Bundjalung Words


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




JUHMBI – Smoke (Fire)


BARUN – Boomerang, hunting or non returning

BARGAN – Boomerang returning