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An Addition to the "Woke" Vocabulary


old man emu

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Recently I can across the word "decolonising". It doesn't describe the action of removing a cancerous colon, but to move away from framing the practices, ontologies,epistemologies, experiences, and outcomes largely or exclusively in terms of European or Western cultural superiority. “Decolonising science” refers to contesting and reframing narratives about Indigenous community histories and the effects of colonial expansion, cultural assimilation, and exploitative Western research.

 

A push by the scientific community to acknowledge Indigenous and traditional names and nomenclature is part of a larger movement to decolonise science and its practices. This effort is a small part of a larger movement to right wrongs of the past and change the practice, trajectory, and outcomes of scientific endeavours to be more inclusive and supportive of Indigenous ways of knowing. When colonial powers ventured to the south seas and viewed groups of stars previously unknown to them, the stars and constellations were assigned names devised by European explorers rather than names adopted from the cultures with which they came into contact and later colonised. This also applied to place names on the land. In 2016, the IAU Working Group on Star Names set the goal of officiating a single name for each of the visible stars in the sky. When the working group set out to formalise star names within the scientific community, almost no stars with names from Indigenous cultures were part of the list of star names in use. 

 

UNESCO established 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Language, providing an opportunity for the world’s leading scientific organisations to reassess how the scientific community can better recognise, include, and promote the importance of Indigenous languages globally. The initiative met with such success that the United Nations declared 2022-2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages  (UNESCO 2020).

 

I wonder if British English will ever be decolonised from American English with the support of UNESCO.

 

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Naming things does not always require the thing to be factual. Often it is a concept, like "god", or luck, or unobtanium, or thiotimoline. 

 

Two quotes:

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." - Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

 

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ 

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

― Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

 

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I hate the idea of changing whitefeller things to black names. Sydney, for example, is a whitefeller thing . It was built entirely without black help.

Uluru, on the other hand, is ok to change as it was not constructed by whites. Mind you, it is white tourists who make the place a money-generator, but this is not changed  by the name.

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I get sick of the totally unpronounceable Aboriginal names that take precedence over the former simple and well-known European name.

Would you know where the Boorna Wangkiny Mia DC sorting centre is for AusPost? - or even how to say it? It had me beat. Maybe this is the reason AP services are so pathetic today, they work on Aboriginal Time, too.

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Many geographical names that we all seem to accept are  tricky for tourists.  We know how to pronounce many tricky places names. Personally I love the fact that we don't just reuse British place names.  Many of our place names are uniquely of this country.

 

I think perhaps the issue is more to do with change.

 

Surely nobody wants to change Gundagui ect. to some English place name?

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Octave, I don't have a problem with Aboriginal place names that have been in use since the colonies were founded or the place named. Here in W.A., probably close on half the location names are Anglicised Aboriginal names for the location.

This was done to ensure that location names could be easily pronounced, found, listed or written. But today, woke prevails, with everything having to have an Aboriginal name getting precedence, like they were never ever recognised.

 

We've already had an example where emergency services couldn't locate the position of an Asian tourist family where one had been injured in a fall - because the Asians couldn't pronounce the Aboriginal name on the signpost to tell the 000 operator where they were located.

 

Would you know how to say Waangaamaap Bilya correctly, especially if English wasn't your first language?

 

Edited by onetrack
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23 minutes ago, onetrack said:

Would you know how to say Waangaamaap Bilya correctly, especially if English wasn't your first language?

This is no more difficult than when I Holiday in New Zealand. 

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Mostly the process of name changing is a multigenerational process.  There are people who for example use Uluru an others who use Uluru/Ayers Rock and others who only use Ayers Rock.

I am quite attracted to dual names the reflect the old and the newer history.

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I like the way the central Aboriginals pronounce the tribe name Pitjantjatjara. They pronounce every syllable distinctly (Pit-jant-jat-jara) but they do it really fast so the syllables run on from each other. The 'r' toward the end is semi silent and rolled. There's a lot of variants of people wrongly spelling and mispronouncing the name; Pitinjara being the most common mistake. Of course, they're just saying the word as it was always pronounced in their traditionally unwritten language, and the spelling 'Pitjantjatjara' is the best way linguists could represent it with the Roman alphabet.

 

Many years ago I was in Calgary, Alberta, and decided to hide from the cold in the city library. I was looking at the books on the shelves and spotted a university course book on the main Pitjantjatjara language. It was interesting enough and looked to be a fairly basic language, but not so easy to speak or understand in real life. They didn't have many different consonants; it was very vowel heavy. Kriol is an interesting language to listen to. It's fairly widespread in the Territory. The written form of it almost looks like Indonesian writing.

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6 hours ago, facthunter said:

How do you type indigenous languages without going through english alphabet? 

The indigenous languages don't have their own alphabet, but the words can be represented in any language and script by matching the sounds to text. On a computer, you have to have the non-Roman script language pack installed and a relevant keyboard attached. On the bottom toolbar, click on the 'ENG' (English) to toggle to the alternative language and start typing. As an example - Pitjantjatjara becomes Пытджантджатджара in Cyrillic.

 

Edit: that's a direct transliteration for things like personal names and place names. Everything else would need to be translated first to have meaning in the other language. The easiest way would be the English rendering of the indigenous language translated to the third language, then typed into print using the above method.

Edited by willedoo
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I'm not sure, but I think the new Samsung Galaxy S24 mobiles have the capablity, but I don't know about aboriginal languages. In the brief video I saw on TV, you speak into the phone in English and the words appear on the screen in the other language. The other party speaks in their language, and their conversation appears on your screen in English.

 

3 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

What language is .

" Cryllic " .

Russian. Spelt Cyrillic.

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7 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

What language is .

" Cryllic " .

spacey, versions of Cyrillic alphabets are used in a few Slavic languages, Russian being the most well known. There's small variations in other languages like Ukrainian, Belorussian, Serbian, Bulgarian and Macedonian. It was created in Bulgaria, derived from the Greek Alphabet and is named after Saint Cyril. That's why it's pronounced with a soft 'C' as in Cyril. Serbia uses both Cyrillic and the Roman alphabet officially and has a lot of dual signage.

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I thought about my Samsung Galaxy tablet ,  but I couldn't work out how to see what is on the

Home page . While I'm typing on this page .

So. Just look at those " Play station " buttons.  Square . Triangle. 

I wonder which is 'go' & 'stop' .

spacesailor

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20 hours ago, red750 said:

Malay

malaycharacters.thumb.jpg.8c9487793aa9cfd5083f5bbc622166fd.jpg

That looks like a heap of the different scripts used for Malay over the years, including the current Roman alphabet. Probably all are the word Allah written in the different forms.

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