Batchelor Institute » Gurr-goni to English dictionary launch
default logo
Date:April 06, 2016

Gurr-goni to English dictionary launch


Batchelor Institute, Maningrida Arts and Culture and Batchelor Press are pleased to unveil a new dictionary that captures the culturally important Gurr-goni language, which is only spoken in a small section of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Gurr-goni is a language spoken by people in and near the township of Maningrida in Anrhem Land, where it’s spoken fluently by a small group of speakers; however, Gurr‐goni children still learn their language and speak it at home and on country.

The dictionary has been compiled by Rebecca Green and Leila Nimbadja, who started working together on Gurr-goni language in 1988.

“Mu-goni dictionary ngatjbulorndo ngatjburru njiwurr-mu-murnongi arrapu at-bu-burrkarl yandu gurl awurr-bogo, reading awurr-ningu, guwubarrwirdi, arrapu njiwu-barrwirdi ngatjburrupu njiwurr-murnongi. Balanda borrlorndo, yandu read awurr-ningu an-nji an-nalitji mubu ngutjin mutdjat gun-ngatjburru wetji Gurr-goni. Wurlek”.

“This dictionary is for us adults, and also for the children, so when they go to school they will read and remember it, and we adults will also remember it. It’s for white people too, so they can read and name anything properly in our Gurr-goni language. That’s all,” Ms Nimbadja said.

This project has been produced by Batchelor Institute’s Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL), with support from the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts Program.

The dictionary builds upon an earlier project managed by Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation and funded by the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).

CALL, Project Linguist, Margaret Carew said after many years of research and work, her team is very pleased to bring this project to completion.

The dictionary will be launched at a ceremony to be held at Maningrida College on 14 April at 2pm. To order a copy of the book, please contact Batchelor Press
Phone: (08) 8939 7352