- Languages of New Zealand
Languages of New Zealand Official language(s) English, Māori, New Zealand Sign Language Sign language(s) New Zealand Sign Language Common keyboard layout(s) QWERTY
There are several languages of New Zealand. English is the dominant and a de facto official language, spoken by most New Zealanders. The country's two other de jure official languages are Māori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Other languages are also used by ethnic communities.
New Zealand became the first country in the world to adopt a sign language as an official language when it became official on 10 April 2006. It is now legal for use and access in legal proceedings including in court and access to government services.
The pre-European inhabitants of the main islands of New Zealand all spoke Māori. A number of outlying islands and territories of New Zealand have their own native languages:
- Cook Islands Maori is the official language of the Cook Islands.
- Niuean is an official language of Niue (along with English).
- Tokelauan is an official language of Tokelau (along with English).
- Moriori language was the language of the Chatham Islands.
New Zealand has more speakers of several Polynesian languages resident in New Zealand than are resident in the country that language is native to (for example Niuean). It also has immigrants from other European and Asian countries who have brought their languages with them. According to Ethnologue, the largest groups are Samoan (50,000), "Rarotongan" (Cook Islands Maori, 25,000), Hindi and other Indian languages (26,200), Yue Chinese (20,000) and Arabic (4000).
At the 2006 New Zealand Census, the following languages were spoken by more than 0.5% of the population.
Language Number Percentage English 3,673,626 95.90% Māori 157,113 4.10% New Zealand Sign Language 24,087 0.63% Samoan 85,423 2.23% French 53,757 1.40% Hindi 44,589 1.16% Yue Chinese 44,151 1.15% Mandarin Chinese 41,394 1.08% Chinese (not further defined) 38,709 0.99% German 37,509 0.98% Tongan 29,499 0.77% Dutch 26,982 0.70% Korean 26,967 0.70% Spanish 21,642 0.56% Afrikaans 21,123 0.55% Japanese 20,883 0.55% None (e.g. too young) 75,570 1.97%
- ^ "Becoming a Kiwi". NZ Immigration. http://www.nz-immigration.co.nz/lifestyle/becoming-a-kiwi.html. Retrieved 2006-08-19.
- ^ Governor-General gives assent to Sign Language Bill, Press Release: Governor General, 10 April 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2006.
- ^ a b Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). "Languages of New Zealand". Ethnologue: Languages of the World, (Fifteenth edition. ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_country.asp?name=NZ. Retrieved 2006-08-19.
- ^ "2001 Census: National Summary" (PDF). Statistics New Zealand. pp. 119. Archived from the original on 2006-09-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20060902071251/http://www.stats.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/44B07124-E0B1-46A5-87EA-E823514E1846/0/NatSum01.pdf. Retrieved 2006-08-19.
- ^ "2006 Census Data - QuickStats About Culture and Identity - Tables". Statistics New Zealand. http://www.stats.co.nz/~/media/Statistics/Publications/Census/2006-reports/quickstats-subject/Culture-Identity/quickstats-about-culture-and-identity-tables.xls. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
Languages of Oceania Sovereign states Dependencies and
- American Samoa
- Christmas Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
- Cook Islands
- Easter Island
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
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