23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

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smallwhite
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby smallwhite » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:19 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:
smallwhite wrote:... the first wave for Dutch is just a quick overview and will only take about 2 hours for the whole book.


2 hours, that's pretty decent efficiency at work there ;)


Sorry, I mean 4 hours :oops: 2 hours, I'll need to ask vogeltje for an even easier language ;)




SBS is the website where my article above comes from. Also the article a few months back about the 80 year old Australian learning Italian, if yous remember. I like how the articles and podcasts are often about ordinary people and local communities, and even minor events held in local parks get mentioned.
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby IronMike » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:12 pm

rdearman wrote:Cool! They have podcasts in every language I'm learning except Esperanto. :)


rdearman, have you heard of 3ZZZ Radio? Australian radio with an Esperanto broadcast (and other languages)!
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:21 pm

Adrianslont wrote:I knew you were being fanciful/whimsical, Peter. :) I just wanted people to get a more complete picture. I used to work with new arrivals to Australia and so many - probably most - of them were surprised to find how multicultural Sydney/Australia is.

And although the national language "dominates" as a national/official language usually does, the governments do a pretty extensive job of providing information and services in different languages e.g in New South Wales the drivers licence test comes in ten different languages or you can have an interpreter if you don't know any of those.

And SBS is a good public broadcaster - TV and radio - for those who don't know it. Radio/podcasts shows/news come in 74 different languages. If you are studying Dinka, Hmong, Amharic or 71 other languages and want some podcasts, try SBS. I love the fact that SBS exists. I listen to their Indonesian podcast for practice and that's great because Indonesia itself doesn't have a podcast culture (that I can find). I especially enjoy that those podcasts usually highlight the relationship between Indonesia and Australia.


Yep you are right, SBS is a very giod resource. Just this minute I finished streaming a 2 hour French movie via the SBS app. I also watch my French news via their app too.

I probably just get s little annoyed at times by the sharp contrast of multilingual families and monolingual ones which have very little understanding of foreign languahes and our education system is doing very little to change this. All the while the Australian government as far as I can tell is doing nothing to save indigenous aboriginal languages from a slow death. But yes, there are a lot of things to value in this country and many other vibrant cultures partic. in the big cities.
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby rdearman » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:43 pm

IronMike wrote:
rdearman wrote:Cool! They have podcasts in every language I'm learning except Esperanto. :)


rdearman, have you heard of 3ZZZ Radio? Australian radio with an Esperanto broadcast (and other languages)!

Excellent. Another resource. :)
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby Saim » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:06 pm

Adrianslont wrote:Peter, I found the comment that English "dominates" the continent a bit odd. You don't live in Sydney, do you? Daily I hear numerous languages.

[...]

English is the national language and we know that means you need it to get ahead but diversity rules.


Apparently the fact that there are immigrants in Sydney and Melbourne means that the continent isn't dominated by English. Fine, Sydney and Melbourne together are probably 4/10ths of the Australian population, but the rest of the country does exist and is, apart from some remote Aboriginal communities like those in Arnhem Land or Cape York, linguistically quite homogenous.

Furthermore even in the second generation there are examples of people who don't know the language of their parent(s) at all, let alone have a decent command of it. I'm not saying that immigrant languages should be preserved indefinitely, but let's not pretend that Australia's any more diverse than it is. It is astonishingly linguistically homogenous for such a large territorial spread.

Diversity doesn't "rule", it's vaguely tolerated (most of the time). I don't know of many other countries where I've heard about being yelled at by strangers in public for speaking a foreign language (speaking specific foreign languages yes, but speaking a foreign language in general?).
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby vogeltje » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:21 pm

smallwhite wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
smallwhite wrote:... the first wave for Dutch is just a quick overview and will only take about 2 hours for the whole book.


2 hours, that's pretty decent efficiency at work there ;)


Sorry, I mean 4 hours :oops: 2 hours, I'll need to ask vogeltje for an even easier language ;)




haha :) :lol: Afrikaans?

I don't know it, but I know that it's very similar with Dutch (if you know Dutch you can understand some afrikaans), but without the conjugations for example "ek is" (I is) but in Ducth it's conjugated "ik ben" (I am) etc.
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:57 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote: ... Why oh why couldn't the Dutch have settled here when they first landed? I know why (well i've read the 'explanations') it's just a damn shame the Portuguese, Dutch, French left it for the British. I don't mean that to come of racist, as it's not. I just would love to have seen the world in a more linguistically balanced place today. If Australia was a mixture of Dutch in the west and Portuguese in the east with French being the only language of all of Canada, or New France remained intact then we'd have a much more balanced linguistic arena (from the European language perspective of course)...

I suspect that it matters very little to the indigenous peoples of Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas which language, culture, religion, and administrative rule they were subjected to, and I doubt that they would have expressed a preference amongst the numerous impositions other than something approximating, "no thank you, we're just fine as we are."
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby Saim » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:13 pm

Speakeasy wrote:I suspect that it matters very little to the indigenous peoples of Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas which language, culture, religion, and administrative rule they were subjected to, and I doubt that they would have expressed a preference amongst the numerous impositions other than something approximating, "no thank you, we're just fine as we are."


I'd say it kind of does matter. In Canada where there are two main settler groups there's already a multilingual framework (both in terms of attitudes towards multilingualism and the legal framework) within which one can recognise indigenous languages. In Australia and the US this simply doesn't exist.
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby Adrianslont » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:12 pm

Saim wrote:
Adrianslont wrote:Peter, I found the comment that English "dominates" the continent a bit odd. You don't live in Sydney, do you? Daily I hear numerous languages.

[...]

English is the national language and we know that means you need it to get ahead but diversity rules.


Apparently the fact that there are immigrants in Sydney and Melbourne means that the continent isn't dominated by English. Fine, Sydney and Melbourne together are probably 4/10ths of the Australian population, but the rest of the country does exist and is, apart from some remote Aboriginal communities like those in Arnhem Land or Cape York, linguistically quite homogenous.

Furthermore even in the second generation there are examples of people who don't know the language of their parent(s) at all, let alone have a decent command of it. I'm not saying that immigrant languages should be preserved indefinitely, but let's not pretend that Australia's any more diverse than it is. It is astonishingly linguistically homogenous for such a large territorial spread.

Diversity doesn't "rule", it's vaguely tolerated (most of the time). I don't know of many other countries where I've heard about being yelled at by strangers in public for speaking a foreign language (speaking specific foreign languages yes, but speaking a foreign language in general?).


I am not "pretending" anything with regards to Australia's cultural and linguistic diversity. Your sarcasm laden first paragraph is just inaccurate. I had mentioned Sydney because I live here and Peter had mentioned Melbourne because he works there but there is a high level of diversity in all of the capital cities and larger non capital cities so now we are approaching 70-80% of the population. Check this link out for the statistics http://www.sbs.com.au/news/map/where-australias-immigrants-were-born. The interactive maps show migrants rather than languages but we can guess that newer groups such as Chinese and Indian will speak their mother tongues. I don't find it so unusual that grand children of migrants don't speak their grand parents' mother tongues, especially given high rates of intermarriage.

That's a pretty big geographical spread just looking at cities which is where pretty much everyone lives but diversity has actually been increasing in regional and rural Australia too in the last twenty years. The regional NSW towns I visit all have newly arrived migrants. There are statistics to support my anecdotes but I will let anyone who is interested look them up.

Indigenous languages are certainly declining and the governments may be doing too little but that is not unique to Australia. It is pretty much the norm worldwide. And there are many more places than the ones you mention where they are spoken, starting with Alice Springs and surrounding areas.
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Re: 23% of Australians speak a second language at home...

Postby Saim » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:09 pm

Adrianslont wrote:I am not "pretending" anything with regards to Australia's cultural and linguistic diversity. Your sarcasm laden first paragraph is just inaccurate. I had mentioned Sydney because I live here and Peter had mentioned Melbourne because he works there but there is a high level of diversity in all of the capital cities and larger non capital cities so now we are approaching 70-80% of the population.


No matter how many immigrants there are in these cities English still dominates. You can claim that that's normal but not that it's not true.

The fact that immigrant languages exist in limited spheres does not mean that English doesn't dominate.

(As an aside, did you know that the largest group of immigrants in Australia are English-speaking whites?).

Indigenous languages are certainly declining and


Declining is an understatement. Most of them are moribund.

the governments may be doing too little


On the contrary -- they've done quite a lot. The only problem is that what they've done has been to systematically eliminate them.

And no, I don't mean the colonial period. I'm talking about living memory.

but that is not unique to Australia. It is pretty much the norm worldwide.


We have 150 languages, around 20 of which are still spoken by children. I'll give you that all modern states are essentially ethnocidal with varying levels of concessions to diversity; that said, due to the sheer quantity of languages involved we are capable of destroying a great deal more than most countries, with some exceptions like Papua New Guinea and Nigeria. For that reason I think we need to feel a greater sense of responsability (this goes for environmental conservation as well).

And there are many more places than the ones you mention where they are spoken, starting with Alice Springs and surrounding areas.


Those were two examples that came to mind but yes there are indigenous communities throughout the continent.

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