Pitjantjatjara is one of the many varieties of Western Desert languages spoken by around 3,000 people across the north-western parts of South Australia and adjacent areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Pitjantjatjara speakers may also be found in Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and Yalata.
The written form of Pitjantjatjara begun in the 1930s by N.B. Tindale, and in the early 1940s Rev. J. R. B. Love and R. M. Trudinger formalised the first Pitjantjatjara alphabet. The first school in the Pitjantjatjara Lands (established at Ernabella in March 1940) used the Pitjantjatjara language, and only later introduced English. Subsequent schools in the area were set up with this bilingual model, resulting in a high percentage of today’s Pitjantjatjara people being literate in their own language – more than any other Indigenous group in Australia.
Considerable written material has been produced in Pitjantjatjara language in the years since it was first written down. For more information see IAD Press.
To enquire about translations, please call the office on 08-89548177 or email using the contact form.
References and examples of previous work are available upon request.