Not long ago, I received a call from a friend in Kybrook Farm. She informed me that an old lady, one of the last remaining Wagiman speakers, had died a little while earlier.

I’ve never experienced the death of a language informant before. I can only describe in that it feels exceedingly bitter to know that in addition to the pain of losing a friend, that such a death represents another irreversible step towards the loss of one of the world’s unique languages.

Of all the speakers, she was the best to work with. She was a warm and friendly woman who really enjoyed a laugh and would gladly speak to me for hours, selflessly helping me learn her language.

She will be missed by many, myself included.

Mamak, ngal-marttiwa.