Yuwaalaraay body parts

Yuwaalaraay is the name of the Aboriginal language and Aboriginal people of the Balonne River Region – Yuwaalaraay is connected linguistically to Gamilaraay, the language of the Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi people. Yuwaalaraay is also documented by several other names, including Juwalarai, Ualarai, Yualarai, Yualloroi, Yowaleri, Uollaroi, Youallerie, Yualari, Yualai, Yualeai, Yerraleroi,  Yowairi, Yuolary, and Eu-ahlayi. The language area extends across north west NSW on the Barwon River into south west Queensland along the Culgoa and Balonne Rivers. This area takes in the communities of Hebel, Dirranbandi and St George, extending south towards Goodooga, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Collarenebri.

There is a significant amount of documentation on the Yuwaalaraay language from first contact in the 1840s with several lexicons, wordlists and other vocabularies. Linguistic work by Rev William Ridley and recent linguists such as Austin, Lissarrague, Ash and Giacon means there is an accompanying grammar to provide clues on how the language was constructed and spoken. Fortunately, there have been ongoing language revival activities across the region to bring the language back to life in schools and communities. However, there is a concern that Yuwaalaraay language is not spoken on a daily basis as there are minimal fluent speakers.

This wordlist is drawn from historical and published sources and identifies language words for the parts of the body and their suggested pronunciation.

Download Yuwaalaraay body parts word list  (PDF 318.3 KB)

Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were oral-based; there may be several variations in spelling and pronunciation. The following list should be seen as a guide – check with local language speakers/custodians as to the preferred local 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 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’.

YuwaalaraayPronunciation
Baranggal Bah-run-gull
Bungun Boong-un
Yuuwirr You-wid
Bawa Bar-wah
Murru Moo-roo
Yarray Yah-ray
Guway Gwoy
Buya Boo-yah
Buyu Boo-yoo
Dhaal Darl
Dhaal Darl
Bina Bin-ah
Dhiin Din
Mil Mill
Ngudjiin Nud-jean
Ngudjiin Nud-jean
Ngulu Noo-loo
Bambugal Bum-bah-gull
Yulu You-loo
Dhina Din-ah
Dhaygal Dah-gull
Maa Mah
Dhaygal Dah-gull
Gii Gee
Dhinbirr Din-beer
Buyu Boo-yoo
Yili Yill-ee
Ngaay Nah
Nhun Noon
Muyu Moo-yoo
Walarr Wah-lard
Yulay You-lay
Mubil Moo-bill
Mabun Mah-boon
Bambugal Bum-bah-gull
Dhalay Dah-lay
Yira Yee-rah
Bagurr Bah-gurd

Learn more about Yuwaalaraay language!

Listen to Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay on the Gamilaraay Language App from iTunes which has been developed for iPhones, with an Android version also available from the Google play shop.

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

Further details

For further information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages at 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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