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

Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2011) 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 term460125
Registration status:Help on this termHousing assistance, Standard 13/10/2011 [Non DictionaryHelp on this term]
Health, Superseded 25/01/2018
Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018 [Non DictionaryHelp on this term]
Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Children and Families, Standard 22/11/2016
Community Services (retired), Standard 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 2011
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 denotes that it is an Eastern European language, while 31 denotes that it is a Baltic language. The Pintupi Aboriginal language is coded as 8713. In this case 8 denotes that it is an Australian Indigenous language and 87 denotes that the language is a 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)/ Will (name of child under two years) speak a language other than English at home? (If more than one language, indicate the one that is spoken most often.)

Response options for detailed data:

Alternative 1

No, (English only) []

Yes, Mandarin []

Yes, Italian []

Yes, Arabic []

Yes, Cantonese []

Yes, Greek []

Yes, Vietnamese  []

Yes, Spanish  []

Yes, Hindi  []

Yes, Tagalog  []

Yes, Other (please specify) ______________________________

The above list includes languages based on their statistical significance in the Australian context. The list is reviewed when data indicate that different languages have been more or less frequently reported in the Census.

Alternative 2

No, English only []

Yes, Other - please specify ______________________________

Response option for minimum data:

No, English only []

Yes, Other []

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.

The ABS Language Standards, 2012, Version 1.1 (cat. no. 1200.0.55.005) was released in September 2012. The recommended question recognises children under two years of age.

Source and reference attributes

Origin:Help on this term

Health Data Standards Committee

National Community Services Data Committee

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011. Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) 2011.  Canberra: ABS. 16/8/2011.

Reference documents:Help on this termAustralian Bureau of Statistics 2012. Language Standards, 2012, Version 1.1. Cat. no. 1200.0.55.05. Canberra: ABS.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

See also Person—first language spoken, code (ASCL 2011) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Standard 13/10/2011, Health, Standard 13/10/2011, Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018, Disability, Standard 13/08/2015, Community Services (retired), Standard 13/10/2011

Supersedes Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2005) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Superseded 30/05/2013, Health, Superseded 13/10/2011, Community Services (retired), Superseded 13/10/2011

Has been superseded by Person—main language other than English spoken at home, code (ASCL 2016) N[NNN] Health, Standard 25/01/2018, Homelessness, Standard 10/08/2018

See also Person—preferred language, code (ASCL 2011) NN{NN} Housing assistance, Standard 13/10/2011, Health, Superseded 25/01/2018, Homelessness, Superseded 10/08/2018, Tasmanian Health, Archived 27/06/2017, Community Services (retired), Standard 13/10/2011

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

Adolescent and young adult cancer (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 14/05/2015

Adolescent and young adult cancer (clinical) NBPDS Health, Standard 14/05/2015

Child protection (CP) client file cluster Children and Families, Superseded 22/11/2016
Community Services (retired), Recorded 09/10/2014

DSS specific attributes +

Child protection (CP) client file cluster Children and Families, Superseded 22/11/2016

DSS specific attributes +

Child protection (CP) client file cluster Children and Families, Superseded 22/11/2016

DSS specific attributes +

Child protection (CP) client file cluster Children and Families, Superseded 20/04/2018

DSS specific attributes +

Child protection (CP) client file cluster Children and Families, Standard 20/04/2018

DSS specific attributes +

Cultural and language diversity cluster Disability, Standard 13/08/2015
Community Services (retired), Standard 10/04/2013

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program NBEDS 2014-18 Health, Superseded 06/09/2018

DSS specific attributes +

Prison dischargee DSS Health, Superseded 28/04/2016

Prison dischargee NBEDS Health, Standard 28/04/2016

DSS specific attributes +

Prison entrants NBEDS Health, Standard 28/04/2016

DSS specific attributes +
My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term