Translation & Language News: Keeping Culture Alive Through Languages

This week, in the land down under, Dr Michael Connard revived a debate about the possibility of teaching school children Indigenous languages over other entrenched staples, such as French or Japanese.


Previous calls for Indigenous language education in Australian schools faced criticism about practical application barriers, such as how to create a cohesive curriculum from a very diverse pool of languages. With over 100 Indigenous languages and dialects spoken in the Northern Territories,  Dr Connard said he envisaged that primary schools would teach their local community’s specific Indigenous language.

“There have been numerous government reports calling for the inclusion of Aboriginal language in schools to promote identity, culture and help reduce the identity crisis suffered by many young people.” 

Meanwhile, further south in Australia, for the first time since the 1860s, the Kaurna language of the Adelaide plains is being spoken fluently by three young Aboriginal men!

“The result is the culmination of more than 20 years of painstaking research into the dormant ­language, which has allowed a new generation of Aboriginal men to revive the tongue of their ancestors.” reported The Australian in an interview with one of the Kaurna speakers Jack Buckskin.

How beautiful would it be to have younger generations translating, interpreting and even teaching these languages to their parents and extended family? It could bring a whole new lease of life to community as well as culture.





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