Indigenous Languages of Australia

12 Apr 2019  Fri

On 8th April, the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies collaboratively released a circulating 50 cent coin to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The word “coin” has been translated into 14 different languages of Australia on the coin. 14 Indigenous language groups from the country, including people of Adelaide, and Kaurna were consulted before finalising the designs. Many important delegates from organisations representing these communities were present during the ceremony when the coins were revealed. A frosted uncirculated version of the coin is available for $10.00 AUD while a fine silver proof version is available for $80. Coin exchange programs were held in different parts of the country as well.

The UN General Assembly recently declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Several efforts have been undertaken over the years to preserve and protect these wonderful languages of Australia.

Australian history is 60,000 years old which is known for its diverse cultures and languages. The identity of Indigenous Australians is reflected in these languages. However, more and more Australian languages are getting extinct over the years. Research shows that the well-being and self-esteem of indigenous communities improve by staying connected to language. According to experts, as many as 250 Australian languages were spoken in 1788. However, the numbers have drastically reduced to 120 spoken Australian languages today.

Image Courtesy: The Royal Australian Mint

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