Australian Aboriginal News & Current Affairs
The most up-to-date and relevant news stories regarding Aboriginal culture

Do you want to be the owner of this superb concert class Didj? Just answer our Questionnaire

Win a Concert Class Didj!

Visit The Didjshop - the largest and most extensive virtual didjeridu shop
Have a read of the comments left by vistors to the didjshop

Now to the story...

Academic strives to save Aboriginal languages

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 15 Jan 2003

A Melbourne academic says valuable information about traditional medicines
could be lost if endangered Aboriginal languages are allowed to disappear.

Melbourne University associate professor Steven Bird is developing a
standardised computer template for researchers and linguists, to replace
systems that are constantly having to be updated.

Professor Bird says the Northern Territory has almost half of all the
endangered languages in Australia.

"Some of this information may actually be economically important," he

"For instance, knowledge of traditional remedies which could be used for
the development of new medicines.

"But the cultural information is also important for future societies who
may want to have some access to their history, their culture, which is
just being lost so quickly."

Professor Bird says one or two languages are being lost every week around
the world and it is a remarkable opportunity to try to record them for

"For Australia as a whole there are about 80 languages with five or fewer
speakers," he said.

"My guess is that in the Northern Territory probably about half of them
fall into that category.

"But in fact any language other than say the top 10, which have say 50,000
or more speakers, any of these languages are really critically endangered
and need to be preserved urgently."



Return to The Didjshop's Aboriginal News Web Log

Links to other websites about Aboriginal Australia

Visit The Didjshop

Check out the world's coolest shop for didgeridoos

Click HERE to receive occasional email Newsletters from The Didjshop


The Didgeridoo Specialist - founder of