Welcome back: the recovery of Australia’s Indigenous languages

Dharug* woman Jacinta Tobin is Buruberongal (belonging to the kangaroo, the people from around Richmond) and Canamadagal (belonging to the possum, the people from near Prospect). But growing up dyslexic in Emu Plains in the 1970s, she didn’t know the names of the western Sydney clan groups of her ancestors, or know they were "Dharug [...]

By |2020-11-26T16:19:33+00:00November 26th, 2020|Australia, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Bringing a language back to life

With fewer and fewer fluent speakers of the Crow language, advocates for revitalizing it hope a free online dictionary can aid people already working to bolster their skills and make learning the language more accessible. On Thursday, a group of linguists, native Crow speakers and programmers launched the app after four years of work on [...]

The next generation is bringing Australia’s ancient languages into the future

Before colonisation, over 250 First Nations languages were spoken in Australia. Now, just over 100 are still in use and 90 per cent are considered "endangered". "Without your language, you're nobody," Ms Holden said. "Your language describes your country and your culture. That's why it's so important for us." Ms Holden is one of a [...]

By |2020-11-21T15:28:58+00:00November 21st, 2020|Australia, First Nations language, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Losing elders to COVID-19 endangers Indigenous languages

Eliézer Puruborá, one of the last people to grow up speaking the Puruborá language, died of COVID-19 in Brazil earlier this year. His death at the age of 92 weakened the fragile hold his people have on their language. Indigenous languages in Brazil have been threatened since the Europeans arrived. Only 181 or so of [...]

By |2020-11-14T21:07:33+00:00November 14th, 2020|Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Can online classes during the pandemic bring back an endangered language?

The pandemic has steered a lot of learning online, and language classes have been no exception. But learning an indigenous language with few native speakers left — such as Abenaki, spoken by Vermont’s original inhabitants — presents a unique challenge, and precarity is its own brand of pressure. Language teachers hope that lessons learned during [...]

How Technology Helps Preserve Endangered Indigenous Languages

Of the 537 federally recognized Native American tribes, only 139 of them still have speakers of their native language, and more than 90% of those languages are at risk of becoming extinct by 2050. Languages carry tribal knowledge, culture, humor, conversation styles, spirituality, and traditions. When language speakers decrease dramatically and parts of the language [...]

By |2020-04-18T13:18:41+00:00April 18th, 2020|Indigenous languages, Technology|0 Comments

The next chapter of Indigenous representation in video games

Carl Petersen is a member of the Oohe Nunpa (or Two Kettles) band of Lakota — a tribe indigenous to the North American Great Plains — and a 21-year-old self-proclaimed “Gen-Z/Millennial.” But his childhood wasn’t the always-online one you might expect. His first dial-up connection was to Rapid City, South Dakota, a town 180 miles [...]

By |2020-04-06T13:27:54+00:00April 6th, 2020|Indigenous languages, Video games|0 Comments

Talking about the future of teaching Indigenous languages

The Auditor General’s report on education in the territory released in February painted a dismal picture of Indigenous language education. “After our audit in 2010, the department acknowledged its need to review its policy for Indigenous language and culture-based education. It completed this review in 2014, which found that its model was not leading to [...]

By |2020-03-17T12:33:57+00:00March 17th, 2020|Canada, Education, Indigenous languages|0 Comments

Author hopes informal lesson book will help turn Indigenous language speakers into language teachers

An Ojibway language teacher and author is hoping that anyone who can speak an Indigenous language can use her new book to teach others. "It could be used by any group at all — Ojibway, Cree, Dene, Inuktitut — it'll be applicable to any language in the world," said Patricia Ningewance. Ningewance is from Lac [...]

By |2020-02-29T13:25:41+00:00February 29th, 2020|Canada, First Nations, Indigenous languages, Ojibwe language|0 Comments

How New Indigenous Languages Are Changing Australia

Before European colonization, as many as 300 languages were spoken on continental Australia, reflecting the cultural diversity among its original inhabitants. Today, only about 40 to 60 of these languages remain, with more than half of them no longer learned by any children. Yet the dynamic nature of language is giving some indigenous groups and [...]

By |2020-02-04T14:32:53+00:00February 4th, 2020|Australia, Indigenous languages|0 Comments