Melbourne: The Australian researchers are expected to launch a mobile phone application in a bid to save an endangered ancient Aboriginal language for future generation, according to officials.

According to an agency, the thousands-year-old language of Iwaidja is today only spoken by 150 people on Croker Island in the Top End.

Iwaidja is one of about 50 known Aboriginal languages of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Bruce Birch from the Minjilang Endangered Languages Project has been working with locals in order to save it.
"It is one of Australia's hundred or so highly endangered languages," he said.

Using USD 1,00,000 of federal funding, a mobile phone application is being developed. It will have a thousand dictionary entries and almost 500 phrases of the language.

"You will be be able to look up the word and touch the word and hear it," Birch said, adding that the application will be launched in May.

Birch hopes that it will keep the language alive for future generations and help visitors to the region for better understanding of the local culture.

"The idea for the mobile phone application sprang from the need to use up-to-date technology to attract people," he said.

He added that it will help younger indigenous people as well as non-indigenous people, who come into contact with Iwaidja speakers.

(Agencies)