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Why learn NgunawalNgunawal or Ngunnawal (both spellings are used) is the Indigenous Australian language of the traditional occupants of the area now known as Canberra. It is also closely related to other local and nearby Indigenous Australian languages such as Ngambri, Ngarigo/Ngarigu, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri. The ACT Government decided in 2002 to call the ACT 'Ngunnawal country'. Work is continuing to recover Ngunawal language. It is no longer valid or accepted by many local people to refer to the language as 'extinct' – an error that is still found in the Wikipedia article on the subject.
Language recoverySome links about language recovery and revival of language and culture, listed alphabetically by title. We will update this list over time.
Australian Curriculum: Languages
- Australian Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages
- Australian Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages: Rationale
Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation
This organisation, among other projects, is sponsoring work on First Language literacy and making literacy connections with English.
AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).
Narigo and Ngunnawal word lists
The author has transcribed the Ngarigo word list out of "Victorian Languages - a Late Survey" by LA Hercus, and put it beside the Ngunnawal word list from RH Mathews’ work "The Wiradyuri and Other Languages of New South Wales" (q.v. below).
Ngunawal: past, present and future
From the introductory notes on this site: "Welcome to the Ngunawal past present and future website. This website has been established to accurately reflect the past, present (and future) culture of the Ngunawal people."
The opening paragraph in this Wikipedia article refers to Ngunnawal or Gundungurra as an "extinct Australian Aboriginal language" (as of August 2017). This would be contested by many who are working on language recovery and rescue.
Our Mother Tongue: Wiradjuri
A language that’s transforming a town. Duration: 03m11s.
Reviving Indigenous languages – not as easy as it seems
Article originally published in The Conversation, 18 November 2016.
The Wiradyuri and Other Languages of New South Wales
Ebook for download in various formats. Also available from other sources, including National Library of Australia, record ID 353043. Author: Mathews, R. H. (Robert Hamilton), 1841-1918. This work is also partially reproduced at https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Wiradyuri_and_Other_Languages_of_New_South_Wales, with the annotation "Produced by the Anthropological Society of the United States", which seems an inadequate description of the provenance of this work.
Understanding the Land through the Eyes of the Ngunnawal People
A Natural Resource Management Program for ACT Schools.
Yolngu Matha: A passion for Yolngu Matha language
ABC documentary, published 16 October 2014.
ReferenceOnline sources to look up words and phrases – a quick option is to run a Google search with the required expression in English followed by the words "in [name of Indigenous language]", eg tree in Ngunnawal or tree in Ngunawal, then select from sources (some of which also provide an audio version of the Indigenous language) such as the those below (listed here alphabetically). See also the notes above, eg for the R.H. Matthews work.
- Dictionaries – The In 2010, Australian Society for Indigenous Languages (AuSIL) is making dictionaries in Aboriginal languages available on the web with the aim of documenting and preserving Australian languagess.
- Gamilaraay / Yuwaalaraay / Yuwaalayaay Dictionary – From the introductory notes: "This landmark dictionary contains the most extensive list of G-Y words yet published as well as example sentences illustrating word use a helpful non-technical learner’s guide to the grammar of the languages and cultural information. Additionally there are three word lists: G-Y to English English to G-Y and G-Y to English by topics including people,animals, place and time." These are languages of the central north of New South Wales. NLA catalogue ID 2521064.
- Ngarigo and Ngunnawal word lists – (This source is also listed in the section above on language recovery.) The author has placed the list from "Victorian Languages a Late Survey" by LA Hercus alongside the Ngunnawal word list from RH Mathews' work "The Wiradyuri and Other Languages of New South Wales". A spreadsheet version in Excel format is also available on a link from this page.
- Yolngu Dictionary (CDU) – An online searchable and extendable Yolngu Matha dictionary launched by Charles Darwin University as a tool for students, researchers, Yolngu language workers and the Yolngu community.
- Yolngu-English Dictionary – Beulah Lowe © ARDS Inc. September 2004. From the introduction: "The words contained in the original manuscript are largely from the Gupapuy\u dialect. Originally spoken by a numbers of clans in the region close to Gapuwiyak (see map), Gupapuy\u is one of a several Yol\u dialects ccurrently spoken in the communities of Milingimbi, Ramingining, Gapuwiyak and Galiwin’ku. There are however a small number of words from other dialects in Beulah Lowe’s dictionary (see baymatthun, maltja]a, wa`irr etc.); and where these occur the dialect is cited."
- Yolngu Matha Language – From the introduction: "Yolngu Matha is the official name given by linguists for the languages of the Yolngu (Yolŋu), the indigenous people of northeast Arnhem Land in northern Australia. (Yolŋu = people, Matha = tongue, language)."
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