[lg policy] Australia: Lost indigenous languages to be revived

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 13 14:43:50 UTC 2011

Lost indigenous languages to be revived

    From: AAP
    August 12, 2011 4:43AM

THE NSW State Library is hoping to revive a number of lost indigenous
languages using the letters and diaries of British naval officers,
surveyors and missionaries. "A nations oral and written language is
the backbone to its culture," NSW Arts Minister George Souris said
today. "The preservation of the languages and dialects of our
indigenous citizens is a very important project in this regard."

The library, with the support of mining giant Rio Tinto, will play a
significant role in the restoration work, Mr Souris said.
According to the library's acting chief executive, Noelle Nelson, many
of the 250 indigenous languages spoken in Australia during British
settlement are now lost. "But fragments of these languages can be
found among the letters, diaries and journals of British naval
officers, surveyors and missionaries held, in the State Library's
unrivalled collections," she said. "These first-hand accounts are
often the only surviving records of many indigenous languages."

The three-year Rediscovering Indigenous Languages project aims to
identify as many word lists as possible in the library's collections,
and make them available to their relevant indigenous communities.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/lost-indigenous-languages-to-be-revived/story-e6frfku0-1226113484988#ixzz1Uv73GFLf

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