Words & language
Working with Words: Ennis Cehic
We spoke with The Next Chapter recipient and New Metonyms author Ennis Cehic about working in advertising, dressing up for writing and the power of The Doors.
The Wheeler Centre
SAIGON: Between Life and History
Photograph of Helene Embling, Nguyen Duc Duy, Benjamin Law and Beverley Wang at the Wheeler Centre — Photo: Jon Tjhia
People – families – of diaspora carry the traces of change: new circumstances, different languages, uncertainty and often trauma. How do the ghosts of history and geography affect the everyday experiences and identities of people today? And what happens when the places where your parents and grandparents lived no longer exist – or you don’t share a language with your parents because you grew up in different places?
For Asia TOPA 2020, theatre director Caroline Guiela Nguyen presented SAIGON – a moving family saga tracing the paths of 11 characters across history and space. In this podcast, her translator, Nguyen Duc Duy, joins Australian writer Benjamin Law for a conversation about language, theatre and comedy, and this incredible play that places the art of translation at centre stage. They also explore the intergenerational, intercultural dimensions of their work – treasured by audiences, but largely missing from international stages. Hosted by Beverley Wang, with translator Helene Embling.
Presented in partnership with Asia TOPA.
The Wheeler Centre
Pass it On: Preserving Australian Indigenous Languages
From left: Daniel Browning, Vicki Couzens, Fay Stewart-Muir, Aaron Fa'aoso, Kelrick Martin and Brendan Kennedy, with Auslan interpreter — Photo: Jon Tjhia
‘Budgerigar’, ‘quandong’, ‘Torana’, ‘Canberra’ – there are many Aboriginal words in everyday use by both non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians. What do we gain from knowing and learning First Nations words? And how can we embed more traditional language into the daily lives of all Australians?
At least 250 Indigenous Australian languages were spoken on this continent in 1788. Today only around 120 Indigenous languages are spoken in homes and most of these are considered endangered. For many years, elders have been working hard to document, share and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island languages across the country. But in the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages there’s an especially strong momentum building around this issue.
In this conversation, hosted by Daniel Browning, our panellists including Kelrick Martin, Aaron Fa'aoso, Vicki Couzens, Brendan Kennedy and Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir discuss campaigns across the country to revitalise and celebrate Indigenous languages. They talk about the utility, beauty and knowledge contained within both traditional and modern, changing languages – and the efforts to recognise and preserve them.
Looking for Auslan? Check out the video of this event.
This event has been cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. If you have tickets for this event, we’ll be in touch with you directly via email.
Find out more about our response to COVID-19 here.
The spoken-word scene in Melbourne is vibrant, inclusive and thriving. Let's introduce a note of an unhealthy…
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Simon Schama is a familiar figure on the BBC as well as a professor at Columbia University, and he’s produced multi-volume histories of Britain, documentaries with momentous names like The American Future and a TV series called Simon Schama’s Power of Art. He's a heavyweight scholar, best known for in-depth works on French history, Jewish history, art history and Dutch history. But he’s also a writer of great versatility who has concerned himself – through his columns for the New Yorker and the Financial Times – with a dizzying array of topics, from poetry and baseball to Tom Waits and ice-cream.
At Montalto, in conversation with David Hansen, he draws from his new BBC series, Civilisations – which explores the origins of human creativity, and its universal importance – and from … well, millenia of artworks and ideas.
Anything and everything in Words & language from across our archives.
The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
Why does ‘i’ come before ‘e’, except after ‘c’? Mary Norris and Jane Caro
You Say Tomato, I Say Up Your Bum
This post, on the linguistic origins of Moomba, is by Piers Kelly. It was originally published yesterday on Crikey’s Fully Sic blog, a blog devoted to all things language-related.
At Melbourne’s very first Moomba carnival in March of 1955, my father recalls Sir Reginald Dallas Brooks, opening the proceedings from the banks of the Yarra river. In his crown-appointed role as Governor of Victoria…
The Prime Minister’s Speech
Could the Prime Minister’s poll woes be linked to the words she uses? Sydney Morning Herald national reporter Jacqueline Maley has written an op-ed in the daily today suggesting the stiffness with which Prime Minister Julie Gillard delivers her scripted speeches might help explain why her messages don’t seem to cut through in the electorate.
While Julia Gillard is a lively speaker when speaking…
Explore these other subjects, across our site.