Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


The course will consider the relationships between languages and the processes involved in translation and adaptation (from Aboriginal contexts and purposes to Western ones). Through a variety of diverse resources, you will critically consider how Aboriginal languages travel through Country and landscapes. The course engages with different experiences of, and encounters with, Aboriginal languages, their resilience, connections and living memory. It offers opportunities and sites to consider the interlinking lines of language transmission as on-going cultural moments in relation to root words and sounds, survival, struggles, recognition, justice, unique ways of knowing and Country.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Summer 2 - 2020.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Listen to, identify and replicate common sounds of Aboriginal languages.

2. Apply a foundational understanding of the influences of written languages on the translation of Aboriginal languages and meanings.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of colonisation and language policies on Aboriginal languages in Australia.

4. Understand the challenges and processes involved in recording and transcribing Aboriginal languages.

5. Understand the links between languages and the perception and representation of the world.


The course uses diverse resources to reveal the relationships between Aboriginal languages as well as the impact of English, and its associated worldview, on Aboriginal ways of speaking, listening and creating meaning.  It develops new processes of interpreting and listening to Aboriginal voices, forms of knowledge and Western perspectives on and responses to them.

Through practical application, students will consider:

  • how listening and speaking are related;
  • the process of translation and transformation;
  • the influence of colonial conceptions of the word on the world;
  • the relationship between regional and contextual variations of Aboriginal pronunciations;
  • language as a way of knowing, being and doing;
  • how listening and making sounds link to one's worldview.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Listening Assessment 20%

Written Assignment: Critical Analysis Assessment 20%

Written Assignment: Research for the Final Oral Presentation 20%

Presentation: Oral Presentation on Language 40%

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.