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Yarning Magazine

Yarning is published for all language and culture enthusiasts, with articles focused on languages, linguistic experiences, and the intersections of culture and communication. Whether or not you work for Defence, we'd love to publish your article! Our next edition will be released soon.

  • Yarning Magazine - December 2023


    • Yarning’s Patron letter-Lieutenant General Natasha Fox honours language capability in her first letter as Yarning's Patron.
    • Language, culture, and the military: A case for joint linguists-A proposal for dedicated Defence linguists to meet the diverse and ever-expanding demands Defence has for language capability and cross-cultural engagement.
    • Ancient history from an ancient linguist- As a former Defence Attaché to Saudi Arabia, Colonel John Paterson draws upon his rich experiences, sharing his top five tips for linguists. A must-read for those seeking to make language part of their Defence career.
    • Do our identities change when we speak another language?-Exploring the relationships between communication and our authentic expression of self, our columnist delves into the reasons bilinguals may feel their identities shift when changing languages.
    • Building bonds, one laugh at a time-Should comedic skills be a linguistic priority? Alongside other important insights, two Indonesian linguists discuss how laughter shortens the distance between people and helped forge success during a joint Australian and Indonesian disaster relief exercise.
    • On the verge of extinction: Kusunda-Dive into the uniqueness of this western Nepalese ‘language isolate’. With no ancestral roots common to any known language and only a single remaining native speaker, continued preservation efforts are paramount.


  • Yarning Magazine - September 2023


    • How Swahili became Africa’s most spoken language – Over two millennia, Swahili has built bridges among people across Africa, evolving into the continent’s most internationally recognised language.
    • Why Google Translate isn’t enough: Language and culture in the military – Yuetong Zheng and Matthew Malcolm explore the importance of cultural understanding and context to translation and cross-cultural communication.
    • Science fiction comes alive with artificial intelligence – Artificial Intelligence is a growing science of strategic interest with the potential to change our world, for better or worse.
    • Understanding the untranslatable – While definitions can be translated, sometimes meaning cannot; a look at how words can encompass concepts, culture, or a certain je ne sais quoi.
    • Yunupingu: A giant amongst elders – Australian Actor and Garma Ambassador, Jack Thompson AM, reflects on the life of Yolngu Elder, Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.
    • Embracing Yolngu language and culture at Garma – In Northeast Arnhem Land, a celebration of practices, knowledge, and culture brings Australians together as they experience Yolngu tradition.
    • Rifle Company Butterworth: A linguist’s paradise – Calling all Defence Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien, Tamil, and Thai speakers – opportunity awaits you in Malaysia!


  • Yarning Magazine - May 2023


    • Can we solve the issue of gender-fair language? – This edition's column explores the benefits and challenges of addressing the lack of gender-neutral terms in modern-day languages.
    • More than just learning the lingo – Participants at the recent Defence Linguist Conference learned there’s more to different cultures than just words and phrases.
    • All day every day, linguists in Thailand – Gain deeper insights into life in an overseas posting through the experiences of two Army linguists in Thailand.
    • DFSL on the world stage​​ – Anya Ivanova discusses her recent US trip to present at the Bureau for International Language Coordination, and subsequent tour of the Defense Language Institute.
    • Code-switching: Nothing to do with cryptography – Barack Obama, Michelle Yeoh and PSY can all do it - Everything, Everywhere All At Once brings this linguistic phenomenon to the fore.
    • Finding beauty in a war-torn language – Pashto – The account of a language learning journey through sport, conflict, and lasting connections.


  • Yarning Magazine - November 2022


    • Ruscism - Through linguistic creativity born of a bilingual people, Ukrainians create a new word to help navigate the horrors of invasion.
    • Under the Eucalyptus - How a one-time German backpacker and an Air Force Officer created a sense of home for the German contingent during Exercise Pitch Black 2022. 
    • Pitch Black & Country Liaison Officers - Group Captain Peter Wood covers off on Pitch Black 2022 and outlines the vital role which Country Liaison Officers play in ensuring the success of International Engagement activities. 
    • Achieving 'Native-like' Accentedness​​ - Private Tamsin Smith asks and answers the question of why do second language learners find it difficult to develop the target language accent, and is it possible to achieve ‘native-like’ accentedness? 
    • The Relationship between Language and Culture - Language plays an integral role in building, maintaining and expressing culture. This article explores the ways in which both of these facets impact how we perceive and interact with the world.
    • Attendance on the Royal Thai Navy Command & Staff Course - Commander Paul Pelczar reflects on his personal and professional experiences while attending the Royal Thai Navy Command and Staff Course in 2017/18.
  • Yarning Magazine - July 2022


    • Defence Language and Culture Portal - A sneak preview of the language and culture resource site, which is due to be launched in November 2022.
    • Indigenous Linguists: A compelling argument - Exploration of the capability improvements that would stem from formalising First Nation languages within the ADF linguist space. 
    • Aboriginal English - An overview of the history, currency, and importance of Aboriginal English.
    • An Italian touch on the Australian sky - A look into the career of one of our Italian linguists: a journalist, reservist, small business owner, and former member of the Italian Air Force.
    • Ciao from Italy - Discussions regarding some of the learnings and observations from this year's Bureau for International Language Co-ordination (BILC) Conference, held in Italy.