Finding the meaning of an Aboriginal word

A guide which steps you through the process of finding the English meaning of an Aboriginal word.


The Australian Manuscripts collection at State Library Victoria holds letters, diaries and unpublished records related to Aboriginal languages. Phone (03) 8664 7002 for enquiries or fill out an Ask a Librarian request. Some of the collection includes:

Aboriginal languages for the rest of Australia

Local history files

The library also holds a collection of local history files which are manilla folders containing things such as newspaper articles, general brochures and auction brochures.

Some Aboriginal Language files are included in the local history files.

Order these files at an information desk in the Library or phone (03) 8664 7002.

Some Walmajarri words

nguwa = earth

warlu = fire

ngapa = water

wirl = star

The Walmajarri language is from North Western Australia.

Source: Walmajarri - English dictionary with English finder list (North Western Australia)

First languages

'First Languages Australia is working toward a future where Aboriginal language communities and Torres Strait Islander language communities have full command of their languages and can use them as much as they wish to.'

Books from the catalogue