Learning Gamilaraay

Over January 2018, I had the opportunity to learn Gamilaraay at the inaugural Australian Indigenous Languages Institute at Charles Darwin University, Sydney. Gamilaraay is a language of northern New South Wales that has not had fluent speakers for at least 50 years. It has been reawakened and rebuilt from old sources primarily by Dr John Giacon of ANU. It was fascinating to learn a language in a revival context, where decisions have had to be made as to how the language has been reconstructed, trying to take into account faithfulness to old sources, variation in traditional language (Gamilaraay had several dialects), and accessibility for modern learners.

You can read more about our course here at the Sydney Morning Herald.

The thumbnail for this post is a still from a cartoon made by Hilary Smith, Gamilaraay language worker. You can see more at Speak Gamilaraay on YouTube.