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Linguists And Their Unique Perspective Of Canada In One Beautiful Word

Perspectives of Canada are just as diverse as it’s people, with Canadians from all walks of life and all different life experiences envisioning Canada in a variety of ways. For some, Canada is the ancestral home of their people; for others, it’s a brand new home. For some, celebrating Canada is about celebrating what makes Canadians unique, while others see it as an opportunity to honour what brings us together.

This year will mark Canada’s 150th year as a country and home to over 35 million people. That’s 150 years of history, art, and culture, and that’s a lot to be celebrate! So how can a big, beautiful country like Canada be summed up in just one word?

We decided to ask linguists, some of the best wordsmiths in the world, what they thought. How would they summarize – in just one word! – how they feel about Canada? The results paint a stunning picture of this country we all call home and we’re so happy to share it with you.

Freedom

I find in Canada there is a lot of freedom of choice. For example, if you enrol in a program in a university and you don’t like it, you are allowed to switch and pick something new. This is not allowed in China, where I come from. In general, I find people just have so many choices!

Huiping Zhang, wintranslation CEO & Founder
Ottawa, Ontario
Language: Chinese

Liberté de penser, d’écrire, d’agir. De grands espaces et un environnement sain. La possibilité d’aller partout, en sécurité. Des droits respectés.

– Alain, linguist
Quebec
Language: Canadian French

Nous vivons à une époque où la liberté est hautement convoitée. Je suis fière d’être Canadienne et de vivre dans un pays où règne la liberté sous toutes ses formes; liberté d’expression, liberté de presse, liberté d’opinion, liberté religieuse, etc. La liberté fait partie intégrante du tissu social du Canada et en fait un pays unique où il fait bon vivre. Vive la liberté! Vive le Canada!

– Isabelle, linguist
Ottawa, Ontario
Language: Canadian French

Language: German

(Literally) enough room for everyone, for diverse thoughts, opinions, religions, skin colours, etc. Freedom to live your life the way you want, to pursue your own happiness for a greater happiness as a nation.

– Telse, linguist
Victoria, BC
Language: German

Beautiful

In summer, we have flowers, and in winter, snowscapes. Every season has its own beauty.

– Mont, translator
Windsor, Ontario
Language: Indonesian

Love

I love this country, although we are celebrating 150 years, my Inuvialuit history precedes 150 years. My children are 7th generation Inuvialuit. We are all accountable to keeping our country on the grounds it began: Faith, Hope and Love. Kuyanainni – thank you.

– Holly, linguist
Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories
Language: Inuvialuktun

Dream

Pour moi, le Canada est un grand pays où des gens du monde entier sont venus apporter leurs rêves, leurs espoirs, leurs talents et leurs âmes. For me, Canada is this huge country where people from all over the world came with their dreams, hopes, skills and souls.

– Juliette, linguist
Ottawa, Ontario
Language: Canadian French

Pride

Cherish our values and being proud to be a Canadian with our belief and respect to build a great, harmonious multi-cultural society.

– Philip, linguist
Ottawa, Ontario
Language: Chinese

Né de l’union de 2 peuples, c’est une terre d’accueil et d’ouverture où l’on a compris que l’inclusion permet de grandir pour atteindre des sommets. Le rejet, la violence, l’égoïsme, et même l’impolitesse (!) ne font pas partie des valeurs canadiennes. C’est pourquoi le premier mot qui me vient à l’esprit en pensant au Canada est : fierté. Je suis fière de nous, de notre évolution et de ce que nous représentons ici, et à travers le monde. La feuille d’érable est certainement tatouée dans mon cœur.

– Anick, linguist
Montréal, Quebec
Language: Canadian French

Né de l’union de 2 peuples, c’est une terre d’accueil et d’ouverture où l’on a compris que l’inclusion permet de grandir pour atteindre des sommets. Le rejet, la violence, l’égoïsme, et même l’impolitesse (!) ne font pas partie des valeurs canadiennes. C’est pourquoi le premier mot qui me vient à l’esprit en pensant au Canada est : fierté. Je suis fière de nous, de notre évolution et de ce que nous représentons ici, et à travers le monde. La feuille d’érable est certainement tatouée dans mon cœur.

– Anick, linguist
Montréal, Quebec
Language: Canadian French

Vast

L’immensité du Canada se traduit à travers sa grande superficie, mais aussi par sa géographie, ses paysages, ses montagnes, ses bords de mer, sa culture et la diversité de ses populations. Il y a tant de choses à découvrir chez soi.

– Sylvie, linguist
Stoneham, Québec
Language: Canadian French

Canada is so huge, and most Canadians haven’t even seen it all.

– Azaëlle Elliott-Bouchard, Project Manager
Ottawa, Ontario

Blooming

Canada is only celebrating its 150th so, as a country, we are still growing and learning, we are blossoming with youthful vigor. Many aspects that define our country are in bloom – seasons, people, beliefs, languages…

– Frédérique Mantha, Account Manager
Ottawa, Ontario
Language: Spanish

Reconciliation

The word reconciliation doesn’t exist in most Indigenous languages, but it still holds so much importance to the indigenous community. Reconciliation to me means understanding and acknowledgement of the wrongdoing done to Indigenous people in the residential school systems, and building a Canada that is founded on a commitment to mutual respect.

– Jillian Morgan, Lead, Indigenous Translation Unit
Ottawa, Ontario

Home

I love the country (Romania) who made me the person I am today and part of my heart will always be there; but only Canada makes me feel like home. Doesn’t matter where I travel in the World, I always find my peace at home, in Canada!

Felicia Bratu, Operations Manager
Windsor, Ontario
Language: Romanian

It means homeland.

– Maynard, linguist
Potlotek, Nova Scotia
Language: Mi’kmaq

While it means “Hometown,” which may be the birthplace for individuals, this word also means the place where certain group of individuals live in. Canada is a multiethnic nation (or “collection” of individual neighborhood) where all of different people together creates one country as their new hometown. At least, I believe so…

– Takashi, linguist
Canada
Language: Japanese

Friendly

Not only Canadian people are kind, but also Canada offers many friendly qualities of life, such as environment-friendly, family-friendly, and immigrant-friendly.

– Chizuko, linguist
Gatineau, Québec
Language: Japanese

Diverse

Canada is a country of diversity in all aspects: beautifully diverse landscapes from coast to coast, diverse people from all backgrounds free to live their lives however they choose and feeling proud to do so.

Sheza Khurshid, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Windsor, Ontario

There you have it! It was such an interesting project to put these words together and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did.

Now: what’s one word you would use to describe Canada?

Huiping Zhang

Huiping Zhang is the founder and president of wintranslation. She founded the company in June 1998 as a home-based, one-woman operation and built it into a thriving, award-winning business that works with multi-national companies, governments, and not-for-profit organizations worldwide. She is a Certified Localization Professional and Terminology Manager. Huiping is a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and serves as a board member for the Ottawa chapter.

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