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63122.  Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:37 pm Reply with quote

Alan. How is your Darling?

F: None of your business, At home, She’s very well thank you.

A: Well unless you’ve been to language school recently Alan, the answer is: hopeless.

Darling is an Australian language on the verge of extinction as it is only spoken by 5 indigenous Australians in the Darling River Basin in New South Wales.

The Darling is Australia’s longest river, flowing 2,739km from northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South Wales.

The Murray-Darling Basin drains one-seventh of Australia and although it only gets 6% of Australia's annual rainfall, it is the location of 70% of Australia's irrigation. It contains 42% of the nation's farmland and produces 40% of the nation's food.

Recently, local aboriginals protested vociferously that the Darling could face extinction due to over irrigation.

Darling is named after Governor Sir Ralph Darling, who sent British explorer Charles Sturt on an expedition down the Macquarie River in the 1820s. During the trip, Sturt discovered two rivers: the Bogan and in 1829 the upper darling which he named after the governor.

Darling is not the only quite interesting language beginning with ‘D’.

What about Dong, which is a Nigerian dialect spoken by approximately 5,000 people in four different regions? Or ‘Day’ which is spoken by nearly 50,000 people in Chad, and ‘Dido’ which is a Russian language spoken by 7,000 people in South Dagestan. Finally, but not least, you have got ‘Doe’, a language of Tanzania spoken by 24,000 people.


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