Word lists

The State Library of Queensland acknowledges that the language heritage and knowledge of these wordlists always remains with the Traditional Owners, language custodians and community members of the respective language nations.

These pages include a number of word lists on various topics to support communities in their work to revive, document and preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The language content is drawn from a range of historical texts found in State Library of Queensland's collections.

Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are oral languages that have only been written since European settlement; there may be several variations in spelling and pronunciation. Check with local language custodians as to the preferred local word and its’ spelling and pronunciation.

Aboriginal sounds

In pronouncing Aboriginal words, there are some sounds which are quite different to English and require practice.

'dh' is different to English - it is pronounced with the tongue at the back of teeth.

'ng' is one sound in Aboriginal languages and is different to the 'n' sound in English - it is closest to the 'ng' sound found in singer.

'ny' is one sound in Aboriginal languages - it is closest to the 'n' sound found in onion.

'rr' is a rolled 'r' sound similar to a Scottish 'r'.

Torres Strait Islander sounds

In pronouncing Torres Strait Islander language words, there are some sounds which are quite different to English and require practice.

'dh' is different to English - it is pronounced with the tongue at the back of teeth and can sound like ‘th’.

'dz' is used in the Torres Straits - it can sound similar to ‘dj’.

'ng' is one sound and is different to the 'n' sound in English - it is closest to the 'ng' sound found in singer.

'oi' is different to English - it is a prolonged sound that can be between ‘oi’ and ‘ai’.

p’, ‘s’ and ‘z’ are used in Torres Strait Islander words and sound similar to English.

Say G'day in an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Language

State Library would like to encourage Queenslanders to say "g'day" in their local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language....

Brisbane animal words

Translations of Brisbane animal words into Yugara, Yugarabul, Yugambeh and Turubul languages....

Body parts

Word lists for body parts in a number of Indigenous languages...

Yugara everyday words

List of everyday words in the Yugara language...

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander numbers

A word list of numbers in more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects...

Aboriginal loanwords in English

A resource guide providing a snapshot of some loanwords from Aboriginal languages that are commonly used in English...

Torres Strait Everyday Words

A selection of everyday words for the two languages of the Torres Strait and Torres Strait Creole...

Djabugay everyday words

Djabugay is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Cairns region extending along the hinterland and ranges...

Dyirbal everyday words

The Dyirbal language is spoken in North Queensland along the Tully River and Johnston River Catchments....

Gunggay everyday words

Gunggay (aka Gunggandji & Koo-gun-ji) is a language group centred on the Yarrabah, Cape Grafton Peninsula region of Far North...

Yidiny everyday words

Yidiny is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Cairns region extending to Gordonvale and along the...

Wulguru everyday words

Wulguru is an umbrella term to describe several languages or dialects spoken in the Townsville Region extending from Cleveland Bay...

Sunny Murri Christmas

Words from the main South East Queensland Aboriginal languages for ‘sun’, ‘sand’ and water’ – three things associated with Christmas...

Yugambeh everyday words

The Yugambeh language is spoken between the Logan and Tweed Rivers in South-East Queensland – there are several dialects across...

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