Languages again

This is something that gets my goat. Partly it’s a good thing but as is typical of governments they’ve really screwed up its application. I’m talking about the possible upcoming Australian immigration exam. Part of me is very much for this kind of thing, but they just ened to iron out a lot of kinks.

First off, anyone complaining that the exam is in English should fuck off. Australia’s main official language is English. If you can’t speak it, you shouldn’t be there (unless you’re Aboriginal in which case you have more right to the country than anyone else who landed by boat or plane). Before you qualify for citizenship you have to go through a 2-year residency scheme which is plenty of time to learn the language.

As for the questions on the exam… I’ve been a tourist in Oz for some time, been on all the trips, read the books and I can’t answer a load of them. Having said that, with a bank of 200 questions it’s only memory work anyway so what’s the use? I’ve asked some Aussies and they can’t get most of the answers off the top of their head. So what’s the point?

The other part of the exam tests for “mateship” which is a very Aussie thing, and a good thing at that. But again, how the hell do you test for it. Anyone can answer what the like on an exam and still be a psycho axe murderer who’d as soon shove the body of a hitch-hiker in the car boot as help a little old lady across the road.

So, nice idea but overall worthless. At least it should keep out the people who are too lazy to learn English though. Oh, and before anyone has a go at me for being pro-English, I’m not (as such). I’m pro-national language. If I moved to Thailand, I’d expect to have to learn Thai, for example. Right now, it just means if I want to move to Oz I have to learn a load of pointless trivia.

4 thoughts on “Languages again”

  1. Sounds like the Aussie exam does need tweaking, but a good idea in general.

    In the UK, they’d just have translators and interpreters on hand to help out with the questions….but I digress!

  2. They’d only have the translators for the illegal immigrants, don’t forget. The legal ones would have to do it all themselves despite being the people we’d most likely actually *want* as good citizens.

    Not that I’m fucked off with our government for rejecting a citizenship application from a friend’s *wife* recently.

  3. You are forgetting that just in case you want to be UK Citizen you have to also pass a silly exam with the silly questions from the tiny government released book. hmmm… Who is Prime Minister or what is an emergency number…

  4. I think this comes down to the fact that overall I just think exams are complete shit unless they’re set very very well – and few are. Whether you’re testing for citizenship or a GCSE physics pass or a MCSE qualification, they’re all just memory tests. Any thick fucker who can memorise stuff can pass them.

    In no way does passing a citizenship “exam” prove that you’re good enough to be let in. The same way 10 year olds were passing MCSE papers a few years ago, it’s just about reading and retaining. Especially in the Microsoft case where all you had to do was give the answers they *wanted* to hear.

    It’s like the questionnaires you have to fill in to enter the US: Are you a terrorist? Were you ever a member of the Nazi party? And so on. As if people will say “yes” if they were.

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