Western Arrarnta to English Dictionary
There has never been a full dictionary in Western Arrarnta language despite it being one of the first Aboriginal languages to be taught NT schools in the 1899s. Western Arrarnta literacy was taught at Hermannsburg by the German missionaries. In 2006 a Western Arrarnta Picture Dictionary was made but not a full dictionary with 2400 word entries. The need for the dictionary came from the large number of senior secondary students that the Language Centre in Alice Springs teaches and who are studying Cert II and III in Arrarnta and Stage 2 Australian Languages. Those Western Arrarnta students wanted to do their Assessment Tasks in their own dialect and these students didn’t have a dictionary.
Western Arrarnta is the language spoken to the West of Alice Springs and it borders onto the Western Desert languages.
Here is a quote from the senior Arrarnta Teacher at Centralian Senior College Jannette McCormack
“It is important to have an online Dictionary as our students do a lot of writing and translating between languages. They need to know how to spell consistently in order to read and write their language. The Dictionary will help to maintain the language as students who are trying to strengthen their language can use it to keep learning. We have had Arrarnta literacy since the late 1800s when the Lutheran missionaries started a bilingual school at Hermannsburg. That is nearly 150 years. This dictionary will help students prepare for language jobs in workplaces. It will help them to socialise with elders. It will help to ‘close the gap”.