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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 6:25 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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Do ethnic communities retain their culture in Australia longer?

Since Aussies don't seem to really read the City Discussions forum, I thought I'd bring the discussion over here (it starts in the latter half of the thread):

http://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=232158

Looking at Australian census stats, I was struck at the level of continued language use among ethnic groups in Australia whose mass immigration ended decades ago. It seems to be higher than in Canada.

For instance, Italians:

There are 1,000,013 Italian Australians and 271,602 speak Italian at home (27.2%).

There are 1,587,970 Italian Canadians and 252,680 speak Italian at home (15.9%).

And for Greeks:

There are 397,435 Greek Australians and 237,583 speak Greek at home (59.8%).

There are 271,405 Greek Canadians and 92,875 speak Greek at home (34.2%).

What explains this discrepancy? Is it just a matter of how questions are framed? Or is there something else at work?

Some possible reasons:

- Australian continental Europeans are more "recent." While both Australia and Canada received a lot of postwar European immigration, in Australia it was more of a "new thing." Canada got a good number of early 20th century immigration, so the postwar Europeans were expanding on something already there. In contrast, Australia was probably about 98% Anglo-Celtic in 1940, so the Europeans were basically a new thing and perhaps perceived as more "foreign." Maybe they were more isolated socially from Anglo-Celtic Australians as a result.

- There's no obvious "second language" in Australia, like French in English Canada and Spanish in the US, so maybe many Australians turn to their immigrant roots to get a second language.

- Private schooling is more common than in North America, and that may contribute to language maintenance.
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 9:19 PM
goldeneyed goldeneyed is offline
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Here is an interesting article showing how the number of people speaking Greek at home in Australia is overtaking those speaking Italian, despite the Italian population being much larger.

https://neoskosmos.com/en/24478/gree...-major-cities/
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 9:39 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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Yeah, Greek language retention is higher than Italian in both countries.

One hypothesis is that the Greek Orthodox Church plays a role in supporting "Greekness." Meanwhile, with regard to Italians, while the RC Church may be based in Rome, it isn't "their" church.

Another is more recent immigration of Greeks, at least in Canada. Postwar Greek immigration was on average a decade later than Italian (Italian was more 50s/60s while postwar Greek was more 60s/70s). Canada also has a sizable pre-war Italian community (less than the US but more proportionately and numerically important than Australia), but Greek Canadians are almost all post-war.
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Old Posted Mar 8, 2018, 9:41 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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And Melbourne just has more Greeks than Toronto or Montreal, so that critical mass may keep the language alive longer.
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