Languages

Languages (26)

Earliest reference to language name: 1854 (Parker 1854)

Meaning: derived from distinctive word for ‘no’

Sub-dialect: Burabura

Clark (1990) lists over 20 variant spellings. It is possible to find variants in a singular representation, as in Wemba or Wamba, reduplicated, as in Wembawemba or Wambawamba, and occasionally singular and reduplicated spelt with a ‘y’, as in Yamba and Yambayamba. See Hercus (1986; 1992) for detailed analyses of this language. Dixon’s analysis has shown that Wembawemba shared 93 percent common vocabulary with Barababaraba.

Blake’s and Reid’s (1998) analysis is that it shared 86 percent with Wergaia; 75 percent with Wadiwadi; 70 percent with Madimadi; 82 percent with Djabwurrung; 72 percent with Ladjiladji; and 72 percent with Djadjawurrung.

Status of Burabura

Burabura is recorded by five separate sources (Beveridge 1865, 1884, in Victoria 1859; Smyth 1878; Howitt 1904, Papers; Mathew Papers; Stone 1911). Locative information includes ‘Swan Hill’ (Beveridge 1865, 1884, in Victoria 1859; Mathew Papers); ‘From Swan Hill to the junction of the Loddon with the Murray River’ (Howitt 1904); ‘Reedy Lake’; ‘The Boora-boora and Watti-watti boundary outbound is the Tyrell Creek and Lake Tyrell’ (Howitt Papers); ‘Tyntynder-Swan Hill’ (Stone 1911). 

Benjamin Lanky Manton is recorded by John Mathew as ‘belonging to Swan Hill’ and ‘his lang was called purabura lang = no. His mother‘s lang was puraba puraba at Morga on the Edward R’. Dixon’s assessment of the ‘Burabura language’ notes in Mathews notebook is that it is T5 Wemba (A), by which he means Wembawemba/ Barababaraba. Hercus (1992) has considered the evidence for a distinction between an eastern and a western form of Wembawemba. The eastern form of speech shared some minor features with the neighbouring languages to the east, Perapaperapa; the western form of speech shared some minor features with the neighbouring language to the west, Watiwati. 

A fundamental question here is whether the name is a dialect/tribal name and/or a placename and a pastoral run name. Bura-bura is a placename on maps from the late 1840s onwards, and always refers to the same location, the run of the same name below Piangil. Clark (1990, 1996) considered Burabura to be a variant of Barababaraba that is found in the literature in a form Burabaraba. 

However, after having reconsidered the evidence, there does seem to be some weight for the separate existence of a Burabura group, especially the linguistic evidence raised by Hercus for an eastern and western form of Wembawemba. It is curious that the locative data in Howitt and elsewhere for a location from Swan Hill to the junction of the Loddon River with the Murray River bear no relation to the Burabura placename or the station name, which falls within Wekiweki. The status of Burabura requires more consideration.

Digital Resource in Wemba Wemba Language

Launched on Monday 15th February 2016, Swan Hill Primary School students have created a Wemba Wemba Language resource in the form of an interactive digital app, which contains word list categories accompanied by images and audio, in Wemba Wemba.

The App is available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

Available on the App Store

wemba wemba icon copy

 

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

The Yorta Yorta Language spoken by all the Yorta Yorta clans, including the Kaitheban, Wollithiga, Moira, Ulupna, Bangerang, Kwat Kwat, Yalaba Yalaba and Ngurai-illiam-wurrung clans.

Contact the Yorta Yorta Nations Aboriginal Corporation via https://www.facebook.com/YYNAC/

ABC Open - Postcard with love from Dhungala with Sharon Atkinson

Watch this great video produced by Aretha Briggs up on Yorta Yorta Country showing her story & efforts to teach the local language.
Well Done Aretha!!

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

 

 

Wergaia is a language group in the Wimmera region of north-Western Victoria. 20 clans made up the Wergaia language, which consisted of four distinct dialects: Wudjubalug/Wotjobaluk; Djadjala/Djadjali; Buibadjali; Biwadjali. 

Before European settlement in the nineteenth century, the Wergaia-occupied the area that included Lake HindmarshLake Albacutya, Pine Plains Lake, Lake Werringrin, Lake Corong, WarracknabealHopetounDimboolaOuyen, Yanac, Hattah Lakes and the Wimmera River.

Contact Barengi Gadjin Land Council for further information - http://www.bglc.com.au

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

 

Dja Dja Wurrung people are Traditional Owners of Country across Central Victoria and our ancestors have cared for it over countless generations.

The Traditional Owners of this country are sometimes called Dja Dja Wurrung people and sometimes called Jaara meaning people in their language. Both names are correct. It is believed that 'Dja Dja Wurrung' is the name of the language and 'Jaara' is the language name for the people.

Contact: http://www.djadjawurrung.com.au

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

Please Note: For all Woiwurrung language enquiries, naming requests and translations please email Wurundjeri Council directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Aunty Joy Murphy, Senior Wurundjeri Elder speaks about her work teaching and re-learning her language.

 

The language spoken by members of four Koorie clans that lived in adjoining estates in the Port Phillip region was known as Woi wurrung. The name literally means 'no lip (or speech)' and refers to the way in which speakers expressed the negative, that is, 'woi'.

Traditionally, each of the four Woi wurrung-speaking clans identified with specific areas (an estate). These estates were contiguous and, collectively, took in all of the drainage basin of the Yarra River and its tributaries. The Woi wurrung clans' domain was bordered in the south by the Yarra River, upstream to Gardiners Creek, and in the southeast by Dandenong Creek; and in the north by the Dividing Range from Mount Baw Baw to Mount Blackwood. The Werribee River was their westernmost extension, and in the east Woi wurrung territory stretched into the Dandenong Ranges past Warburton.

Because of their obvious connection with land along the river, the Woi wurrung clans are often referred to in the historical literature as the Yarra Yarra tribe. Moreover, because it was the Wurundjeri clan of Woi wurrung that was seen around the settlement more than other groups (it being their estate), the Woi wurrung are also mistakenly referred to in the historical literature as Wurundjeri.

Alternative spellings of the language name, used in various historical sources, include Waverong, Waworong, Wawoorong, Woiwurru, Wowurroong and Woiworung.

Accurate description of each of the four Woi wurrung clans, in terms of location and relationships to others, is a matter of some complexity; the following characterisation is both general and subject to correction as further detailed research is undertaken.

1. The Wurundjeri-balluk consisted of two patrilines occupying adjacent areas on both sides of the Yarra River. The first of these groups was Wurundjeri-willam who divided themselves into three locations: (a) on the southern side of the Yarra River, from Gardiners Creek to the northern slopes of the Dandenong Ranges; (b) on the northern side of the river, from its junction with the Maribyrnong River (and stretching north to take in Mount William), at Melbourne, and east as far as Kew; and (c) from around Heidelberg, along the upper reaches of the Yarra to near Mount Baw Baw. The second patriline was the Buluk-willam who occupied an area from the headwaters of the Yarra River, southeast to Koo Wee Rup Swamp, toward Cranbourne, where they bordered Bun wurrung territory, at the top of Western-port Bay.

2. The Marin-balluk clan identified with the area between the Maribyrnong River and Kororoit Creek, stretching to the north as far as Sunbury.

3. The estate of the Kurung-jang-balluk was on the western side of Kororoit Creek, as far as the Werribee River.

4. The Gunung-willam-bulluk identified with an area south of the Ranges, around Mount Macedon and Bacchus Marsh.

Each of these clans was governed by an individual or group of senior men who had the title ngurungaeta. These individuals were men of distinguished achievement who had effective authority within their clans and 'were considered its rightful representative in external affairs'.

Woi wurrung clans were part of the Bunjil/Waa moiety system of kinship and totemic class that characterised the Kulin confederacy of -(w)urrung speaking clans. Woi wurrung clans were in the Waa class, with the exception of the Gunung-willam-bulluk whose members were Bunjil. All Kulin clans were exogamous, that is, men always sought marriage partners from another clan. In the case of the Woi wurrung, marriages were usually contracted with Bunjil clans of the Daung wurrung speakers of drainage basins north of the Dividing Range. The connections forged in this way gave members various rights of access to a large area of central Victoria.

Reference: Presland, G., Aboriginal Melbourne, Harriland Press, Melbourne, 2001.

Digital Resources in Woi wurrung Language

On Monday the 20th of April 2015, VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks at Thornbury Primary School, featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woi wurrung and English.

The Apps are available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

Available on the App Store

woi wurrung app icons

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

 

Dhudhuroa was a language of northeastern Victoria.

 

According to Mathews (1909: 278): The Dhudhuroa was spoken by the Dyinningmiddhang tribe on the Mitta Mitta and Kiewa rivers, and along the Murray valley from Albury to Jingellic. Minyambuta, a dialect of the Dhudhuroa, was the speech of the tribes occupying the Buffalo, King, Ovens, and Broken rivers, with the tributaries of all these streams. From Jingellic eastward was the country of the Walgalu tribe, whose speech resembled partly the Dhudhuroa and partly the Dyirringan, a tongue spoken from about Nimmitabel to Bega.

 

Dhudhuroa appears to consist of the first syllable of the word for ‘no’ reduplicated. The word for ‘no’ is dhubalga. It is common in southeastern Australia to base language names on the word for ‘no’. The name almost certainly contains a reduced form of wurru, which means ‘mouth’ or ‘language’ in a number of Victorian languages.

 

The final syllable is probably -wa, which is found on quite a few other words. Thus we probably have Dhu-dhu-(wu)rru-wa.

 

pdfThe Dhudhuroa language of northeastern Victoria: a description based on historical sources. by Barry J Blake and Julie Reid

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

Address | C/O VACL 70 Hanover Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

Telephone | 03 9600 3811

Fax | 03 9600 4277

Email | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coordinator / Language Worker | Fay Stewart-Muir

The Boon wurrung language program has been going for approximately 6 years.  It is focused on bringing our language back to having a voice once again so that it can be passed on to the next generations.

There is a growing need in all our communities to research and find new words and meanings to words that were given to us by the copious collectors of our languages from the past.

It is now up to us as individual communities to take control of our languages and use it how we want it to be used.

In our language we want to

  • use the language to record our stories so that we can pass them on to our next generations of speakers
  • support and monitor programs that request the use of our language
  • produce children’s story books in our language
  • make resources that can be used in our education for our young people
  • participate in community language programs
  • participate in regional and state language forums
  • participate in professional development and language conferences state-wide and interstate

Boonwurrung Foundation - http://www.boonwurrung.org

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

Contacts

Address | SWALP C/O VACL 70 Hanover Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

Telephone | 03 9600 3811

Fax | 03 9600 4277

Email | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coordinator / Language Worker | Joel Wright

About the Program

Language reclamation and regeneration in the south west has been mainly driven by Elder Mr Ivan Couzens over the past 15 years or so. He has worked on the VACL committee and a local language committee, and with VACL support, in 1996, published our Keerray Woorroong and related dialects dictionary. Since then language development has been sporadic and implemented voluntarily by a few community members, in particular within the Warrnambool and Framlingham communities.

A growing awareness and need for community language programs within other communities in the region, the recognition of the need to share resources and the need for direction and planning has seen the recent establishment of South West Aboriginal Languages Committee.

This is a regional committee representing the following communities:

  • Portland
  • Heywood
  • Hamilton
  • Warrnambool
  • Framlingham
  • Otways / Colac / Camperdown

Languages responsible for:

  • Gadubanud
  • Gulidjan
  • Djargurd Wurrong
  • Keerray Woorroong
  • Woolwoowurrong
  • Koorn Kopan Noot
  • Kee Wurrong
  • Peek Wurrong
  • Dharwurd Wurrong

This committee has been established to address those collective needs and the proposal following is what has been prioritized for the following 2 years.

Objectives

The SWALC will act as a regional resource in the development of CLPs in those communities within our committee area of responsibility.

  • To act as a management group and provide resourcing, advice and development to four languages to our communities
  • To develop policies and cultural protocols for the development and use of our languages
  • To secure funding for programs
  • To manage/co-ordinate language programs for our communities
  • To provide training for community language workers
  • To support Aboriginal Educators in the delivery of Language in the schools
  • To monitor Aboriginal Language Programs in schools/kindergartens
  • To become an incorporated organisation
  • To inform and promote the SWALC to our communities and the broader community
  • Establish relationships/partnerships with local, regional and state government agencies
  • Establish relationships/partnerships with local, regional and state Aboriginal organisations

Digital Resources in Gunditjmara Languages

Students at Heywood & District Secondary College, Warrnambool Primary School, Merrivale Primary School and Warrnambool East Primary School have all contributed to a suite of six Aboriginal language apps featuring local Gunditjmara languages.

The Apps are available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

Available on the App Store

gunditjmara app icons

 

 

 

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

About the Program

** THIS PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED** Please contact VACL for further information.

To retrieve and revive the Dhudhuroa and WayWurru Languages and Culture Yungana Nginda.

The Dhudhuroa and WayWurru Language Program has worked with the involvement and support of Traditional Owners and ensure that all major decisions are endorsed before changes take place.

The local Aboriginal Community believes that " Language and Culture go hand in hand. To develop one is to nurture the other"

This is an exciting time for the program as all the work that has taken place is taking shape into a living language.

The Dhudhuroa and WayWurru Language Program has been in progress since October 1998. Pettina Love and Lisa Arnold job shared as Language workers working two and half days each. In 2000 Pettina went on leave and Jane Walsh joined the program for six months. Pettina left the program in May 2003 and Kristy Arnold entered data for three months. Tom Kinchela joined the program April 2004. Linguist Kris Eira from Adelaide joined the program in March 2004.

An enormous amount of information has been gathered over this period of time from local Historical Societies, Public Records Office, State Library of Victoria, Royal Historical Society, Mitchell Library in NSW, National Library and contributions from local people, researchers and linguists. Correct storage of materials and accessibility was initiated at an early stage. A database using Microsoft Access was created to use to help sort and document the information retrieved. Different tables where created to help sort the type of information. We have additional tables under the headings of Aboriginal People, Settlers and Researchers, Boundaries, Routes and Tribes, Massacres, Battles and Reserves, Sites, Artefacts and Miscellaneous. The program has a separate database to keep track of all the materials retrieved giving each individual file a reference number.

The development of a spelling system (sound system) is in its final stages. This will help us "to write the same sound the same way every time". The next step will be the Dictionary and Grammar which will help us move forward in the development of an interactive CD and learning the local language.

A project we are currently undertaking is collating all the material we have on one of Dhudhuroa Aboriginal informants Neddy Wheeler into a publishable format.

Neddy Wheeler alias Old Ned, Needy Wheeler, Black Neddy born around 1838, Died 1908 Wahgunyah at the age of 70.

Neddy Wheeler was R.H.Mathews language informant for the Dhudhuroa Language. Mathews met with Neddy when he visited Wahgunyah where Neddy was living in 1904. Two hundred and seventeen words and a lot of grammar examples were collected from Neddy at that time.

Click here to view a small video put together by the program

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

Contacts

Address | Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative

PO Box 402 North Geelong VIC 3215

Telephone | 03 5277 0766

Fax | 03 5278 4123

About the Program

To research and document the Watha wurrung language and culture.

The Wathaurong Language Program has been in progress now since March 1998. Suzie Coates was the first Language Worker with Bruce Pascoe taking over the position in June 1999 in a part time capacity. Denise Charles joined the Language Program in September 2003, working 2 days per week. We have also employed a linguist, Sharnthi Pillay who is based in Melbourne to work with us. We have an office based at the Wathaurong Co-op, but later this year we will be relocating to the Wathaurong Education Centre so that we can network more efficiently with the Koorie Education workers. Originally the language research began with the 2,000 Wathaurong word list compiled by Professor Barry Blake (La Trobe University Linguist) and also words compiled by Sue Ferrier (Author of Wathaurong Medicines).

Since then an enormous amount of information has been unearthed by both Suzie and Bruce so today we have a list of .around 7,000 Wathaurong words including many sentences place names, property names and the names of indigenous and non indigenous people from the contact period of Geelong from 1835 onwards. Research into the re- discovery of Wathaurong words could go on indefinitely, as we are constantly finding new material.

The Program has produced several resources over the past few years, namely an interactive CD Rom titled "Learning Wathaurong" and more recently the publication of the Wathawoorrong Dictionary.

VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.

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