Indigenous languages have been added to the central source of open data in Australian government agencies.
It comes as the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies CEO, Craig Ritchie said accurately identifying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will be greatly enhanced by using three key AUSTLANG data sets, now available at data.gov.au.
"The AUSTLANG data sets will help people to distinguish Australian Indigenous languages and their context among the hundreds of Indigenous language varieties that exist in this country," Mr Ritchie said.
"Individuals or organisations are free to use the AUSTLANG data sets to build new resources incorporating data, to cross reference material, find resources and ultimately make better, data-informed decisions when it comes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages."
According to the AIATSIS "more than 250 Indigenous Australian languages including 800 dialectal varieties were spoken on the continent at the time of European settlement in 1788".
"Only 13 traditional Indigenous languages are still acquired by children."
The data on data.gov.au is a national resource which can be used to improve service delivery and transform policy outcomes.
"AUSTLANG provides information about Indigenous Australian languages which have been assembled from referenced sources," Mr Richie said.
"The data sets now available on data.gov.au contain the language names, each with a unique code to act as a stable identifier, alternative names and spellings and the approximate location of each language variety."
Mr Richie said the addition to data.gov.au comes after the US Library of Congress added the AUSTLANG language codes to their Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) Language Source Codes in October 2018.
"The AUSTLANG language codes replaced the single 'aus' MARC language code for Australian languages, making published materials relating to more than 800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language varieties easier to identify and locate," he said.
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