General Policies

Policy A: Standard & Non-Standard Form of Language

It is recognised that variations in vocabulary and usage may arise in the same languages as spoken in different countries, e.g. Portuguese in Portugal and in Brazil; French in France and in Canada, English between Australia and other English speaking countries. Individuals sitting a CCL test must be able to understand regional variations within the language. In these cases, markers also make allowances for variation. Examiner panels are aware of regional variations and make allowances for this during the marking process.

Policy B: Use of English Words In The LOTE

NAATI recognises that there are languages in which English words are regularly and commonly used by speakers of a LOTE and this usage is widely understood within the LOTE speaking community in Australia. NAATI accepts that there may be LOTE words that could have been used (as an alternative to the English word) but the candidate will not be penalised where the English word is regularly and commonly used by LOTE speakers. It is also considered appropriate for the limited use of English words in a CCL test dialogue where the usage is part of the language norms and conventions.

Language Specific Information
Albanian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Arabic

Refer to General Policies A and B.

The use of English terms should be restricted to transliterated words that have gained currency and become lexicalised in the Arabic language in general زديإ ،سواه سنوات ،نوفلت (telephone, town-house, AIDS).

Assyrian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

There are two main streams of the Assyrian language known as Eastern and Western. The stream most prevalent in Australia is that of the Eastern group. The Eastern group of dialects divides into four main sub dialects.

The classical sub-dialect is the only agreed dialect which provides widespread effective communication. While NAATI understands that there are other dialects spoken, the classical subdialect is the one used by NAATI in its CCL testing.

Bangla

Refer to General Policies A and B.

The CCL test uses Chalit Bangla, the Modern Colloquial Standard (MCS) based on contemporary spoken Bangla.

Bosnian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

In line with Australian government policy regarding the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian languages, NAATI treats these as different languages, each with its own characteristics. Consequently, no tests are held in the ‘Serbo-Croatian’ language. Candidates must nominate whether they wish to be tested in the Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian languages.

Bulgarian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Country-specific terms and expressions can be used, but to a limited extent. The candidate should be able to:

  1. Express him/herself in appropriate non-dialectal Bulgarian; and
  2. Understand dialectal Bulgarian.

The CCL test reading is done in non-dialectal Standard Bulgarian which should not pose any difficulty to any competent user of Bulgarian

Burmese

Refer to General Policies A and B.

The CCL test uses Standard Burmese. If the candidate uses a form of non-standard Burmese (which majority of Burmese speakers cannot understand) the candidate will be penalised. Candidates should also be aware of and use culturally sensitive registers.

The use of non-Burmese words is allowed when these words are adopted or borrowed from English or another language and if they are commonly used in standard Burmese

Cantonese

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Modern Chinese comprises seven major groups of dialects, which, in their spoken form, differ among themselves to such an extent that they may be considered as being virtually separate languages. They are largely mutually incomprehensible.

Yue dialects, one of which is known in English as Cantonese, are native to about five per cent of the population of China and are widely spoken in Hong Kong. Many overseas Chinese, including many residents of Australia with ethnic Chinese background, are native speakers of Cantonese.

Croatian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

In line with Australian government policy regarding the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian languages, NAATI treats these as different languages, each with its own characteristics. Consequently, no tests are held in the ‘Serbo-Croatian’ language. Candidates must nominate whether they wish to be tested in the Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian languages

Czech

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Dari

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Dutch

Some variations in vocabulary and usage may arise when candidates sitting a CCL test are from Belgium and speak Flemish, which is considered to be a Dutch dialect. Examiners will make allowances for this in the marking process. The same applies to Suriname, where Dutch is the official language.

The use of Friesian (spoken in Friesland – a province of the Netherlands) and Afrikaans are not acceptable.

Many English words are regularly and commonly used by Dutch speakers, even when there is a Dutch word that could be used instead. Where limited use of such English words/expressions occurs, this will not be penalised, as long as they are regularly used by Dutch speakers

English

Refer to General Policy A.

Filipino

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Finnish

Refer to General Policies A and B.

French

Refer to General Policy B.

The CCL test uses non-dialectical Standard French and CCL test candidates are expected to express themselves in non-dialectical, non-regional French.

Country specific terms can be used but to a very limited extent, e.g. numbers such as nonante instead of quatre-vingt-dix by Belgian or Swiss speakers would be accepted.

German

Refer to General Policy B.

The CCL test uses non-dialectical Standard German and CCL test candidates are expected to express themselves in non-dialectical, non-regional German.

Country specific terms can be used by candidates but to a very limited extent, e.g. Grüß Gott for example by Austrian speakers or Grüezi by Swiss speakers instead of Guten Tag

Greek

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Within the Greek Community in Australia, as with many NESB communities, ethnolect (i.e. the use of terms which are not clearly English or Greek but a ‘hybrid’ of the two) are not considered appropriate Greek language for the purposes of this testing.

Hazaragi

NAATI acknowledges that there are regional variations/dialects of the Hazaragi language. However, due to strong cultural and identity connections there is a high level of mutual understanding between these regional dialects.

For the purposes of NAATI CCL testing, a candidate will not be penalised for the dialect spoken as long as what is being said would be understood by an average Hazara person living in Hazaristan. Candidates need to be aware that the Hazaragi language spoken by Hazaras in some locations, including the major cities in Afghanistan, has been heavily influenced by other languages of those cities and areas. Any use of ‘non- Hazaragi’ words will be penalised.

Hindi

Refer to General Policy A.

Regional variations of dialects and words from English and other languages, which are commonly understood by Hindi, speakers, especially in scientific and technical fields, will be permitted. When using numbers in Hindi, use of English numerals (e.g. thirty-six for chhattees) will be penalised. If a figure is provided in millions in English, it must be converted to lakhs or crores in Hindi and vice versa.

Hungarian

Refer to General Policies A and B

Indonesian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

NAATI considers Indonesian and Malay to be two languages. While there are extensive areas of common ground there are identifiable differences in the typical usage between Malay and Indonesian speakers; relating to such issues as:

  • Vcabulary (for instance – Indonesian pemerintah / Malay kerajaan for the government);
  • Gammatical structures (for instance – Indonesian mengurangi / Malay mengurangkan for reduce); and
  • Ponunciation (for instance – the sound of the letter –a at the end of a word).

For the purposes of marking CCL tests, in those instances where an identifiable difference does exist, examiners will expect candidates who have nominated to sit the test in Indonesian to use identifiably Indonesian usages, and those nominating to sit the test in Malay to use identifiably Malay usages. When a candidate who has nominated to sit the test in one language produces an excessive number of usages relating to the other language, examiners may decide to fail the candidate for that reason.

Italian

Candidates sitting a CCL test need to use Standard Italian. The speech of the recording may reflect regional intonations, as may the candidate’s speech. These are considered natural variations within the standard language.

The use of some English words in the LOTE is acceptable where these words are commonly used by native Italian speakers and are part of the lexicon.

Japanese

In CCL tests, the language used should be the standard form (Hyojungo). Style and register should be appropriate to the subject matter and the mode, and dialect and slang expressions should be avoided.

Khmer

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Korean

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Lao

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Malay

Refer to General Policies A and B.

NAATI considers Indonesian and Malay to be two languages. While there are extensive areas of common ground, there are identifiable differences in the typical usage between Malay and Indonesian speakers. This includes issues such as:

  • Vocabulary (for instance – Indonesian pemerintah / Malay kerajaan for the government);
  • Grammatical structures (for instance – Indonesian mengurangi / Malay mengurangkan for reduce); and
  • Pronunciation (for instance – the sound of the letter –a at the end of a word).

For the purposes of marking CCL tests, in those instances where an identifiable difference does exist, examiners will expect candidates who have nominated to sit the test in Indonesian to use identifiably Indonesian usages, and those nominating to sit the test in Malay to use identifiably Malay usages. When a candidate who has nominated to sit the test in one language produces an excessive number of usages relating to the other language, examiners may decide to fail the candidate for that reason.

Mandarin

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Modern Chinese comprises seven major groups of dialects, which, in their spoken form, differ among themselves to such an extent that they may be considered as being virtually separate languages. They are largely mutually incomprehensible.

Northern or Mandarin dialects, also known under the Chinese terms of Beifanghua, Putonghua, Guanhua and Guoyu. About seventy per cent of the total population of China are native speakers of one of the northern dialects.

By decision of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the dialect spoken by the native inhabitants of Beijing (i.e. Pekingese) has been selected for setting the standards of pronunciation for the variety of Mandarin which has been adopted as the official language for all China and which has been given the name of Putonghua (‘the common language’) or Modern Standard Chinese (MSC). Mandarin is also one of the official languages in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Candidates specifying to be tested in Mandarin should be able to recognise some of the vocabulary variations between Mandarin as spoken in the People’s Republic of China and in Taiwan.

Nepali

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Pashto

Refer to General Policies A and B.

The language the Pashto CCL tests are spoken in is also referred to as Southern Pashto, an official national language of Afghanistan

Persian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Only English words (or words in a language other than Persian), with no substitute in Persian (mainly technical words, in various fields) will be allowed.

Polish

Refer to General Policy A.

The use of English terms should be restricted to words that have gained currency and become widely used and understood in the Polish language, e.g. weekend, manager, design, top.

Portuguese

Refer to General Policy B.

It is recognised that variations in vocabulary and usage may arise in the same language as spoken in different countries, e.g. Portuguese in Portugal and in Brazil. The Portuguese CCL test reading is delivered in a neutral accent which should not pose any difficulty to a competent user of Portuguese. Individuals sitting a CCL test must be able to understand regional variations within the language. Examiner panels are aware of regional variations and make allowances for this during the marking process.

Punjabi

Refer to General Policy A.

When speaking in Punjabi, candidates may occasionally use words from the English language and other regional languages if they would be easily understood by a majority of Punjabi speakers in Australia. For example – mobile phone, fridge, 3G network, satellite.

Frequent use of words from other languages that would not be understood by many Punjabi speakers will be penalised. For example because, marriage, documents.

When referring to numbers in Punjabi the use of English numerals (e.g. thirty-six for chhattee) will be penalised. If a figure is provided in millions in English, it must be converted to lakhs or crores in Punjabi and vice versa.

Romanian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Russian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Serbian

Refer to General Policies A and B.

In line with Australian government policy regarding the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian languages, NAATI treats these as different languages, each with its own characteristics. Consequently, no tests are held in the ‘Serbo-Croatian’ language. Candidates must nominate whether they wish to be tested in the Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian languages.

Sinhalese

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Somali

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Spanish

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Swahili

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Tamil

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Thai

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Tigrinya

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Turkish

Refer to General Policies A and B.

Urdu

Refer to General Policy A.

The limited use of English words is considered appropriate where the usage is part of the language convention and norms. This means that candidates may occasionally use words from the English language if these would be easily understood by a majority of Urdu speakers in Australia, or when accurate translation of a word is not available in Urdu. Examples of acceptable English words in Urdu include – school, operation, gas bill.

The limited use of the Hindi language is also acceptable where the CCL test candidate demonstrates good transfer of meaning and where these Hindi words would be easily understood by a majority of Urdu speakers.

Candidates are expected to use an appropriate register for each language accordingly.

Vietnamese

Refer to General Policies A and B.