Language

Language

The official language in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is English. In 2016, people with English as their mother tongue accounted for 96.1 per cent of the total St. John's metro population, 0.7 per cent listed French, and 1.2 per cent listed a non-official language. The top five languages, excluding English or French, within the St. John's metro area are outlined in the table below.

Most common mother tongue languages other than English or French, St. John's, 2016

Language          Number Percentage of non-official language mother-tongue population Percentage of total population     
Arabic 985 12.7 0.5
Mandarin 975 12.6 0.5
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 535 6.9 0.3
Spanish 505 6.5 0.2
Bengali 335 4.3 0.2

Newfoundland Dialect

The Newfoundland variation of the English language is very unique and interesting. The use of non-standard English in the province is not surprising, according to the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage website. Newfoundland and Labrador remained outside the mainstream of social, political and economic development in North America throughout most of its early history. By the time of confederation with Canada in 1949, Newfoundland's oldest English-speaking dialect areas had experienced about 300 years of local development with minimal influence from standard English. Newfoundlanders still preserve their own variations on the English language with non-standard linguistic features in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and expression. There is even a Dictionary of Newfoundland English.