$1m to help preserve world's native languages

Newcastle Herald, 13th October 2009

A Cardiff-based organisation is helping to revive Aboriginal languages around the world, including the tongue of the American Indian Navaho tribe.

The non-profit Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association has recieved a $1 million federal grant to continue its work for three years.

Manager Daryn McKenny said the association had created software that was being used to preserve more than 100 languages, helping to arrest the decline of native culture.

"Every two weeks (on average), somewhere in the world a language disappears," Mr McKenny said.

"Australia is, unfortunatley, a hotspot for language loss."

Charlton MP Greg Combet said the association was "at the forefront of keeping Indigenous language from being lost and bringing it back to local communities."

"Their biggest accomplishment has been helping bring back the local Awabakal language from extinction, where it is now being spoken once again."

Mr McKenny said there had been more than 250 Aboriginal languages  in Australia.

His group has worked for eight years to revive the language of the Awabakal tribe from Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.

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  • Friday, 06 January 2012