Do you know an Indigenous language or want to learn more about them?
It has been found that Indigenous languages around the world are vanishing, including 90% of Australian Indigenous languages. These languages are important because as they contain people’s heritage, culture and knowledge. The 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages is an official UN observance to prevent this ongoing extinction and revitalise languages, and you can take part.
To join in, you can register to become involved on the official 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages website. For events within Australia, the Department of Communication and the Arts has a calendar as well as more information about the year.
To find out more about both Australian and global Indigenous languages, you can also read some of these CSU Library resources:
- Paper and Talk: a Manual for Reconstituting Materials in Australian Indigenous Languages from historical sources – Nick Thieberger
- Re-awakening languages : theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australia’s indigenous languages – John Robert Hobson
- The Indigenous Studies Resource Guide has a language section on the Wiradjuri and Yolngu nations, as well as links to other websites about Indigenous Australian languages
- Endangered Languages of Austronesia – Magaret J Florey
- Can Schools Save Indigenous Languages? Policy and Practice on Four Continents – edited by Nancy H. Hornberger
To see some examples of Indigenous language revitalisation, check out these links:
- The Indigenous Literacy Foundations’ community literacy projects create books written in Indigenous Australian languages.
- The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies has information and resources about Indigenous Australian languages, including an interactive language map
- Watch this amazing video of Emma Stephens singing the Beatles song ‘Blackbird’ in Mi’kmaq, an Indigenous Eastern Algonquian language.