Recording in Our Own Backyard

Elcho Island - where Noel and Simon recorded Wangurri and Dhaŋu'mi languages
Elcho Island - where Noel and Simon recorded Wangurri and Dhaŋu'mi languages

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Yousif working with Eastern Arrernte recordings
Recording session on Elcho Island
Dennis and Glenys Tranter

Recordings in Indigenous Languages

GRN is capturing Australia's indigenous languages in their own cultural style. We have recordings in 74 of the 186 indigenous languages needed. GRN's recordings are particularly valuable for Australia's indigenous communities, which primarily comprise oral-preference communicators.

GRN Australia has recently been involved in projects to tell the story of Jesus in Eastern Arrernte, Garrawa, Yanyuwa, Wangurri, Dhaŋu'mi and Aboriginal English.

Eastern Arrernte

Eastern Arrernte is an indigenous language spoken in communities that live east of Alice Springs. In 2014, as part of a partnership between SIL/Wycliffe, SIL translator Neil Broad and GRN, recordist Yousif Kunda recorded portions of Genesis and Exodus and a large part of the New Testament in the Eastern Arrernte language. With the help of Chris Mason, Yousif has completed the editing and programming of these recordings, which SIL launched in July this year. GRN now has almost 38 hours of audio Gospel recordings available in 40 programs in the Eastern Arrernte language.

Elcho Island

In May 2017 GRN recordists Noel Bachelor and Simon Johnston spent two weeks on Elcho Island recording the Gospel of Mark in the Wangurri and Dhaŋu'mi languages. Elcho Island is off the coast of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. The recording location was an hour from the main township of Galiwin'ku which has a population of 2,000 people. On location, there was no phone nor internet connection. Laptops and recording equipment powered by a noisy generator made recording somewhat challenging. This was Simon's first recording trip, but he has accumulated some valuable memories, including finding a snake in the toilet and eating fresh wallaby prepared while he watched.

In addition to these recordings, Noel and Simon were able to record music composed and performed by a local indigenous band. These recordings have now been edited and programmed and will soon be available for the indigenous communities on Elcho Island to listen to. This has been the result of a partnership between GRN, SIL, the Bible Society and the Uniting Church of Northern Australia.

Dennis & Glenys Tranter

Dennis and Glenys Tranter are currently in the Northern Territory. Glenys has prepared teaching material which Dennis hopes to record during this trip. Dennis and Glenys started working among Australia's indigenous people in Booroloola almost 20 years ago.

During their time in Borroloola they saw that most people did not have English as their first language which made reading the Bible and other related literature very hard, or almost impossible. They joined GRN to write, develop and record teaching materials so that indigenous people can hear the story of Jesus in their own language.

Glenys has written a number of Bible stories that Dennis hopes to record in the Garrawa, Yanyuwa and Aboriginal English languages during this trip. As well as making these recordings, they will visit a number of churches and communities on the way up and back where they will distribute indigenous GRN Bible materials.

Prayer Needed

Around the world, many languages still do not have scriptures nor other resources to tell people about Jesus. This includes in our own backyard in Australia. GRN is committed to telling the story of Jesus in every Australian indigenous language that needs it.

Pray for resources and ministry partners for GRN to record other indigenous languages. Pray that these recordings will lead many to know Christ and grow in their faith.

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