NOTE: This was originally published on my personal blog on 20 October as “Progress to revive First Nations’ languages“
The other day I was reading through my RSS feeds and stumbled across an excellent article about the revival of a nearly-dead Australian First Nation’s language. The article, Aboriginal language back from the dead, highlighted how a language that was nearly dead was revived through the dedication of a handful of people.
This is important news.
It’s important because it means that it is possible to revive languages that are on the brink of dying out. It’s also important because such revival of languages means that the cultures they speak to will be revived. The beautiful thing about languages is that through knowing them you learn about the cultures; you learn about the life and times of culture; and you learn about the intricate nuances of the cultures.
Sure not much fanfare will be paid to such news but we should be celebrating it. We should be celebrating the fact that in a country with such a terrible record of injustices towards its indigenous peoples’, a language nearly lost has been revived.
I think we should also be celebrating the fact that we can revive these ancient languages. It would be a great loss to the world to lose the culture, history and art of ancient languages but unfortunately Australia seems to ignore the alarming rate at which indigenous languages are being lost.
Yet this piece of news, while hardly celebrated, was celebrated hardly by at least me.