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50 Words Project

Posted by University of Melbourne Research Unit for Indigenous Language | Nov 10, 2020

You can now hear 50 everyday words spoken in Indigenous languages from across Australia!

Working with Indigenous communities, researchers at the University of Melbourne have created a resource to help Australians connect with First Nations languages. There are hundreds of Indigenous languages across Australia, but most people have heard only a tiny portion of them and of those languages many Australians would struggle to recognise a single word.

The 50 Words Project aims to provide 50 words in every Indigenous language of Australia, showcasing Australia’s linguistic diversity and celebrating Indigenous languages that continue to be spoken every day, as well as those being revitalised by their communities.

Brought to life through an interactive online language map, words are presented along with recordings from speakers, each provided with community permission. Users can search the map by language or by a particular word. Words for ‘welcome’, ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are included, as well as phrases like ‘what is your name?’ and words for family members, animals and the local environment.

View The 50 Words Interactive Language Map

The Melbourne University Research Unit for Indigenous Language mapping project has been revamped as part of this month’s NAIDOC Week. You can see the diversity across Indigenous lanaguages. You can look up where you live and connect with the Indigenous language of your region – First Nations and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.

Indigenous langauge is not of the past. The audio and cultural developed in the 50 words project brings Indigenous culture to life and highlights the diversity across the continent. The project also serves as a tool for teachers in the classroom with resources and activities through a project guide.  The project has reached a significant milestone with over 60 languages now available to listen to online and is calling for more submissions from communities across Australia to help get every Indigenous Australian language up on the map. To contribute, please contact the RUIL team: RUIL-contact@unimelb.edu.au

Learning Activities For The Classroom

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