Monday, February 17, 2020

The Language In New Zealand: What Immigrants Need To Know

Many people who have always dreamed of being an immigrant in the country of their choice believe that packing up and moving to a new country is easy. When they get there, they just have to live the life that they want to live and start anew. But that is not always the case. Immigrants still need to adapt to the life and culture that the new country that they are in has. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And that is the same in just about any country even in New Zealand.

There are things that one has to learn in a new country. The list includes how to get about in the new place that they are in, the food that are available in the country, and properly communicating with the people in the country. It is a good thing for those who are immigrants in New Zealand that they do not have to adapt that much in terms of communication because the people here speak English.

The official languages

It is said that there are three languages that are officially used in New Zealand. English is one of them. The other two are the New Zealand Sign Language, and Maori. English is the one that is used on a daily basis in the country and this is because of the country’s connections and association with the British Commonwealth. As for Maori, it is a language from Polynesia and it is known to be quite similar to some of the languages that are used in other cultures and places in the Pacific Island. These other languages include Tongan, Samoan, and Hawaiian.

At present, there are more than 157,000 individuals who are in New Zealand who speak the Maori language as per the Census in 2006. This is the language that has been used when the country first became a nation when the very first inhabitants of the place came to live there. Despite this, the language has only been named as one of the official languages in New Zealand in 1987 as part of the Maori Language Act.

Influence from two main languages

Immigrants in New Zealand would find that English and Maori are quite used in the entire country. They are used in radio programs and television programs in the country. Experts have said that English has rubbed off some influence on the Maori language as the Maori language has rubbed off some influence in the English language in New Zealand. Immigrants may find that there are certain words that have become interchanged in these two languages, which is not surprising given that these languages are used on a daily basis and they are quite dynamic.

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