Reviving dictionaries

More on the theme of refreshing existing dictionaries (discussed a few times on this blog). The Kwara’ae language of Malaita, Solomon Islands, has had various dictionaries produced over time, some handwritten (this is an image of one of these in PARADISEC), and some created using computers. In running workshops with the Kulu Languages Institute over … Read more

PARADISEC Activity Update – August 2021

PARADISEC operations are proceeding relatively normally around lockdowns and working from home. The collection now houses 135 TB of records, having averaged about 102 GB per day of data added to the archive throughout 2021 so far. Continuing to dig into some figures, the 343,519 essence objects (i.e. files) have an average size of about … Read more

Tape gumshoe

Finding tapes that need to be digitised often involves some detective work. Recently, while waiting for a dropoff of tapes (yes, in car park 3), I mused on the noir nature of the work and came up with this vignette. Perhaps the trickiest collection I’ve dealt with was one created by Fr John Z’graggen in … Read more

PARADISEC Activity Update – Jan 2021

Well, we made it through 2020! Archiving of new material has proceeded throughout various phases of lockdowns, workings-from-home, etc. A huge thank you to all of our staff, depositors, and broader community for their flexibility and patience. We flew past the 100TB-archived milestone (for which our upcoming online conference is named, PARADISEC@100), and are now … Read more

From film to file: historical manuscripts released by PARADISEC

We are pleased to announce the release of a number of historical manuscripts in and about languages of the Pacific. We worked with the National Library of Australia to digitise microfilms and have now made them available as pdf files for download from our catalog. This work was supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

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Honiara language workshop, August 2019

The Solomon Islands Kulu Language Institute (KLI) organised a workshop in August this year that attracted 100 participants representing 44 languages of the Solomon Islands.

The venue was the leaf house at Saint Barnabas Anglican Cathedral Grounds, Honiara. The workshop was sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, the Kulu Language Institute, the University of Melbourne, The Research Unit for Indigenous Language, and Islands Bible Ministries.

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50 words of Australian languages project

The Research Unit for Indigenous Language is running a project in 2019/2020 to collect and present words in as many Australian Indigenous languages as possible. Please consider contributing to this project.

This project aims to provide resources for schools to teach at least fifty words in their local language.

We are asking for contributions of at least fifty words in as many Australian Indigenous languages as possible. The typed words need to be listed in a spreadsheet, with audio file recordings attached. Full instructions on capturing the details are on this website.

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PARADISEC Mystery Language of the Week

By Jodie Kell

Each week of this year PARADISEC is broadcasting a Mystery Language of the Week. Published on our website through a popular audio platform, as well as through social media, we are asking people for help in identifying languages in our archive by listening to short audio grabs and contributing their knowledge to the descriptive metadata.

2019 is the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said that 40% of the estimated 6700 languages spoken around the world were endangered, and most of these are Indigenous languages. This puts the associated cultures and knowledge systems at risk, since Indigenous languages “represent complex systems of knowledge and communication and should be recognised as a strategic national resource for development, peace building and reconciliation.” (https://en.iyil2019.org/about/#about-1)

One of the aims of the year is to mobilise and connect different organisations, communities and individuals for coordinated action on the “urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages around the world” (https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-launches-website-international-year-indigenous-languages-iyil2019). The IYIL website contributes to raising awareness about issues surrounding Indigenous languages by providing information, including a calendar of events and access to resources, and enabling organisations to register and actively participate. (https://en.iyil2019.org/) PARADISEC has registered and is planning a series of activities to support the IYIL and use the coordinated approach promoted on the website to expand the reach of our archival materials and our organisation.

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