AIATSIS is launching a selection of Indigenous language dictionaries as part of the Indigenous Languages Preservation: Dictionaries Project.

These releases support the development and publication of Indigenous language dictionaries in partnership with communities and play an important role in language preservation and revitalisation.

As part of the 2019 UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages, AIATSIS undertook a range of activities and projects that support the resurgence and revitalisation of Indigenous languages.

Thanks to the AIATSIS Foundation donors who contributed to this project.

The Sydney Language

Language: Gadigal, Dharug, Iyora (Eora)

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

The Sydney Language was written to revive interest the Aboriginal language of the Sydney district. It makes readily available the small amount of surviving information from historical records. More information.

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Ngarinyman to English Dictionary

Language: Ngarinyman

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

Ngarinyman is an Aboriginal language of the northern Victoria River District in the Northern Territory. Many Ngarinyman people live in Yarralin, Bulla Camp, Amanbidji​ (Kildurk) and around Timber Creek. More information.

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Mudburra to English Dictionary

Language: Mudburra

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

Mudburra is an Aboriginal language of the Northern Territory. The Mudburra to English Dictionary contains Mudburra words with English translations, illustrations and detailed encyclopaedic information about plants, animals and cultural practices. More information.

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Gurgun Mibinyah: Yugambeh, Ngarahngwal, Ngahnduwal: A dictionary and grammar of Mibiny language varieties from the Tweed

Language: Yugambeh-Bundjalung, or Bandjalangic

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

Gurgun Mibinyah (belonging to Mibiny speakers) is a dictionary of the northern varieties of the language Yugambeh-Bundjalung, or Bandjalangic, spoken from the Tweed River area of the northeast corner of New South Wales to the Logan River area in the Gold Coast area of southern Queensland. More information.

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Ngarrindjeri (concise) 2nd edition Dictionary

Language: Ngarrindjeri

Publisher: MIPAAC

The Ngarrindjeri language and Ngarrindjeri nation are associated with the country (ruwi) in the Lower Murray, Lakes and Coorong region of South Australia. The new publication contains over 500 new words and provides convenient, portable access to a Ngarrindjeri-to-English wordlist plus a finder list (English-to-Ngarrindjeri).


Dhurga Dictionary and Learners Grammar

Language: Dhurga

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

The Dhurga Dictionary and Learners Grammar: A South-East Coast NSW Aboriginal Language is an overdue and extremely valuable resource for the Dhurga speaking people of Yuin Country and of any person wanting to learn the traditional language. More information.

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Alyawarr to English Dictionary - second edition 

Language: Alyawarr

Publisher: IAD Press

Alyawarr is the name of the language and people whose traditional lands lie in the Sandover River region of northeastern Central Australia, between the Barkly Highway and the Plenty Highway. This 442-page dictionary records the language of the Alyawarr people and includes over 5500 entries.

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Ngaanyatjarra & Ngaatjatjarra​ to English Dictionary

Language: Ngaanyatjarra & Ngaatjatjarra​

Publisher: IAD Press

The central east of Western Australia is the home of the Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra people, a land of spinifex plains, sandhills and mulga, crisscrossed by rocky ranges. Their language is a dialect of the widespread Western Desert language, and while speakers consider it a separate language, it has 70% of the same words as the neighbouring Pitjantjatjara language.

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A Dictionary of Umpithamu, with notes on Middle Paman

Language: Umpithamu

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

Umpithamu is a language of the Princess Charlotte Bay region on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula, in northeastern Australia. A Dictionary of Umpithamu, with notes on Middle Paman is the first comprehensive dictionary of a Cape York language to be published in over two decades. More information.

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Ngiyampaa Wordworld: Thipingku Yuwi, Maka Ngiya; Names of Birds and Other Words

Language: Ngiyampaa

Publisher: Aboriginal Studies Press

The Wangaaypuwan dialect of Ngiyampaa is the language of the Pilaarrkiyalu, Nhiilyikiyalu and Karulkiyalu people that come from the dry, riverless country of Western NSW. Some people still live in and around the ngurrampaa ‘homelands’ but many now live in larger towns and cities around NSW and other states and territories. More information.

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Dhanggati ​Grammar and Dictionary with Dhanggati Stories

Language: Dhanggati

Publisher: Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Co-operative

The homeland of the Dhanggati people is the Macleay Valley on what is now known as the mid-north coast of New South Wales. The Dhanggati language was spoken by the oldest generation 'right through' up until the late 1960s. Today Dhanggati people are working to reclaim, learn and teach their language; this grammar and dictionary was written to support their efforts.

Amanda Lissarrague's research is based on the recordings of Dhanggati Elders, written historical records and the knowledge of Dhanggati people today. The first edition of the dictionary was published in 2007, and has been widely used in language learning in the valley since that time. This second edition of the Dhanggati grammar and dictionary with Dhanggati stories has the features of the first edition, including the stories, and the language information has been expanded and refined:

  • It identifies the speakers, where known.
  • It includes both plain language and descriptive linguistics to support language teaching and learning.
  • The English to Dhanggati word list and the subject finder list help learners to find words.
  • It includes dedicated lists of new words, and words adapted from English.

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Coming soon

  • Gija​
  • Mawng​
  • Kaurna​
  • ​Eastern & Central Arrernte​
  • Warlpiri​
  • Pitjantjatjara & Yankunytjatjara​
  • Ngandi​
  • Yinggarda


Last reviewed: 16 Sep 2020