Bringing back Languages from Scraps of Paper

In 1904 Daisy Bates, an Irish-Australian journalist and ethnographer, sent out a questionnaire to squatters, police, and other authorities across Western Australia asking them to record examples of the local Aboriginal language. Mrs Bates (1859-1951) was something of an eccentric – wearing full Edwardian outfits even when living in small tents in Aboriginal camps – [...]

By |2018-05-29T15:29:17+00:00May 29th, 2018|Aboriginal languages, Australia, Daisy Bates|0 Comments

Indigenous dictionary may save the Miriwoong language from extinction

Miriwoong is considered critically endangered — on the brink of completely disappearing — but a group in the remote Kimberley is making sure that does not happen. The first official Miriwoong dictionary has been published by Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring (MDWg), a small language and cultural centre in Kununurra. "It's the language of the land and [...]

Indigenous verse in national anthem considered to preserve Aboriginal languages

The NSW Government's Aboriginal Affairs Department has been on a statewide roadshow consulting 14 different Indigenous communities on the draft Aboriginal Language Bill. The landmark legislation is the first of its kind and will set out to promote and protect Aboriginal languages as well as provide legal preservation. Places that have been consulted so far [...]

Last fluent Ngandi speaker works to pass on endangered Indigenous language

Grant Mathumba Thompson did not have a chance to learn Ngandi growing up, despite it being the language of his mother and grandparents. His great aunt Cherry Wulumirr Daniels has started teaching him Ngandi and other traditional languages, so they can run classes at the local school. "Knowing, learning the languages has saved my life [...]

Reviving Indigenous languages – not as easy as it seems

The NSW government has announced it will propose legislation for protecting and reviving NSW Aboriginal languages. NSW Aboriginal languages are part of the heritage of NSW Aboriginal people, and part of Australia’s heritage. Recognising this should lead to greater understanding of the people and history of different parts of NSW, to greater respect for Aboriginal [...]

School uses robot to revive ancient language

A conference held last month, called the Australian Conference for Computers in Education, unveiled research into the impact of humanoid robots on students’ computational thinking. The aim of the study was to understand the impact of humanoid NAO robots on student learning, the integration of the robots into the curriculum and the pedagogical approaches that [...]

Revival of endangered aboriginal language empowers speakers in Yukon

Riley Vance is perched on a wooden horse in his Whitehorse-area daycare when he starts singing about tidying up in Southern Tutchone, an aboriginal language with fewer than 50 fluent speakers left. The three-year-old’s ditty is the fruit of an effort in Yukon’s Kwanlin Dun First Nation to teach dozens of children words and phrases [...]

Reviving Indigenous languages through old novels, dictionaries and documents

Professor Jane Simpson loves dictionaries and the gateway to the past that they can unlock. She is part of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at Australian National University (ANU), which is currently documenting Indigenous languages in the Pacific region. Indigenous languages in Australia could number between 300 and 700, depending on [...]