For the past six months Margaret James, publisher and author, nanna and music teacher, worked with several Aboriginal translators in different parts of Central Australia to complete six translations of the first three books in The Honey Ant Readers series.
All 18 books are now complete and will be published early 2013. The languages include: Western Arrernte, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, Yankuntkatjara, Central Arrernte and Warlpiri.
Here's some of the translators and the role they played.
Benedict Stevens is the translator of the Central Arrernte Honey Ant Readers. He is a father, an elder from Alice Springs, the President of the Yipirinya School Council and a professional interpreter and translator. Benedict's father was one of the founders of Yipirinya School, and like him, he believes that children should grow up strong in their traditional
languages and culture, as well as receive a sound school-based education.
Jennifer Inkamala is the senior translator of the Honey Ant Readers and theprogram's cultural mentor. She is a mother, a nana, an experienced Western Arrernte and Luritja teacher and an elder. Jennifer often takes childrenout on bush trips to teach them more about her traditional culture, so that they can pass that knowledge on to their children one day.
Marjorie Williams is a Luritja translator of the Honey Ant Readers. She is amother, a nana, a Luritja teacher, an artist, a Yipirinya School Councilmember and an elder. She loves to tell her grandchildren traditional stories while they fall asleep at night. Marjorie also likes to talk about the experiences she had growing up with her grandparents, learning their traditional ways, so that she can pass this knowledge on to the next generation. As part of her language and culture
teaching she takes students out on cultural excursions.
Pamela Sampson is the Warlpiri translator of the Honey Ant Readers. She is amother, a nana, a Warlpiri language teacher and an elder. Pamela likes to take her students out into the bush, where she teaches them about bush tucker and bush medicine and tells them stories which have been passed down from her grandparents. She believes that knowing about language and culture makes children stronger at school.
Maria Stewart is the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatjara translator of the Honey Ant Readers. She is a mother of 3 boys and also the foster carer for her nephew. Maria speaks her grandmother's language which is spoken
around the APY Lands where she lives. (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankuntjatjara Lands). Maria grew up in Oodnadatta, South Australia (her grandfather's country).
The Honey Ant Readers' translation were made possible with the financial assistance of the Mary MacKillop Foundation.