Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2005) NN{NN}

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termMain language other than English spoken at home
METeOR identifier:Help on this term304133
Registration status:Help on this termHousing assistance, Superseded 30/05/2013
Health, Superseded 13/10/2011
Community Services (retired), Superseded 13/10/2011
Definition:Help on this term

The language reported by a person as the main language other than English spoken by that person in his/her home (or most recent private residential setting occupied by the person) to communicate with other residents of the home or setting and regular visitors, as represented by a code.

Data Element Concept:Person—main language other than English spoken at home

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Classification scheme:Australian Standard Classification of Languages 2005
Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termNN{NN}
Maximum character length:Help on this term4

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

The Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) has a three- level hierarchical structure. The most detailed level of the classification consists of base units (languages) which are represented by four-digit codes. The second level of the classification comprises narrow groups of languages (the Narrow Group level), identified by the first two digits. The most general level of the classification consists of broad groups of languages (the Broad Group level) and is identified by the first digit. The classification includes Australian Indigenous languages and sign languages.

For example, the Lithuanian language has a code of 3102. In this case 3 denote that it is an Eastern European language, while 31 denote that it is a Baltic language. The Pintupi Aboriginal language is coded as 8713. In this case 8 denote that it is an Australian Indigenous language and 87 denote that the language is Western Desert language.

Language data may be output at the Broad Group level, Narrow Group level or base level of the classification. If necessary significant Languages within a Narrow Group can be presented separately while the remaining Languages in the Narrow Group are aggregated. The same principle can be adopted to highlight significant Narrow Groups within a Broad Group.

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Collection methods:Help on this term

Recommended question:

Do you/Does the person/Does (name) speak a language other than English at home? (If more than one language, indicate the one that is spoken most often.)

No (English only) ____

Yes, Italian ____

Yes, Greek ____

Yes, Cantonese ____

Yes, Arabic ____

Yes, Mandarin ____

Yes, Vietnamese ____

Yes, Spanish ____

Yes, German ____

Yes, Hindi ____

Yes, Other (please specify) ______________________________

This list reflects the nine most common languages other than English spoken in Australia.

Languages may be added or deleted from the above short list to reflect characteristics of the population of interest.

Alternatively a tick box for 'English' and an 'Other - please specify' response category could be used.

Comments:Help on this term

This metadata item is consistent with that used in the Australian Census of Population and Housing and is recommended for use whenever there is a requirement for comparison with Census data.

This data element is important in identifying those people most likely to suffer disadvantage in terms of their ability to access services due to language and/or cultural difficulties. In conjunction with Indigenous status, Proficiency in spoken English and Country of birth this data element forms the minimum core set of cultural and language indicators recommended by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Data on main language other than English spoken at home are regarded as an indicator of 'active' ethnicity and also as useful for the study of inter-generational language retention. The availability of such data may help providers of health and community services to effectively target the geographic areas or population groups that need those services. It may be used for the investigation and development of language services such as interpreter/ translation services.

Source and reference attributes

Origin:Help on this term

Health Data Standards Committee

National Community Services Data Committee

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005. Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) 2005. Cat. no. 1267.0. 2nd Edition, Canberra: ABS. Viewed 29 July 2005.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Person—first language spoken, code (ASCL 2005) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Superseded 30/05/2013, Health, Superseded 13/10/2011, Community Services (retired), Superseded 13/10/2011

Supersedes Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 1997) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Not progressed 13/10/2005, Health, Superseded 08/02/2006, Community Services (retired), Superseded 29/04/2006

Has been superseded by Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2011) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Standard 13/10/2011, Health, Superseded 25/01/2018, Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Children and Families, Superseded 20/01/2021, Community Services (retired), Standard 13/10/2011

See also Person—preferred language, code (ASCL 2005) NN{NN} Health, Superseded 13/10/2011, Community Services (retired), Superseded 13/10/2011

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

Child protection and support services (CPSS) client cluster Community Services (retired), Standard 30/04/2008

DSS specific attributes +

Children's Services NMDS Community Services (retired), Superseded 21/05/2010

DSS specific attributes +

Prison entrants DSS Health, Superseded 28/04/2016

My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term