It seems that Julia Gillard has been listening to the advice of the Language and Culture Network of Australian Universities (LCNAU) and Fully(sic) and has started leading by example when it comes to languages. William Steed ponders her motivation…

It was only recently that I commented on LCNAU’s call for Australia’s leaders to lead by example by learning and using Asian languages in the public domain. Although I surely can’t take full credit for the sudden (small) increase in non-English coming from political statements, I won’t rule out the possibility of my influence.

The Prime Minister, who admits to being a Game of Thrones fan, tweeted in Dothraki (already blogged in The Guardian here), the language of a warrior culture in George R R Martin’s Game of Thrones, using the official @JuliaGillard account, signed JG. Although Dothraki is not elaborated upon in the books, the Language Creation Society developed the language for the television show based on the them.


I can’t help but wonder if she is the first Head of State to publicly use a constructed language. Coming soon in the exciting future of Australian political linguistics: question time in Klingon! Electoral ballots in Elvish!

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