ABC Radio National’s Media Report has a segment on the introduction of the ABC Northern Territory Indigenous language news bulletins. ABC Presenter Richard Aedy interviews Derek Hunt (Yolngu Matha interpreter and newsreader in Darwin) and Christopher Smyth (Director of ABC Northern Territory in Darwin) about the ‘thinking behind the trial’ and some of the responses already observed. Christopher comments that some of the delay in initiating such an obvious need has been due to a lack of reliable interpreting services in the NT. Provision of such services has only been available to the police, courts, hospitals and to the ABC within the last three years. Warpiri and Yolngu Matha languages were chosen on the basis that the service would get good geographic coverage and that using these two languages would enable the best interpretation of the complicated terminology in a news broadcast. In the last sixty years most of the studies into interpreting Indigenous languages have been done into these two languages. Scripting these news bulletins is a huge collaborative exercise requiring thoughtful interpretation and awareness of local cultural contexts. Listening to the account of the laborious processes involved would give a LING 366/566 student an appreciation of how difficult it has been for Indigenous Australians to understand the English language and thus be fully aware of contemporary issues – even those involving their own welfare. The introduction of the service has already been appreciated and listeners are excited about getting timely news.
[Pam Morris 18.07.2014]