How are your 50 words of Arrernte coming along? Mwerre (good)?
If you want to rise to the challenge to learn the first language of this place, put out by Apmere angkentye-kenhe, the language project, a collaboration by Watch This Space artists with Arrernte people and experts, you’d better get a wriggle on.
There are plenty of fun learning aides, including a “No Shame” practice room, to help you get your tongue around the pronunciation in the bright yellow shed behind Flynn Church, open to the general public on Wednesday, 10am -2pm. Then there’ll be a chance to test your progress alongside others, from 4.30-5.3opm.
PHOTOS, above left: Nigella Scruton was helping visitors learn to say Ntaripe, the Arrernte name for Heavitree Gap. But there’s also a button to press alongside some of the key sites of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) which triggers a recording of their names. You can keep pressing until you’ve got it down.
At right: Some of the 50 fridge magnets that will make you feel even more at home in Mparntwe. The project offers a number of language-learning items for sale “not as an ending, but as a beginning …” Profits will go into funding ongoing language work. Kele mwerre (OK, good.)
Below, from left, Dominic Smith, Montannah Scrutton and Frankie Smith were enjoying listening to the language-learnings songs (awetyeke). The project has included special sessions for children, from the Steiner School and from Children’s Ground. On Thursday at 11am there’ll be live storytelling for kids and families and a screening of ‘Bedtime Stories’ produced by ICTV.