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 is undertaking a range of activities and projects that support the resurgence and revitalisation of Indigenous languages. Find out more on our IYIL special event page

There are currently six dictionaries that have been published as part of the Indigenous Languages Preservation: Dictionaries 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.

Available soon


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. 

Available soon


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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Coming soon

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

We thank the AIATSIS Foundation Donors for their contributions to this project.

Your donation to the AIATSIS Foundation will directly impact forever on the future of all Australians.


Last reviewed: 18 Feb 2020