Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Thu Mar 10 17:51:34 UTC 2005

'Shoebox' puts Indigenous language preservation on right foot

A language expert has used a visit to the Pilbara, in north-west Western
Australia, to showcase a computer program which specialises in
Indigenous language.

The "Shoebox" collects information about languages and compiles
dictionaries and translates words.

A linguist for the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre,
Albert Burgman, is teaching a group of seven linguists and teachers how
to use the Shoebox.

Mr Burgman says the program is the best way to record languages and
ensure grammar is consistent.

"If you want to be sure that the are writing, whether it be
dreaming stories or histories or whatever it is, if you want to make
sure that it is done correctly and grammatically okay, then you need to
have a grammar to work from and also a word list to check the words," he

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