Technology can contribute to both Loss and Preservation of Language

SBS reports on a project at Sydney University to preserve the languages of Wangga from the Daly region of the Northern Territory. It make the point that the internet (an I would think television and film before it) can contribute to the loss of language and ceremony from communities as the global culture is constantly presented to them.

But it seems technology can be used for good as well as evil. Researchers Allan Marett and Linda Barwick have been recording songs in the Wangga languages over many years and make them available online as of preserving our past for future generations.

The songs are available at the website and Allan Marett makes the point that anybody can listen on their iPhones or on a computer, which should contribute to speakers of Wangga languages continuing to use these languages.

Another example is an app. of the Yugambeh language developed by Rory O’Connor of the Yugambeh Museum in Queensland. The plan is to add Aboriginal languages in surrounding areas.

Since the general trend seems to be the gradual diminution of the use of Aboriginal languages, most prominently by the younger generation, the use of these technologies may help to reverse this trend.

[Warren Hogan 23.07.2014]

Researchers use music to preserve Aboriginal language, at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/02/20/researchers-use-music-preserve-aboriginal-language, accessed 21st July 2014

For the sake of a song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories, at University of Sydney, http://wangga.library.usyd.edu.au/, accessed 23rd July 2014

Aboriginal language preserved through app, at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/07/30/aboriginal-language-preserved-through-app, accessed 21st July 2014

Yugambeh Language App., at http://www.yugambeh.com/resources_language.php, accessed 23rd July 2014

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