Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia are disappearing. Currently only one third of languages that were spoken pre contact have survived. In many areas where languages have been retained there is a declining number of fluent speakers.  The Northern Territory due to its relative isolation has managed to retain a large number of languages, although studies have rated the danger of language loss as very high.

In the PAW Media area, people have an Aboriginal language as their first language, as well as being fluent in another 2 or 3 Aboriginal languages, and English. Nevertheless whilst languages such as Warlpiri have a relatively high number of speakers, the languages are being "lightened" with the introduction of English words into the vocabulary, as well as the loss of "old" or "first" language registers.

A key role of PAW Media therefore is the production of radio, video and music in language to support language retention. Media workers at PAW Media are language speakers producing our content in language. The languages spoken in our area include:

Alyawarr (Central) Anmatyerr (Eastern) Anmatyerr
(Eastern) Arrente
Gurindji Kaytete
Luritja Pintubi Warlpiri




Language map of PAW Media area (click to enlarge)