Indigenous languages archive showcased to global audience

12-Mar-2015

Project Manager Cathy Bow has demonstrated the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages at an international event

Project Manager Cathy Bow has demonstrated the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages at an international event


A unique digital archive of endangered literature in Northern Territory Indigenous languages, complied by Northern Institute researchers at Charles Darwin University, has been showcased at an international conference in Hawaii.

More than 450 minority language conservation stakeholders from around the world attended the four-day event in Honolulu and shared theories and practices on preserving the world’s endangered languages.

CDU Project Manager Cathy Bow demonstrated the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages at the recent International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation.

“We received a very positive reception at the conference, with people from interstate and overseas interested in adopting similar methods for their archives,” Ms Bow said.

“It’s always good to share information and experiences with people in the same field.”

Ms Bow said the archive was unique in that it was publicly available online, allowing remote and urban communities as well as academics to access the resources.

“A big theme at the conference was considering ways to help people teach or learn languages,” she said.

“We have the materials in the archive and will now look at ways to give guidance to people who want to use the archive to help them learn the language or teach it.”

Ms Bow said an offline app version of the archive has been developed to allow users to access the resources when the internet is not available.

The Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages demonstration at the event was supported by a CDU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional Performance in Research, which the team received last year.

The archive is part of a project aiming to preserve thousands of stories in more than 25 Indigenous languages as a resource for Indigenous communities, students, academics and the public to use and to contribute to.

For more information about the archive and to access it, visit W: cdu.edu.au/laal

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