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The Numbers of Speakers of African Languages Emerging in Victoria

By Helen Borland and Charles Mphande

Abstract

Through the Languages Services Strategy, the Victorian Office of Multicultural\ud Affairs (VOMA) is working to support strategic improvements to interpreting and\ud translating services in Victoria. In order for VOMA to be able to make decisions\ud about policy directions it requires more detailed information regarding the\ud numbers of speakers of African languages as the use of these languages is\ud emerging in Victorian communities.\ud Many countries in Africa are characterised by a high level of linguistic and\ud cultural diversity in their populations. The political and ethnic strife and conflict\ud in a number of these countries has led in recent years to a high proportion\ud (approximately 70%) of humanitarian and refugee immigrants to Victoria being\ud from African countries. Whilst information is available about the source\ud countries of these new arrivals, there are currently no accurate centrally\ud collected statistics (eg. from Australian Bureau of Statistics- Census) on the\ud language/s they speak and government databases are not currently designed to\ud cope very effectively with the large number of languages which are new to\ud Australia and, in many cases, spoken by comparatively small language\ud communities

Topics: School of Communication and the Arts, 420000 Language and Culture, speakers, African Languages, Victoria, cultural diversity
Publisher: Victoria University
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.vu.edu.au:439
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