Brisbane animal words

There are several neighbouring languages and dialects in the greater Brisbane area; these were closely related with many shared words. As Aboriginal languages are oral languages that have only been written since European settlement, there may be variations in spelling and/or pronunciation. There are also variations with words across the region due to dialectical differences.

Yugara is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Brisbane area west to Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley.

Turubul is the name of one of the languages or dialects spoken in the Brisbane area north to the Sunshine Coast.

Yugambeh is the name of one of the languages spoken between the Logan and Tweed Rivers and west to Beaudesert and Rathdowney.

Yugarabul is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Brisbane area south west towards Ipswich and Boonah.

Some of these words may still be used in south east Queensland communities; check with your local community for pronunciation and for other local language 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 as 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 as 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 Brisbane animal words (PDF 234.3 KB)

English Yugara Yugarabul Yugambeh Turubul
Bird (Generic, any bird) Juwanbin Juwahnduwan Noangbil Juwahnduwan
Carpet Snake Gabul Kabul Kabul Kabul
Crow
Wawal Wagan Wagahn Wowa
Dingo/Wild Dog Mirri Mirri Ngurun Mirri
Eagle Juwehrr Juwehrr Mibunn Dibil
Emu Nguyi Ngurun Murun Nguyi
Fish (Generic, any fish) Jawan Guyurr Jalumm Kuyur
Horse Yarraman Yarraman Yarraman Yarraman
Kangaroo Barrar Burrar Muni Gurooman
Koala Dumbirrbi Marrambi Borobi Dumbirrbi
Pelican Buluwalum Bulualum Chungarra Bulualum
Possum Gubi Kubbi Guran Kubbi
Shark Powai Powai Bowai Powai
Snake (Black) Bui Bui Jomgwong Tumgu
Sugar Glider Chibur Chibur Jiburr Chibur
Wallaby Garril Garril Karil Garril

Further details

For more information on Brisbane languages:
Yugambeh Museum, Language and Heritage Research Centre serves as the regional Indigenous Language Centre for southern Queensland; visit Yugambeh Museum’s website: www.yugambeh.com.

State Library of Queensland

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

SLQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Blog: http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/ilq/

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