More than 99% of the population speaks English. There are no class variations of speech, and few if any local dialects.
Many languages or dialects are spoken by the aboriginal tribes, but phonetically they are markedly uniform. There is no written aboriginal language, but the markings on "letter sticks," sometimes carried by messengers from one tribe to another, are readily understood by tribal headmen. Aboriginal languages are in use in certain schools in the Northern Territories and, to a lesser extent, in schools of other states.