Article for Ngaarda Media

Ngaliya cultural figure Kado Muir has written the foreword to a new book called the Oxford Guide to Australian Languages.

He said the chapters by various language experts would become a seminal text for Aboriginal language study, and encouraged anyone with an interest to have a go.

“There are similarities between most Aboriginal languages,” he said. “And therefore if you want to learn an Aboriginal language just engage with the one that you have locally, regionally. Once you start imersing yourself into it, if you engage with the sounds, then you’ll find that there’s a lot of similarities in the languages. Just familiarise yourself and if you’ve got that ear you should be able to pick it up and learn to speak it.”

Mr Muir is calling on State and Federal Governments to provide more funding for Aboriginal language maintenance and teaching in schools.

“Language is a part of the intangible heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and also of the Australian nation ,” he said. “So it’s a very important aspect of our identity both as a nation but also for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Listen to the interview here.

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