Ngarrindjeri Concise 2nd edition Dictionary launched

Friday, 6 September 2019 - 11:00am
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Community calls for language resources have been answered with the recent launch of the Ngarrindjeri Dictionary: (concise) 2nd edition. The new publication contains over 500 additional words and provides convenient, portable access to a Ngarrindjeri-to-English wordlist plus a finder list (English-to-Ngarrindjeri).

Phyllis Williams, Ngarrindjeri Elder and the co-founder of Miwi-inyeri Pelebi-ambi Aboriginal Corporation (MIPAAC), has worked with linguist Mary-Anne Gale for years in language teaching and said that resource production is a community driven effort.

“Mary-Anne and I have been working hard to produce Ngarrindjeri resources and to teach the Ngarrindjeri language to adults since 2012,” Ms Williams said.

“We had been discussing the idea of producing a second edition of the 2009 Ngarrindjeri dictionary because Mary-Anne has added many more words to the Ngarrindjeri database and example sentences through her ARC project. We also created many new words in our MIPAAC language classes, since they began in 2013, so wanted to add them.”

Mary-Anne Gale says that the new publication is the latest addition to a growing suite of resources needed for the continued revitalisation of the Ngarrindjeri language.

“This new edition of the dictionary contains nearly 4,200 Ngarrindjeri entries in a convenient A5 size, along with some useful expressions, plus grammar charts for pronouns, nouns and verbs. It was a much needed resource for the growing number of Ngarrindjeri people now taking the use of their language to the next level,” Gale said.

“We are now looking towards the launch of a 3rd edition of the Ngarrindjeri dictionary, at the end of the year. This will be a larger, more comprehensive edition, including notes and more details about each Ngarrindjeri word entry, plus more expressions to be learnt off-by-heart by the keenest of language learners.”

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) A/g CEO Michael Ramalli said that the Ngarrindjeri dictionaries were ideal publications for the AIATSIS Dictionaries project and that he is pleased the project could support the community’s work.

“The Ngarrindjeri Dictionary was in an advanced stage of production but just needed a bit of resourcing and assistance to get it over the line,” Mr Ramalli said.

“The AIATSIS Indigenous Languages Dictionaries project was created to provide this kind of support and we are proud to see vital new resources and infrastructure for the revitalisation and maintenance of the Ngarrindjeri language.”

The Ngarrindjeri language and Ngarrindjeri nation are associated with the country (ruwi) in the Lower Murray, Lakes and Coorong region of South Australia. The community of Raukkan on the southern shores of Lake Alexandrina (formerly known as Point McLeay) was the site of the original mission founded in 1859, and lies in the heart of Ngarrindjeri country.

The Ngarrindjeri Dictionary: 2nd (concise) edition is published and distributed by MIPAAC.

Media enquiries:

Commsmedia@aiatsis.gov.au or P: 02 6246 1605

Last reviewed: 6 Sep 2019