September 2020

Ngiyampaa language strengthened by new dictionary

This dictionary is a great resource for our kids to learn our language that is what I would like to see.” Aunty Norma O’Hara, Ngiyampaa Elder.

The resurgence and maintenance of the Ngiyampaa language has been bolstered by a dictionary published by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) publishing arm, Aboriginal Studies Press.

Ngiyampaa Wordworld: Thipingku Yuwi, Maka Ngiya; Names of Birds and Other Words includes stories, example sentences and songs, a comprehensive list of bird names and other words. The dictionary includes an English to Ngiyampaa finder list to quickly look up words in Ngiyampaa.

The dictionary is a much needed resource to not only learn language, but to strengthen cultural identity for current and future generations.

"This dictionary is invaluable. Having our language available and accessible makes me feel more connected to my country, to my ancestors and increases my sense of pride and strengthens my cultural identity,” Ngiyampaa language project contributor, Ashlee Kearney says.

I am really excited to share this with my family, especially the younger ones to make sure they are growing up strong and proud."