1200.0.55.005 - Language Standards, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/08/2016   
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INTRODUCTION

NAME OF STANDARD

This is the Main Language Other Than English Spoken at Home standard.


DEFINITIONS

Nominal definition

Nominally, Main Language Other Than English Spoken at Home is the main language, other than English, spoken by a person in the home, on a regular basis, to communicate with other residents and regular visitors to the home.

Operational definition

Operationally, Main Language Other Than English Spoken at Home is defined as the main language, other than English, reported by a person as being spoken in the home. If the person speaks more than one language at home (not including English), they are asked to report the language spoken most often.

The definition of language is provided in the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL), 2016 (ABS catalogue number 1267.0).


DISCUSSION OF ISSUES

When data about Main Language Other Than English Spoken at Home is used in conjunction with other variables, such as County of Birth, the combined data may provide insight into language usage in first and second generation Australians.

Non-verbal forms of communication, such as Auslan and similar sign languages, are recognised as separate languages and Signed English/finger spelling is considered to be part of the English language.

The variable may not reflect complete language use, for example:

  • people may speak mainly English at home but outside the home may speak mainly a non-English language.
  • people may speak mainly English at home but may occasionally speak another language at home.

Main Language Other Than English Spoken at Home is one of five ABS language variables. The other language variables are First Language Spoken, Languages Spoken at Home, Main Language Spoken at Home, and Proficiency in Spoken English.