One-day festival offers taste of 26 languages

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Members of the public will be able to take a free crash course in one of 26 different languages at the Adelaide Language Festival 2017 at the University of Adelaide. The festival celebrates cultural and intellectual diversity.

“Adults in the community, university students and high school pupils will learn about the various social, cognitive and health benefits of being multilingual,” says Ghil‘ad Zuckermann, Professor of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, and founder and convener of the festival.

There will be sessions on Mandarin Chinese, French, Kaurna, Pitjantjatjara, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Israeli (Hebrew), Hungarian, Udmurt (Russia), Russian, Kalasha (Pakistan), Dinka (South Sudan), Vietnamese, Persian, German, English as a Foreign Language, and the international auxiliary constructed language Esperanto.

Attendees can also learn the artistically constructed Klingon and Vulcan languages from Star Trek.

“Each crash course will provide background about the tongue at stake; basic knowledge in language (such as greetings); one unique characteristic; and information about where it would be possible to continue to learn the language in Adelaide or online, with italki for example,” Professor Zuckermann says.

The event includes an Auslan (Australian Sign Language) course, featuring deaf jokes in sign language and classical stories related to deaf culture.

Songs in Korean, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Breton, Cornish and Manx (Isle of Man) will be featured too.

His Excellency the Hon. Hiếu Văn Lê, AC, Governor of South Australia, will give an opening address and the Hon. Rev. Dr Lynn Arnold, AO, FAICD, will give a keynote entitled The Virus of Language.

The Adelaide Language Festival will be preceded by the 4th Biennial Colloquium of the Languages and Culture Network of Australian Universities, at the University of Adelaide.

WHAT: Adelaide Language Festival 2017
WHERE: Bonython Hall (2–4.20pm) and Napier Building (4.30–7pm) University of Adelaide
WHEN: 2–7 pm Wednesday 29 November 2017
RSVP: FREE, all welcome – please register


Contact Details

Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann
Professor of Linguistics and Endangered Languages
School of Humanities
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5247
Mobile: +61 (0)423 901 808

Crispin Savage
Media and Communications Officer
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 (0)481 912 465