August 16, 2017
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
November 28, 2019
Joongurrabah, means the place of the Pelican and the Razorback lookout is the place of where the pelicans meet and have a corroboree in the Dreamtime stories.
March 01, 2019
Jingi Wala Thank you Debra got this site
July 19, 2018
Hi I love this easy reference, thanks…there’s a serious error in the Map so you may want to notify the source so they may correct in a reprint?:they have put Brunswick Heads south of Cape Byron, maybe meaning Ballina instead? Cheers, Deb
Hey guys im bundalung hit me up with some questions
I would like to know the Bundjalung words for ‘school house’ please
April 04, 2018
Can someone tell me the Bundjalung word for home or our home.
March 15, 2018
It’s a long story but an early (1840s) ancestor of mine in the NSW Hunter Valley found an injured aboriginal child under a log and took him home to care for him. He became part of the family. Later they moved to Bandjalung country nearTabulam in northern NSW. The aboriginal names associated with him are “Yeoul” and “Jingyong”. Are those names/words known in the Bandjalung language and if so, what do they mean?
Many thanks, Stuart
February 23, 2018
Yes I would like to find the word for nana or grandmother in bungjalung thank you
February 15, 2018
I am trying to find out where the place “Joongurrabah ngarian” is? Is it what is now Cook Island or is it where Razorback lookout is?
January 12, 2018
Great site and adding to the culture of the area. I would like to know the origins of banora – I have heard it means good. Is anyone able to enlighten me?
November 20, 2017
What a fabulous site!!
What an amazing blessing..
Thank you for your centuries of patience and for the many gifts from your generous spirit.
November 16, 2017
how do you say tree in bundjalung?
September 02, 2017
Hi Ive started making knecklaces out of gemstones and banksia pods, I would love to call them banksia hearts in the bundjalung interpretation, I am hoping to get your approval to do so and would like you to help me to translate “banksia hearts” please.
June 29, 2017
My son and daughter in-law are expecting a baby and I was trying to find the word for Nana or grandmother please. Kind regards, Lisa
May 01, 2017
Hello..can someone tell me what Bundjalung words mean water, coast, ocean/sea? Thank you.
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