Like all Australian Aboriginal languages, Arrarnta was a spoken language. The first missionaries used their German alphabet as a platform to write down the Arrarnta language. They discovered an affinity between the German language and Arrarnta. The community at Ntaria is proud of their language and the traditional orthography pioneered by Carl Strehlow. Today the orthography of the language has evolved and is summarised in simple terms in the ‘Western Arrarnta Picture Dictionary’ which is used in the local school (Roennfeldt ed. 2006).
Where Aboriginal languages in some parts of Australia are dying out, the traditional language of Western Arrarnta people is alive and thriving. The key to this is the continued transmission from older to younger generations.