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Snapchat and First Languages Australia team up to help Gen Z learn Indigenous languages!

[by Keeley Goldstraw]


Image: supplied

In celebration of International Mother Language Day on February 21st, Snapchat
has partnered with First Languages Australia to launch a series of language learning Lenses that help raise awareness and educate young Aussies on Australia’s first languages and Indigenous culture.

Australia is home to more than 750 distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, many of which are now endangered. The language learning Lenses look to support the efforts of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by helping introduce, promote and build support for our first languages across Australia.

Each Lens uses Augmented Reality and machine learning to identify different objects and display theirname in four Indigenous languages: Wiradjuri (central New South Wales), Yugambeh (south-east Queensland), Wakka Wakka (central Queensland) and Yawuru (Broome in Western Australia).


Over 170 objects across the four languages will be available at launch, providing Indigenous word translations for common day objects such as ‘ear’ (‘wudha’ in Wiradjuri), ‘spider’ (‘wanggarranggarra’ in Yawuru) and ‘hat’ (‘binka’ in Yugambeh).

The Lenses are accessible globally via Snapchat from today, by searching “Learn Wiradjuri”, “Learn Yugambeh”, “Learn Wakka Wakka” or “Learn Yawuru”, or scanning the Snapcodes below. Snapchatters just have to point their cameras at an object to scan it, and the Lens automatically displays the object’s English and Indigenous language names in real time, along with an audible clip of the word to help with pronunciation.


Snapchatters will also be able to swipe up to learn more about these languages from the
First Languages Australia website.

First Languages Australia’s CEO, Beau Williams said it is important to support and promote languages.

“We know millions of young Aussies use Snapchat everyday – so this is an incredible opportunity for them to experience our First Nations’ languages in a fun and interactive way on a platform that they love. This project will boost recognition of our languages globally and will support our grassroots programs and help to engage our young people.”

First Languages Australia Young Champion, Annalee Pope, a Wakka Wakka descendant  said “We are so proud of our heritage and hope that the Wakka Wakka language will live on for future generations. My hope is that being able to see and share their language through Snapchat will encourage our people and others to learn more and give them an opportunity to share their language and culture  with their friends, family and community.”



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