The growth of Tagalog and Spanish speaking households continues a rise, as identified in a 2008 city demographic report, which said those language speakers made up a third of city allophones, those whose first language is neither Canadian official language.

French use made small increases in most Central Alberta communities, although it dropped slightly in the city, Penhold and Rimbey.

Chinese use stayed constant in most communities, while German and Dutch use declined.

Blackfalds reported higher numbers for every language except Chinese, thanks to its rapid growth since 2006.

The 2011 census reported 191 different languages as mother tongues among the country’s population. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that counts language in its census.

rfielder@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Red Deer logo.
Red Deer Rotary Club hosting tree planting event later this month

The Rotary Club of Red Deer will host a tree-planting event later… Continue reading

New admissions have been suspended for Engineering Technology diplomas (Instrumentation, Electrical and Mechanical) and the Transitional Vocational Program at Red Deer College. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Developmentally disabled impacted: Red Deer College suspends program

Transitional Vocational Program comes to an end

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman holds up freedom of information requests that turned up no records. The Opposition requested back-to-school re-entry plan correspondence between Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and school boards, teachers and the media. Photo via Facebook live
NDP renews calls for Alberta gov’t to scrap K-6 draft curriculum

The NDP is once again calling on the Alberta Government to get… Continue reading

Earlier this week Alberta Health Services warned that Rocky Mountain House Health Centre emergency department would be temporarily without physician coverage from May 12, at 6 p.m., to May 13, at 7 a.m. (Photo contributed by the Town of Rocky Mountain House)
Doctors needed in Rocky Mountain House

Emergency department temporarily closed due to doctor shortage

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) as TJ Brodie (78) defends during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday, May 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Connor scores twice, Jets beat Leafs in regular-season finale

Atletico Ottawa defender Vashon Neufville controls the ball during Atletico Ottawa’s first team practice of their inaugural season in the Canadian Premier League in Ottawa, Wednesday June 3, 2020. The Canadian Premier League plans to kick off its third season mid-June to early July in one location without fans. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Wattie
Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Canadian Premier League delays kickoff again, looks to mid-June to early July start

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shoots 66 to take Mitsubishi Electric lead

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) deflects a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

NHL postseason: Who’s hot as the playoffs arrive?

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, celebrates a goal with teammates during third period NHL action against the Montreal Canadiens, in Ottawa, Wednesday, March 5, 2021. Brown will lead a young Canadian squad into the world hockey championship in Riga, Latvia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

Ottawa forward Connor Brown leads Canada’s roster at world championship

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Jayna Hefford shakes hands with people associated with the hall before a hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils in Toronto. The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association is forging ahead in its bid to establish an economically sustainable professional league in North America with or — for now — without the NHL’s full financial backing. In response to Sportsnet.ca reporting the NHL was not in a position to operate a women’s league for the foreseeable future, PWHPA executive Jayna Hefford wrote in an email to The Associated Press late Thursday that her group has begun developing what she called “a parallel path for a future that doesn’t rely on NHL support.” (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

PWHPA forging ahead without NHL backing of women’s hockey

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

‘No secrets’ and no certainty in one-of-a-kind NHL playoffs

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

Most Read