Marrianville Students Cultural Day 2016. Image by Neni Ikupu.
An introduction from Language Consultant and President of Maeaka Tohana Culture and Socio-Economic Development Association Inc.
Listen to the whole backing song here: Vihiu Poe Kiana
Why spend time documenting a local language? How do you do it? Watch this short video to see why we think it is important to make the language available to its speakers in written form.
Why spend time documenting minority languages?
There are various reasons. Senior Language Consultant Ikupu Paru mentions some of them here. Click the image above to view a video.
Don't take our word for it!
There is much research available today about languages dying out and what that means for the whole of humanity - not just the community that is directly affected. The National Geographic's Enduring Voices project explains it like this:
Why Is It Important?
Language defines a culture, through the people who speak it and what it allows speakers to say. Words that describe a particular cultural practice or idea may not translate precisely into another language. Many endangered languages have rich oral cultures with stories, songs, and histories passed on to younger generations, but no written forms. With the extinction of a language, an entire culture is lost.
Much of what humans know about nature is encoded only in oral languages. Indigenous groups that have interacted closely with the natural world for thousands of years often have profound insights into local lands, plants, animals, and ecosystems—many still undocumented by science. Studying indigenous languages therefore benefits environmental understanding and conservation efforts.
Studying various languages also increases our understanding of how humans communicate and store knowledge. Every time a language dies, we lose part of the picture of what our brains can do. Read more.
What it means to those who are removed from the Homeland
The four Wood sisters and their beautiful Mum agreed to test the electronic version of the dictionary. This is what happened one Day in Brisbane.
This page will contain descriptive information about Our Language.
In the meantime, if you have an interest in language matters you might find this site informative: The Dynamics of Language