What language is spoken in Australia

It is amazing how different countries have different languages. Each language is unique and completely different from the other. The look, the alphabet, the pronunciation and even if they are mostly similar, there’ll be a difference between their sentences and grammar.

Now coming to the purpose of the article: 
America has English, France has French, Spain has Spanish, India has Hindi and Australia has, um English? Let’s start our investigation of the situation.


What language is spoken in Australia?

Well, if you want a definite answer then you won’t have it. Why? It is because Australia hasn’t recognized any language as the official language. Majority of the Australians speak English and as such, it is considered as the de facto language of the continent.
Here’s a twist in the story though, around one million (!) of the Australian population do not understand English. Now, Australia only has only around 20 million inhabitants. This makes the above statement a huge deal. In fact, around 15% of the total population speaks other languages when at home.

The language overview

  • Around 80% of the total population speaks English.
  • Some Australians speak the Tasmanian languages as well as the Torres Strait-Island languages and the Australian Aboriginal languages. These are indigenous and are on the verge of extinction, though there are special groups now advocating for their preservation.
  • There are many immigrants in the continent which lead to a host of other languages being spoken there. There’s the Italian- speaking population (1.2%) and the Arabic speaking population (1.4%). You will also find the Cantonese and Vietnamese speaking population (1.2% each). Though it is Mandarin that accounts for the majority of the immigrant languages at 2.5%.
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The Australian English: Decoded

Australian English is more identical to British English instead of American English. Now as we know that the latter two languages have different spellings for the same words as the center and centre, etc. The Australians haven’t yet mastered this confusion and can still make mistakes, leading to innumerable misspellings. Also, the meaning of certain words is completely different in Australia, from Britain and America. For example, a globe’ means a light bulb in the continent, a game’ means brave, crook’ becomes ill and shout’ means a round of drinks. This can actually quite hilarious moments.
Another quite unique feature of Australian English is their word abbreviation. They shorten any word with three or syllables and follow it with an e’ or o’. Reffo’ is short for refugee, garbo’ is a dustman, Chrissy’ is Christmas, and our favorite is barbie’ short for a barbeque.
Coming to the accent, some people find it a little difficult to comprehend as the Australians speak through their nose. However, spending more time in the company of them can make you familiar in no time. They even employ expletives in their daily conversation. Fun Fact: It is actually even a way to show care. Their simile is also uncontroversial in comparison to the other English- speaking countries.

All in all, when you compare Australian English with British/ American English, you’ll find that it’ll have an Ozspeak (also called strine). This Australian vernacular, as seen above, is full of word- twisting, hyperbole, abbreviations, and profanity. There are quite a few books written in the Australian vernacular too, to help you understand it better. Surely, the language is just as colorful as the Australians!


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