Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Canberra Region Languages Forum Update May 2013

The May Update has details about:
  • Draft K-10 curriculum for Arabic, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish and Vietnamese in Australian schools, plus draft Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages now available for public consultation 
  • Japanese and Chinese language majors may disappear at WA’s Curtin University
  • New Portuguese language program launched at ANU
  • Canberra's French-Australian Preschool open day, 11am  2pm, Saturday 1 June
  • Traditional German lantern walk in Canberra, 5-6.30pm Sunday 16 June
  • Multilingual potluck lunch, 11am-1pm Saturday 29 June
  • Language conferences at the ANU in July: Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities (LCNAU) conference, Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (AFMLTA) National Conference,  National Chinese Teachers' Conference, 2013 Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) Conference 
  • LCNAU Public Lecture: Languages, the Asian Century White Paper, and Three Provocations for the Committed from a Pragmatic Humanist. 5.30pm Thursday 4 July
  • Forum on Mandarin language education in the ACT, Saturday 10 August at the ANU
CLICK HERE for details

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The future of Chinese dialects

The standardization of Mandarin and its promotion and enforcement as the national language in the PRC has done much to break down language barriers within the country. In addition, the use of Pǔtōnghuà as a lingua franca has greatly helped China’s economic and social development. But this has come at a cost to various dialects, which are arguably an integral part of each region’s habits, culture, and unique characteristics.

A project has recently started to record and archive audio clips from a variety of areas in China to help preserve language for future generations. If you are interested in finding out more, or getting involved, have a look at the Phonemica website at http://phonemica.net/