Noongar Language Dictionary


Image of Sharon's Noongar language dictionary surrounded with native south west animals with their Noongar names typed beside them

A word from Sharon on the spelling system used in this dictionary:

Noongar was originally an oral language, not written. Europeans used many different ways of spelling Noongar words.

Within Noongar Country there are many ways to speak and spell the word Noongar, eg. Nyungar and Nyoongar.

To reach an agreement on the spelling for use in school language programs a big meeting was held in Narrogin in April 1992. Noongar people came from all parts of Noongar Territory, and listened to old speakers. After a long discussion, everyone reached agreement on a spelling system, which is very similar to the earlier Marribank one.

I’ve developed this dictionary to assist people who are beginning to learn Noongar language. If you are a student learning Noongar in Whadjuk Country (Perth and Fremantle) then you can use this dictionary as part of your learning.

My knowledge has come from Noongar Elders who coached me during my training as a Language teacher with the Department of Education of WA.

Currently I teach Noongar language courses at the Meeting Place for City of Fremantle, and I work at the Noongar Boodjar Language Centre in Cannington. I also run the Walyalap Waangkaniny language group on Saturday mornings, one-off and short courses around Perth, and I consult with councils and businesses on translations for public projects.

Previously I was a Noongar language LOTE (Languages Other Than English) teacher at two primary schools in the Fremantle district for ten years.

Dictionaries are Noongar/English and English/Noongar, 62 pages long and $30. There are special topics grouped together at the back including conversation starters, colours, animals, family, seasons and weather. Please get in touch if you would like to purchase one.