Minority language speakers as migrants: some preliminary observations on the Sudanese community in Melbourne

Simon Musgrave, John Hajek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The language problems faced by migrants may be more complex when they come from a minority language group in their homeland. The new arrivals may find that there are few, or even no, speakers of their language in the community to which they have moved. Then decisions have to be made as to whether to attempt to maintain the native language and also whether to join in larger groupings of people from the country of origin, groups that may use dominant languages of the home country or other languages of wider communication. Such migrants can be expected to be involved in various networks based on different languages and to have complex allegiances and identities involving the various networks and languages. We explore these issues by considering the case of speakers of minority languages from Sudan who have settled in Melbourne. More than 40 languages are represented in this community and most of these are minority languages in Sudan. We present three case studies of members of this community and discuss the social networks that are available to speakers of these languages and the various factors that influence the language use and language choices of the people from these groups
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394 - 410
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal of Multilingualism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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