Gunggari language

The Gunggari language is spoken in the Mitchell region of South-West Queensland and extends north to Morven and Mungallala, East towards Roma and South along the Maranoa River. Gunggari has also been written as Kunggari, Unggari,Coongurri, etc.

The following Gunggari language words are included on the Gambara Gamu Biyu body chart poster – use the language pen to hear and practise saying the words.

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 back of teeth.

'dj' is similar to English - it can be between ‘j’ and ‘ch’.

'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.

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

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

'rr' is a rolled 'r' sound similar to a Scottish 'r'; at the end of a word it may sound like ‘d’.

Download the Gunggari language body chart (PDF 261.6 KB)

English Gunggari
Ankle Bargu
Arm Do-roo
Body (Back) Bullkoo
Bone Yarrun
Bottom Bunthi
Chest Wonka
Chin Nuthung
Ears Munga
Elbow> Uraldo
Eyes Dilli
Feet/foot Din-ar
Finger/s Mum boo
Forehead Bulka
Hair Utha
Hand Murrda
Head Doonka
Heart Yulgoo
Knee Moogoo
Leg Bala
Lip Bikki
Mouth Da
Neck Nulldo
Nose Who
Shoulders Bidda
Teeth Illa
Toes Munn-dooe
Tongue Thullung

Learn more about Gunggari!

Listen to Aunty Irene Ryder’s story “The Emu went walking” as a virtual book: http://enc.slq.qld.gov.au/vbook/slq/emu-went-walking/index.htm

Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre has online resources, including Gunggari wordlists: www.yugambeh.com/resources_language.php

For items in the State Library collections relating to Gunggari, click here.

Further information

To discover more about the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages on the Body Chart, contact your local Library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre.

Community Organisations
As well as local community Elders and Community Members, there is a local Aboriginal Community organisation working with language and cultural heritage in the Gunggari region, including school-based language programs:

Language Centre
Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre serves as a Language Centre and supports community-based language activities across southern Queensland – they have coordinated specific language activities in Beenleigh, Beaudesert, Gold Coast, Stradbroke Island, Mitchell, Charleville and South-West Queensland.

  • Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre, Cnr Martens Street and Plantation Road, Beenleigh. Q. 4207. t: (07) 3807 6155 e: admin@yugambeh.com

State Library of Queensland

For further information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages at the State Library of Queensland, please contact:

kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
PO Box 3488, South Brisbane Qld. 4101
t:  (07) 3842 9836            f:   (07) 3842 9893

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