A recent SMH article says that Australia is the 3rd most mono lingual country in the world. According to a report by Griffith Asia Institute we come almost last on the list of the language proficient. With over three quarters, or 78.4% of the population only speaking English.
And, although we only got the bronze medal for this contest, it would be worse to have gotten gold.
So, who actual came last?
Do we dare to guess that is is the USA? But don’t they have a large Spanish speaking population? Maybe it is New Zealand? Do many people speak Māori? Or is it somewhere else in the world that only speaks their own language?
Well the list of the language deficient was a little hard to find. The web version of the Griffith Asia Institute report is a little short on for details in this area. It outlines Australia’s shortfalls, what steps should be taken to address the problem, and how much it will cost. But no indication of how they determined we were 3rd worst.
Any idea of who is more limited in their language than Australia?
- In Asia, English tongues still tied (Yuko Narushima, SMH, 10 July 2009)
- Australia being left behind on Asian languages (ABC, 11 July 2009)
- Australians to adopt Asian languages (Julia Phipps, Griffith Uni, 9 July 2009)
- Australian Strategy for Asian Language Proficiency (Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith Uni)