Language enables participation in family and community life as well as the communication of cultural values and beliefs. According to the 2021 Census, 76% of Australians claimed that they solely spoke English at home. Australians come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and are multilingual. So, what languages do they speak in Australia? This article leads you to dive into what language is spoken in Australia; the world’s sixth-largest country.
Main Language of Australia
As the common language is spoken in Australia, English plays a crucial role in bringing Australian society as a whole together.
Australian English is the official language of Australia. It originally diverged from British English in the 18th century following the establishment of the Colony of New South Wales. Australian English is regarded as one of the primary varieties of the English language. It arose as European settlers from Britain, Ireland, and Germany interacted with one another and have been recognized as separate from British English for about 200 years (Dixon & Dixon, 2011). According to the latest surveys and census, 72.7% of the population speaks English exclusively at home, which undoubtedly constitutes a vast majority of Australians speaking English as their main language.
Languages Spoken in Australia
According to language statistics from Australia, a certain percentage of people speak a language at home in addition to English.
Official Language of Australia
The term “official language” refers to a language that a nation’s government has designated for usage, rather than the language that its citizens typically speak. What is the official language of Australia? A question asked by many, yet not responded to clearly. Well, the simple answer is that Australia has no official language, but the reality is a little more complicated. Although Australia technically lacks an official language, English nonetheless serves as the country’s primary language for administration, commerce, science, and education. Since nearly 73% of the population speaks English as their first language, it is considered to be the official language of the nation.
Diversity of Languages in Australia
Although English is the official language of Australia, many people in families and communities also speak other languages. Australia benefits from this language diversity, which increases our trade competitiveness and promotes cross-cultural interaction and international relations.
Australian Aboriginal languages
There may have been as many as 400 separate indigenous languages spoken in Australia at the time of European settlement, with more dialects than anything else, some of which were mutually comprehensible. None of these tongues have been adopted by Australia as either an official or national tongue in the same way that the native tongue of neighboring New Zealand has (Maori).
The Aboriginal community in Australia possesses the world’s oldest recorded cultural heritage, which is estimated to be 60,000 years old. Australia had over 250 native languages when the First European Fleet arrived there in 1788. Only 20 of those 250 languages still exist today and are regularly spoken and taught in schools.
Most Frequently Spoken Non-English Languages in Australia
Collectively, Australians speak over 400 languages. According to the 2021 consensus, the following languages were spoken by majority of the Australians:
Mandarin is the second most spoken language in Australia, according to the latest 2021 consensus. At least 2.5% of Australians, or 596,703 people, use Mandarin as their primary language at home, making it the most frequently language spoken in the country after English. The majority of Mandarin speakers do not follow any particular religion.
Around 230 million people use Arabic as their first language, making it the fifth most widely used native tongue in the world today. There is a sizable Arabic-speaking population in Australia. Millions of Muslims who are not Arabs study Arabic as the language of the Islamic liturgy. Arabic is presently Australia’s third-most-spoken language after Mandarin and English (Chinese). As of the 2011 Census, 1.4 percent of Australians spoke Arabic, an increase of 0.1 percent. (Cruickshank, 2008)
According to the most recent statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of Cantonese speakers in Australia increased by more than 14,000 in only five years, making it the fourth most spoken language in the nation. Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong immigration to Australia has increased ever since a harsh national security bill was passed in June 2020.
Vietnamese was the fourth most spoken language in Australia, outside of English, in 2016, with 277,400 native speakers, trailing only Mandarin, Arabic, and Cantonese. Vietnamese is the third most spoken language in Australia, behind Mandarin and Arabic, according to the most recent census conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Although Vietnamese people and families in Australia constantly work to preserve their native tongue for future generations, their efforts are still only partially successful.
Greek is the sixth most spoken language after English in terms of Australian residents who claim Greek heritage, a decline of 3,744. 229,643 people claim to speak Greek at home, a decrease of 7,357 from the previous census. Other than English, Greek is the sixth most spoken language in Australia.
Australians of Italian ancestry speak an Italian dialect known as Italo-Australian, which has its roots in Australia. According to the 2021 census, 171,520 people were born in Italy. Australians who speak Italian or Italian dialects at home numbered 228,042 as of 2021. Italian Australians who speak Italian frequently utilize the Italo-Australian dialect. According to an examination of the most recent census statistics, there were about 82,000 fewer Italian speakers in the nation in 2016 than there were in 2001, whereas there were about 26,000 fewer Greek speakers.
According to Australian census data, the Punjabi language has experienced the biggest increase—80.4%—over the past five years. The census also revealed that nearly 48.2% of Australians, or about 50 percent, had foreign-born parents. India saw the most growth in birthplaces outside of Australia. There have been an additional 2, 17,963 persons counted.
While Hindi continues to be one of the top 10 languages spoken in Australian homes, Punjabi is the language with the highest growth in Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2021 Census, which shows 239,033 persons using Punjabi at home, this language has seen the biggest increase. In Western Australia, where language instruction is required beginning in Year 3, Punjabi will be fully developed by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority.
Filipino immigrants who lived in Australia for more than 10 or 20 years are finding it challenging to pass on their language to their offspring. While they still understand the language, they are equally at fault for how difficult it is to translate and use. 4.6% of the Australian population, or 408,836, reported having Filipino ancestry in the census of 2021 (whether alone or in combination with another heritage). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there will be 310,620 Australian citizens living in the Philippines as of 2021.
In Australia, Spanish is a significant community language. 117,493 Australian citizens speak Spanish at home, according to the 2011 Census. Aside from English, Spanish would then rank as the seventh most common language in the nation. People who were born in Spain and came to Australia are referred to as Spanish Australians, as are Australian citizens and residents of Spanish heritage. The number of Australians with full or partial Spanish ancestry is around 123,000. All of Australia’s capital cities have sizable Spanish-speaking populations that are catered to by a network of publications, radio stations, and television shows.
Nepali Australians are citizens or permanent residents of Australia. Beginning in the 1960s, Nepalese began to settle in Australia. In the Australian territory of Tasmania, where it is spoken by 1.3% of the population, Nepali ranks third in terms of language usage. In Australia, 27,153 people speak Nepali, making up 0.1% of the total population. The majority of Nepali speakers live in major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
One of Australia’s key trading neighbors in the area is Korea. There is some proof that there were a few Koreans living in Australia as early as 1920. Following the end of the Korean War, some Korean women travelled to Australia as war brides and children were taken in by Australian families as orphans. According to the recent census of 2021, there are 115,545 Korean speakers in Australia constituting 0.5% of the total population.
Australia has a much diversified population of Urdu speakers. The 2016 Census data reveals some fascinating information on the Pakistani and Urdu-speaking population in Australia. In the past five years, the number of Australians of Pakistani descent has doubled. The number of Urdu speakers increased from 36,837 (or.17% of the total population) in the 2011 Census to 69,131 (or.30% of the total population) in 2016.
Wrap up all most common speaking languages in Australia. Let’s find out what are they!
|No.||Language||Number of speakers||% of speakers|
|19||Australian Indigenous Languages||78,655||0.3%|
The Best Translation Service For Languages in Australia
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Australia, the sixth-largest nation in the world, is a fantastic blending pot of cultures and history. The de facto language or the national language in Australia continues to be English. But many other languages, particularly Asian ones, are also spoken in Australia because of the country’s large immigrant population. There are still populations of native speakers of indigenous languages. That is why, to use the best translation service for daily life tasks, we recommend Wordspath as your best bet.