Strong cultural identity enables one to feel proud of themselves, and speaking and maintaining ones language raises self-esteem and enables one to feel good about themselves. Traditional language is important for maintaining strong cultural connections. Where traditional languages have been taken away from communities, a sense of loss, grief and inadequacy develops. To keep communities and generations strong, traditional language being passed from one generation to another is vital.
Awakening the sleeping Nharangga language has been an ongoing project for over twenty years, and it will continue to evolve and develop into the future. Nharangga Aboriginal Progress Association is grateful for funding from [who?] without which not nearly as much would have been achieved.
With the impact on Nharangga people by white settlers so swift, their population falling by at least 80% in just a few years, and harsh rules discouraging the practice of their culture, traditional language was soon in shreds. Thanks to those who took an interest in its preservation early on, those who recorded it, specialist linguist assistance and sheer determination, much has been recovered.
The process was complicated and tedious. Some had been recorded at Point Pearce Mission in old German, which then had to be translated to modern Germany before converting to Nharangga. A consistent contemporary spelling and pronunciation had to be developed to facilitate teaching and new words constructed also using a consistent method to describe new terms for which there were of course no traditional terms.
Extensive research, consultation, investigation and community workshops took place in the process and we are now very proud to have our language fluently spoken, taught in schools and the community and shared in publications. We invite you to join us in learning Nharangga and play a part in celebrating our history and protecting cuture for the future.