English language is the most used language across the globe and nearly every nation has its own form of spoke English. However, the standard which has been formed of English, and the very “ideal” of it, has a major impact in real situations.
Lippi-Green (1994) covered the manner in which the accent of an individual is affected by the standard language ideology and the manner in which it can be deemed as discriminatory. He identified one of the reasons for the differences in the way English of people as the linguistic. Though, in this write-up, it was identified that these distinctions are made in the work place or with the ones who are affluent. These distinctions are never made by the general public as the majority believes that accent is something which is to be placed in dustbin category. And if the proper English is really analyzed, it is something which has subjects and verbs and the usage of this creates the standard language ideology.
Eades (1996) analyzed the use of English language by the aboriginal people, who are majorly over-represented in the prison population of Australia. He made an attempt to make a connection between the Aboriginal people being incriminated and prone to being imprisoned, where one of the factors was their language and the communication issues. The majority of Aboriginal people, in his view, spoke different types of Aboriginal English when they deal with the law. And he identified the differences in the dialects of spoken English across the nation by the by the Aboriginals and the Standard Australians. He analyzed the case of Robyn Kina where it was held that the way of communication by Kina was the Aboriginal way and this involved serious cultural differences. And even though there were no communication difficulties in this case, the cultural differences in the usage of language, was the contributing factor for her to be blamed. The case of Kina was also observed by Thomas (2006) where the failure of justice system was highlighted. Her views on the entire case were also highlighted by Thomas (2006), where she felt that the entire scenario would have been different had she been a white woman.
Tan (1990) was a writer who also had to face the differences in the manner of English usage. She acknowledged that there is also a difference in the way a person speaks English language with their closed ones and the one which they use when faced with a large group. She noticed this difference on herself and the manner in which her usage of English language changed in unknown groups.
To conclude, the case of Kina clearly highlights that the “ideal” of English language of such importance that it can overpower the justice system. This can further be highlighted through the need of being accepted in a group by using “ideal” English and the need of not adhering to the same, when in comfort of the family. Hence, this particular “ideal” English, in real situations, create a huge inconvenience for people and the mere usage of proper dialect can be the difference in being a criminal or not.
Eades, D. (1996). Legal recognition of cultural differences in communication: the case of Robyn Kina. Language & Communication, 16(3), 215-227.
Lippi-Green, R. (1994). Accent, standard language ideology, and discriminatory pretext in the courts. Language in Society, 23(2), 163-198.
Tan, A. (1990). Mother Tongue. Threepenny Review, 315–320.
Thomas, H. (2006). Failure of justice system that feels all too familiar. Retrieved from: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/failure-of-justice-system-that-feels-all-too-familiar/news-story/ed21250be366297a3aeaa3f16bc0a42c