Student Ryan Whittard has been studying Chinese since year seven. His decision to deliver an Acknowledgment of Country in Mandarin at the recent Chinese Culture Festival seemed like a natural way to combine his Australian/Aboriginal heritage and love of languages. It also turned out to be the first time this had ever happened.
The Mandarin translation of the Acknowledgement of Country celebrates Australia’s multiculturalism. But in translating the speech, Ryan Whittard and his Mandarin teacher, Dr Huiling Xu, also discovered the challenges of translating Aboriginal concepts into different cultural context.