« Digitally barefoot archivists | Blog home | Back to back and neck and neck »

business learning training articles new learning business training opportunities finance learning training deposit money learning making training art loan learning training deposits make learning your training home good income learning outcome training issue medicine learning training drugs market learning money training trends self learning roof training repairing market learning training online secure skin learning training tools wedding learning training jewellery newspaper learning for training magazine geo learning training places business learning training design Car learning and training Jips production learning training business ladies learning cosmetics training sector sport learning and training fat burn vat learning insurance training price fitness learning training program furniture learning at training home which learning insurance training firms new learning devoloping training technology healthy learning training nutrition dress learning training up company learning training income insurance learning and training life dream learning training home create learning new training business individual learning loan training form cooking learning training ingredients which learning firms training is good choosing learning most training efficient business comment learning on training goods technology learning training business secret learning of training business company learning training redirects credits learning in training business guide learning for training business cheap learning insurance training tips selling learning training abroad protein learning training diets improve learning your training home security learning training importance

Bagarap (1) how not to read census numbers

Uncertain future for town's new arrivals
Simon Kearney, Yuendumu | August 27, 2007

LIFE will be a lottery for the 25 children born this year in the remote Northern Territory Aboriginal community of Yuendumu.

Based on last year's census, it is likely that only two of these children will finish Year 12 and five of them will grow up without any command of the English language.

What Kearney must have done is take the percentage of all Yuendumu inhabitants who don't speak English, and base his 5/25 figure on that. Conveniently forgetting that most of the non-English speaking Warlpiri are old people. Kids learn English at school.

Bagarap (2) Pitjantjatjara Babelfish didn't take the bait
Judging by the police translation of the Haneef Urdu chatroom conversation, the Babelfish is the translator of first resort for national security cases. For Indigenous sexual abuse cases though, there's no Babelfish interpreter, as this ABC story shows.

Judge angered by lack of interpreters

Posted Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:33pm AEST

A Supreme Court judge has expressed outrage at a 'highly unsatisfactory' shortage of Indigenous interpreters.

Justice Robyn Layton had been due to sentence two brothers today for raping a girl in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands in outback South Australia, about three years ago.

But the men, in their 20s, speak little English.

Justice Layton said a male translator had been arranged earlier in the week.

But just an hour before today's hearing, the interpreting service confessed that it had not been able to find anyone suitable.

The judge said the shortage of interpreters throughout the case had led to a waste of resources in every sense, including emotionally.

The sentencing is now set down for next Friday but Justice Layton concedes that there is still no interpreter confirmed.

At another hearing, Justice John Sulan released a 27-year-old Aboriginal man a fortnight ago because there was no interpreter for mental assessments or legal interviews in the nine-month-long case.


Supposedly the "Intervention" is putting some money into NT interpreter services. Maybe the Federal Government'll get around to spending it.

Comments

Why on earth do people persist in the fallacy of generalising from a trend to individual cases? Some basic statistical literacy would be an advantage for journalists...

If they attend school. I understand very few kids there are actually attending school at the moment. Two last Monday. The Mt Theo mob have suspended their youth program in order to try sending signals to kids that they need to be at school.

Even if the kids don't attend school, they are still much more likely to learn English than older people, and the point about Kearney's misunderstanding of how to extrapolate from census data holds. Across Indigenous Australia the trend is overwhelmingly against retaining traditional languages.

School attendance goes through phases - which of course itself is not good. Yuendumu School has had periods with excellent Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers and principals when attendance has been good. A best case scenario would be for the 'intervention' to be developed by community members together with intervention members as a real partnership, and backed up by an interesting school program with Aboriginal teachers who can explain to kids what's happening in their own language, and with effective English-as-a-second-language teaching by trained ESL teachers. Then kids might learn standard English, rather than, as is happening in many places, a creole or non-standard English, which is becoming a way of saying 'I'm Aboriginal'. My guess is that if the 'intervention' continues to be seen by Aboriginal people as basically the whites out to get them, then this will hasten the change from traditional languages to a creole. Talking a creole or Aboriginal English becomes a way of saying 'I am not a white person.'

The current proposal at Yuendumu of making kids who don't go to school go out and pick up rubbish instead seems to me likely to be counter-productive (getting both adults and kids offside), as well as being illegal - how can it be legal to make kids pick up rubbish instead of going to school?

You mob have gone a bit quiet. Anything the matter?

Sometimes we reads and writes, and sometimes we just reads....
- your post on the intervention
- Living Black on the confusion of the people of Yarralin nearly 3 months on
- Jangari's on-going commentary, and Kimberly's commentary at Long Road
- "It's not really your art centre": Life today in Ltyentye Apurte " - Judy Lovell of Keringke Arts on Will Owen's blog.
- The Bartlett Diaries
and lots of pieces by Henri Ivrey, Anna Lamboys and Bob Gosford and others at Crikey (most recently, Ivery's piece on Sharman Stone's creativity in explaining how losing CDEP will help people).

Shock and awe, Mike Rann said of the intervention - and, alas, we're gathering evidence of the same lack of forethought and planning for what happens after the bombing.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Enter the code shown below before pressing post

The Authors

About the Blog

The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
More

FAQ

Papua New Guinea FAQs from Eva Lindstrom Papua New Guinea (New Ireland): Eva Lindstrom's tips for fieldworkers

Australian Languages Answers to some frequently asked questions about Australian languages

Papua Web Information network on Papua, Indonesia (formerly Irian Jaya)

Hibernating blogs

Indigenous Language SPEAK

Langguj gel Australian linguistics and fieldwork blog

Interesting Blogs

Omniglot Writing systems and languages of the world

LingFormant Linguistics news

Language hat Linguistics news and commentary

Jabal al-Lughat Linguistics news and commentary on a range of languages

Living languages Blog with news items and discussion of endangered languages

OzPapersOnline Notices of recent work on the Indigenous languages of Australia

That Munanga linguist Community linguist blog

Anggarrgoon Claire Bowern's linguistics and fieldwork blog

Savage Minds A group blog on Anthropology

Fully (sic)

Language on the Move Intercultural communication and multilingualism

Talking Alaska: Reflections on the native languages of Alaska

Culture matters: applying anthropology Australian anthropology blog: postgraduates and staff

Long Road ethnography and anthropology blog - including about Australia

matjjin-nehen Blog on Australian linguistics, fieldwork, politics and the environment.

Language Log Group blog on language and linguistics

Links

E-MELD The E-MELD School of Best Practices in Digital Language Documentation

Tema Modersmål Website in Swedish with links to sites on and in many languages

Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: Language Documentation: What is it? Information on equipment, formats, and archiving, and examples of documentation

Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources a worldwide network of organizations, academics, activists, indigenous groups, and others representing indigenous and tribal peoples

Technorati Profile

Technology-enhanced language revitalization Include ILAT (Indigenous Languages and Technology) discussion list.

Endangered languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia

Koryak Net Information on the people of Kamchatka

Linguistic fieldwork preparation: a guide for field linguists syllabi, funding, technology, ethics, readings, bibliography

On-line resources for endangered languages

Papua New Guinea Language Resources Phonologies, grammars, dictionaries, literacy, language maps for many PNG languages

Resource network for linguistic diversity Networking practitioners working to record,retrieve & reintroduce endangered languages

Projects

ACLA child language acquisition in three Australian Aboriginal communities

DELAMAN The Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network

PARADISEC The Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Murriny-Patha Song Project Documenting the language and music of public songs and dances composed and performed by Murriny Patha-speaking people

PFED The Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries

DOBES Endangered language documentation and archiving, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and sponsored by the Max Planck Institute, Nijmegen.

DELP Documenting endangered languages at the University of Sydney

Ethno EResearch Exploring methods and technology for streaming media and interlinear text