A considerable proportion of first- and second-generation migrants are bilingual. It is believed that there were almost 400 Australian Aboriginal languages at the time of first European contact. Only about 70 of these languages have survived and all but 30 of these are now endangered. An indigenous language remains the main language for about 50,000 (0.25%) people. Australia has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 6,500 deaf people use.
There were almost 400 languages spoken by Indigenous Australians prior to the arrival of Europeans. Most of these are now either extinct or moribund, with only about fifteen languages still being spoken among all age groups of the relevant tribes.
Sydney areas where significant population of Chinese (red), Vietnamese (yellow), Arabic (dark green), Greek (light blue), Turkish (brown), Serbian (light green) and Korean (pink) speakers live
Melbourne areas where Chinese (red), Vietnamese (yellow), Arabic (dark green), Macedonian (orange), Turkish (brown), Italian (light green) and Maltese (pink) are predominantly spoken
Collection districts in Sydney, Australia, denoting languages other than English most spoken at home according to the 2006 Census, including Chinese (red), Arabic (dark green), Turkish (brown), Italian (light green), Vietnamese (yellow), Greek (light blue) and Maltese (pink)
In the 2001 census, 2,843,851 Australians reported speaking a language other than English at home, including 50,978 speakers of Indigenous languages. Other languages were:
According to the 2011 census, 76.8% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 1.6%, Italian 1.4%, Arabic 1.3%, Cantonese 1.2% and Greek 1.2%.
According to the 2006 census, close to 79 per cent of Australia’s population spoke only English at home. The three most common languages other than English were Italian (accounting for 1.6 per cent of the population), Greek (1.3 per cent) and Cantonese (1.2 per cent).
According to the 2001 census, English was the only language spoken in the home for around 80% of the population. The next most common languages spoken at home were Chinese (2.1%), Italian (1.9%), Vietnamese (1.7%) and Greek (1.4%).