It is so wonderful that we have access to Bundjalang language and that we can keep it going by using it in our everyday lives with the names of local animals, plants, places, body parts etc
These words below come from a variety of sources of language groups within the Bundjalung nation….mainly Gidhabal, Wahlubal and Wehlubal. Before whites came, probably only one dialect was called “Bundjalung” (Origingally “Banjalang” around Evans head and Coraki) and there was no name for the whole language. Even though it was very similar each language group had their own dialect and differences.
Bundjalung Nation was hard hit with the invasion of white culture being on the East Coast. Cultural practices were discouraged and in some cases forbidden. Unfortunately in all of this the local dialects became rarer and rarer to now where only a few can speak it fluently.
Our aim on this page is just to get some info out and share some beautiful words from the surrounding areas. Although spellings and pronunciations will differ in the different groups it is a start to sharing more local culture with all those who are interested.
It is a blessing that some dialects have been recorded and in written form where we can access it still now and teach ourselves and our children these wonderful words of our local country and its people.
In many of these words the n sounds more like a gn together.
Byron Bay was originally called CAVANBAH….which means Meeting Place
JINGI WALA – G’day WITHA BAYAN – how you going?
DALNAN – Calm, Peaceful, motionless NYAN – Eh? What?
JAGI – Ceremony, secret or sacred DANDI – Cuddle, embrace
NANYI – Me BUGUN – Love
YOL – Listen BUGAL – Beautiful
BIHBI – Baby BUHWI BIRA – Breathe
YANINI – Bring MAHMAN – Father
MAHMI – Mother BALABALEH – Helpful Person
MIBILAHM – Sweetheart, Lover MUGUL – Lazy, Stubborn
BARIBUN – Dream GALGALIMAY – Music
NARUYN – Glad, Happy NUNUHYN – Feeling love
NAMUN – Wise DAGAM – Cloud
JA – Eat JUGA – To drink
MANAL -Ready, Ripe, cooked NANAYN – Thirsty
BANGIM – Head BINAN – Ear
GAM-GAM – Brain MURU – Nose
MIYI – Eye YIBURU – Face
DANGAN – Hand DUNGAN – Finger
JINAN – Foot GIRAR – Back
NYALAR – Tears BUWI – Breath
GINIBI – Swan
JUHMBI – Smoke (Fire)
BARUN – Boomerang, hunting or non returning
BARGAN – Boomerang returning