Box HER22 Second National Indigenous Languages Survey—key findings

There is great variety in the situations of traditional languages, but, regardless of their situation, all traditional languages are at risk of declining.

Some of the traditional languages considered to be ‘very strong’ are showing signs of decline.

Some traditional languages are gaining more speakers. Mostly, these are languages that have not been spoken for some time, but have been gradually brought back into use.

Some traditional languages have a substantial number of full speakers and are in a stable state of vitality.

Recently developed Indigenous languages, such as Kriol and Yumplatok, have the largest speaker numbers—in the thousands.

Source: Marmion et al. (2014)

Mackay R (2016). Heritage: Box HER22 Second National Indigenous Languages Survey—key findings. In: Australia state of the environment 2016, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy, Canberra,, DOI 10.4226/94/58b658bbe13a0