Pintupi-Luritja elder, Irene Nangala, was a lead tester in the women’s development group for the translator, and provided her vocal talent as the female voice for Wangka Kutju’s text-to-speech audio.

Today Purple House launched ‘Wangka Kutju’ – the first software to provide real-time, sentence level translation between English and Pintupi-Luritja, with text to speech capabilities. It uses sophisticated functions to translate full sentences in real time, rather than using a static database of words.

The unique language translator is an interactive communication device designed to enhance the Purple House model of care by supporting two-way learning and relaying important information to, and from, the people we support.

We acknowledge the elders and traditional owners of the Western Desert region who endorsed this project and informed the language content. The development stage presented an opportunity for cross-cultural understanding through language and dialogue between dialysis patients and health workers, and it was fun!

The software was developed by Brendan Kavanagh, who made the original prototype translation engine and presented the idea to Purple House. Brendan facilitated sessions with our language experts in Mount Liebig and Alice Springs, while working as programmer for the software to function in the Pintupi-Luritja language. Wangka Kutju has been a partnership between Purple House and Brendan’s resource development business ‘Highway Learning’.

Now that Wangka Kutju is officially launched, we would like to share it with others who think they might benefit from it. We are offering the software to other organisations operating in the region, please contact to find out more. The software is not for sale, but donations are always welcome!

Thanks to the Department of Communications and the Arts for providing funding for the project.