Popular NITV cartoon series Little J and Big Cuz has featured its second episode spoken entirely in palawa kani, the revived language of Aboriginal Tasmanians.
“Pilot Bird”, or “muta prungi”, features animations of the Bass Strait islands as the main characters embark on a mutton birding adventure, voiced by members of the local Aboriginal community.
The episode was written by Tasmanian Aboriginal writer Nathan Maynard and translated by palawa kani language program worker Daisy Allan.
Ms Allan said it was fun to translate the work, and great to know that the final outcome would be viewed by children all over Australia.
“The process of translating the script from English to palawa kani I enjoyed, but it was also challenging,” she said.
“Translating some of the English phrases and statements which don’t have a direct literal palawa kani translation was challenging.
“There’s a scene in the cartoon where the grandmother’s pointing out to the children to ‘watch out! There’s a snake in the bushes’.
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“In palawa kani, we have a word that draws attention to things: ‘warr!’ which combines with ‘plantina’ for ‘plantina warr!’
“The Aboriginal people who spoke the palawa kani script all did an incredible job, it just sounded natural for them.”
It’s the second time palawa kani has been the featured language on the show, which uses a different Aboriginal language for each episode.
The first palawa kani episode, “Hopalong”, aired several years ago.
The episode is available to view on SBS On Demand.