The Many Languages Of Australia And New Zealand

1716 words - 7 pages

As of 2013, there are many languages spoken both in Australia and New Zealand. Having a history dating as far as the 18th century, both countries constitute the Austral realm. Within its many aspects, one of the most notorious is its language. Known by the humorous effect some of its sentences and words provoke in people, the language of the Austral realm has helped shape the identity of Australia as well as New Zealand and has become an essential spectrum of their culture.
In spite of its variations and the reasons behind its current status, this research paper will be focusing upon the four main languages of the Austral realm: English, New Zealand’s and Australia’s sign language, Australian Indigenous language and the Maori language in New Zealand. Each language has impacted the Austral realm in its own way and will be viewed both individually and in comparison within the realm’s two states. English’s history, what constitutes the signs in New Zealand’s sign language, Australian accent… all of them are part of a culture both beautiful and unique and should, therefore, be treated with the same care as one would treat any relic.
The Austral realm’s languages are viewed by its people as more than only an idiom. Its evolution throughout decades of history has transformed both Australia and New Zealand into a unique society, filled with a mixture of words and idioms such as “go for a burn” and “dog’s breakfast,” both of which exemplifies some of the reasons of the worldwide attention to the countries and their other offerings, also opening space for tourism and a place in the map. Furthermore, the many accents found in Australia and New Zealand have established the countries cultural landscape and given their populations a high sense of pride.
Australia’s Indigenous Language & English
Australia’s Indigenous languages and English started their interaction when the European invasion and future colonization began in 1778, but given a lack of documentation due to resources at the time, information on their background is gathered across different periods of time. Because of the contact with a very different civilization, the Australian tribes lost most of its language throughout the years, but database shows that the native habitants of mainland Australia spoke about 240 or 250 languages, and almost all of these languages had a number of dialects of their own and were associated with the different tribes. Some of which, however, were documented by a short list of words only. The “disappearance” of Indigenous languages began because natives started borrowing words from the newcomers and also the spread of diseases brought by colonizers killed entire tribes and, with them, their dialects.
Nowadays, 145 Indigenous languages are still spoken in Australia, but 110 of them are endangered as English is the main spoken language and only 18% of people speak a language other than English at home. Giving space to English domination, a strong and distinctive accent...

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