Traveling can be more fun if you can communicate with the natives. New Zealand is a beautiful country to travel to. But do people speak English in New Zealand?
What will I learn?
English is the most widely spoken language in New Zealand. In fact, it is one of the official languages. Let us look at various factors.
Do People Speak English In New Zealand?
New Zealand is a country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
The two main islands of New Zealand are North Island and South Island, and the capital city is Wellington.
The vast majority of people in New Zealand speak English. English is one of the official languages in New Zealand.
The other official languages are Maori and NZ Sign Language. Plus, the Polynesian family of languages includes Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, and Tongan.
Most people in New Zealand speak English. Still, you may encounter someone who speaks one of the other official languages.
However, you may hear some words and phrases you need to get used to in New Zealand English.
But don’t worry, everyone will still be able to understand you!
How Widely Is English Spoken In New Zealand?
As mentioned above, English is one of the official languages of New Zealand.
According to the 2013 Census, 96.1% of the population aged 15 years and over reported being able to converse in English.
So, you should be able to find someone to chat with in English while in New Zealand!
However, you may come across some words and phrases that are new to you. Here are a few examples:
“Sweet as” This phrase describes something good or cool. For example, “This weather is sweet as!”
“She’ll be right” This phrase describes something that will be okay or fixed soon. For example, “I dropped my phone, but she’ll be right.”
What Percentage Of New Zealanders Can Speak English?
According to the New Zealand English website, 96% of the population speaks English. That is a big population if compared to any other country.
You will have no problem finding someone to communicate with in English in New Zealand.
If you are looking for directions or want to have a conversation, there’ll always be someone to guide you.
However, learning a few phrases in the local language is always polite. People may appreciate your efforts!
Languages Spoken In New Zealand
English is the predominant language spoken by most people in New Zealand.
Māori is also an official language spoken by around 4 percent of the population.
Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) became an official language in 1987.
Other languages used in New Zealand include Samoan, Hindi, French, and sign languages.
There are also many English dialects spoken throughout New Zealand.
The main three official languages are English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language.
In the 2001 Census, 97.5% of people said they spoke English. This number has since dropped to 96.1% in the 2013 Census.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people who said they could speak more than one language increased from 17.0% in 2001 to 21.3% in 2013.
However, many other languages get spoken by people living in New Zealand.
According to the 2013 Census, the top five languages spoken (after English) are:
The Maori language is the official language of New Zealand. It gets spoken by around 4 percent of the population.
Maori is a member of the Polynesian family of languages. That also includes Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, and Tongan.
Maori is one of the official languages in New Zealand. Even then, English is the country’s most commonly spoken language.
In the 2013 Census, 85 percent of respondents said they spoke English as their main language. Over 1 percent of respondents said they spoke Maori as their main language.
You will encounter many people who speak English in New Zealand. Don’t get surprised if you also hear many other languages.
New Zealand Sign Language:
In 2006, the New Zealand Parliament passed the New Zealand Sign Language Act.
That made NZSL the official language of New Zealand, along with English and Maori.
The Act was a huge step forward for the Deaf community in New Zealand.
They had long been campaigning for recognition of their language. NZSL is the native language of around 5,000 Deaf people in New Zealand.
Before the Act got passed, there was no legal protection for NZSL.
Deaf people could not use their languages in everyday situations. For example, when dealing with government agencies or banks.
Now that NZSL is an official language, it is much easier for Deaf people to use it in all aspects of their lives.
However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that NZSL is accessible to everyone who wants to learn it.
Currently, very few resources are available for people who want to learn NZSL. This is something that the Deaf community is working hard to change.
In the meantime, several online resources are available to start learning NZSL. Such as the New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary.
So, do people speak English in New Zealand? Yes, English is one of the official languages.
But they also have a vibrant sign language that is an integral part of the culture.
Role Of The English In The Education System Of New Zealand
The English language plays an important role in the schools of New Zealand.
All students must take English classes, and many subjects get taught in English.
That ensures that everyone understands the language well. That is essential for communication and success in school.
There are also several bilingual schools. Students there learn two languages, English and Maori.
These schools help to preserve the unique cultures of New Zealand.
They also provide students with a strong foundation in English and another language.
History Of The English Language In New Zealand
The English language has a long history in New Zealand. It was first brought to the country by British settlers in the 1800s. Hence it became the dominant language.
A strong commitment has always been to preserve the Maori language and culture.
That is evident in the fact that Maori is one of the official languages of New Zealand, along with English.
In recent years, there has been a trend of people speaking multiple languages in New Zealand. That is due to the growing diversity of the population.
More people from different cultures have moved to the country. As a result, it is not uncommon for people to speak several languages fluently.
English is the predominant language in New Zealand. Yet it is only sometimes spoken perfectly.
In addition, there is a distinctive New Zealand accent. Some words have different meanings than in other English-speaking countries.
Nevertheless, communication should be fine for visitors from English-speaking countries.
Cultural And Lingual Diversity In New Zealand
New Zealand is a culturally diverse country with people from all over the world making it their home.
According to Statistics New Zealand 2013, 26% of the population was born overseas.
A further 20% had at least one parent born overseas. That makes New Zealand one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the OECD.
With such diversity comes linguistic diversity. Over 160 languages get spoken in New Zealand homes.
The most common language after English is Samoan, followed by Hindi.
Other languages include Yue (Chinese), French, Northern Chinese, Spanish, and Tongan.
Cities In New Zealand With The Most English Speakers
Since English is one of the official languages of New Zealand, it gets spoken widely. It is the most predominant language in the country.
Yet the number of speakers varies in each city. Some cities in New Zealand with several English speakers are as follows.
These are just some of the cities in New Zealand where you’re likely to encounter a lot of English speakers.
However, English gets spoken throughout the country. So you don’t have to confine your travels to just these cities.
Wherever you go in New Zealand, you’re likely to find someone who can speak English.
So don’t worry about being unable to communicate while you’re in New Zealand – chances are you’ll be fine.
Difference Between American English And New Zealand English
One thing about New Zealand English is that it’s different from American English.
That is because New Zealand got settled by the British, while the Dutch settled in America.
As a result, there are some differences in how words get pronounced and spelled.
For example, the letter “z” is pronounced like “s” in New Zealand. So the word “zebra” would get pronounced like “sebra“.
Additionally, words like “color” and “favorite” get spelled with a “u” in New Zealand. Whereas in America, they would get spelled with an “o“.
If you’re used to American English, don’t be too surprised while visiting New Zealand. That is because you will encounter some spelling differences while being there.
New Zealanders can still understand and communicate with people from America.
So if you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, don’t get worried about communication.
Role Of the English Language In The Society Of New Zealand
The use of English in New Zealand has a long history. English was first introduced to the country by British settlers in the early 1800s.
It has become the main language used in government, education, and everyday life.
New Zealand English does have different vocabulary and pronunciation from varieties of English.
It is generally mutually intelligible with other forms of English.
Meaning people from other English-speaking countries have no trouble understanding New Zealanders and vice versa.
There are also several indigenous languages spoken in New Zealand, the most common of which is Māori.
So, if you know other languages too, that will enhance your experience there.
Can You Travel To New Zealand With Just Speaking English?
Yes, you can travel to New Zealand by just speaking English!
As mentioned before, English is one of the three official languages of New Zealand.
Therefore, all road signs, government documents, and other official materials are in English.
Of course, learning some key phrases in Māori will go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable.
Many New Zealanders are proud of their culture and heritage. So communicating with them in their language will be greatly appreciated. Plus, it’s a great way to practice your language skills!
You don’t need to learn Māori to travel to New Zealand. However, as mentioned above, it would be highly appreciated if you could pick up a few key phrases.
Here are some helpful words and phrases in Māori:
– Kia ora: Hello
– Haere Mai: Welcome
– Tēnā Koe: Hello (to one person)
– Tēnā kōrua: Hello (to two people)
– Tēnā tatou: Hello (to more than two people)
– Ka kite ano: Goodbye
– Mauri: Good luck
– Aroha mai: I’m sorry
Can You Live In New Zealand With Just Speaking English?
Yes, you can live in New Zealand by just speaking English. Most of the population speaks English as their first language, so you’ll be able to get by just fine.
However, as mentioned above, it would be beneficial to learn a few key phrases in Māori.
That will show that you’re trying to learn about the culture and the people. The effort is always greatly appreciated by the locals.
So, do people speak English in New Zealand? Yes, they do! English is one of the official languages of New Zealand, so you will be able to get by just fine.
However, as mentioned above, it would be beneficial to learn a few key phrases in Māori.
That will show that you’re trying to learn about the culture and the people. That goes a long way in making friends and building relationships.
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