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Reaching Agreement | Community, Project, Language, Better, Position, Whole, Proceed, Situations | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Reaching Agreement PDF Print E-mail

Opinion about a language project will not necessarily be homogenous within any given community.Consultants need to acknowledge that different people in communities will have different views. One person cannot speak for the whole community. Everyone should have a chance to speak. A community will not have one position – it is possible that the community might arrive at one position but only after a long discussion.

Sometimes there is not full agreement in a community about the details of a language project or publication. A consultant can feel unsure about how to proceed, and may also get conflicting messages from different members of the community. In situations such as this, some advise that it is better not to go ahead with the project at all, that doing so will only cause damage in the long term. It may be better to redesign the whole project or to wait for a more appropriate time in the future to propose the project again. On the other hand, others advise that outcomes for language projects should be put ahead of community disagreements and that it is better to produce something rather than do nothing for Language. In these situations it is a good idea to appeal to people’s belief that language work is a powerful way to unify the community.

Ultimately, the decision to proceed or not, must be made within and between community members.