Bundjalung Words

August 16, 2017 13 Comments

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

 

GINIBI – Swan

JUHMBI – Smoke (Fire)

 

BARUN – Boomerang, hunting or non returning

BARGAN – Boomerang returning




13 Responses

Deb Cole
Deb Cole

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

Aj
Aj

July 19, 2018

Hey guys im bundalung hit me up with some questions

Jolene
Jolene

July 19, 2018

I would like to know the Bundjalung words for ‘school house’ please

Mike Rodgers
Mike Rodgers

April 04, 2018

Can someone tell me the Bundjalung word for home or our home.

Thank you

Mike

Stuart Purvis-Smith
Stuart Purvis-Smith

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

Merle walker
Merle walker

February 23, 2018

Yes I would like to find the word for nana or grandmother in bungjalung thank you

New Beyond
New Beyond

February 15, 2018

Hi,
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?

Thank you

Rose
Rose

January 12, 2018

Hi,
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?

Sally McMahon
Sally McMahon

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.

Bugun dandi

Sally

sophie
sophie

November 16, 2017

how do you say tree in bundjalung?

Morrigan Biscoe
Morrigan Biscoe

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.

Lisa Tuesley
Lisa Tuesley

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

Michael Binge
Michael Binge

May 01, 2017

Hello..can someone tell me what Bundjalung words mean water, coast, ocean/sea? Thank you.

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