I have recently come across the website for the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (Vaclang, for short), found here.
This website is a great resource for almost anything to do with the languages of Victoria. It has:
- Links to language programs
- Pages on about 38 languages (which include things like videos of languages being spoken, digital learning resources, contacts and general information pages)
- A ‘Language Query’ Submission form
- Resource list (including Apps, place names, the VACL Library (full of even more good resources), fact sheets, maps, Linguistic explanations, papers and reports, language plans, videos and more external links.
- Links to information on collaborations, as well as ongoing and completed projects. Things like dictionaries, curriculum writing, storybooks and traditional place and fauna names, just to name a few.
- There is a blog of News, not just on VACL, but also on Aboriginal languages of victoria in general.
- They have a shop, which sells Maps, books, posters and promotional items, but most exciting: Language resources! Dictionaries, stories in local languages and more.
This is just a list of the various drop down menus. This site embodies what I believe is most important for language revival. It encourages involvement, and makes resources accessible, as well as connecting interested parties, so that projects find both researchers and funding.
I think a few of the more interesting inclusions on the site are the fact-sheets, maps and project videos.
There are language fact sheets that not only address what sounds are used within the language, but also give some insight into why certain choices were made when it came to spelling systems.
Another really interesting resource (in my opinion) is their interactive language map.
As you can see in the image above (I’ve made it a link to the page) it is just based off Google maps with pins for each place name, however when you click on a pin it brings up the following sort of window (see left), a sort of place-card which includes the English/Aboriginal name, a sound-file, the meaning, and in some cases further information, or if not, opportunity to give some.
Finally their extensive project involvement. There is almost too much to include here, but I’ll add a video link from just one project, which I think really exemplifies the heart of this site: language revival.
By Ellie Magee-Jessup