Language Outline

Ngudyana Wirdi (Learning Wirdi)

This website has been developed to assist you to learn how to pronounce the sounds of words and to translate Wirdi words from the English Language.

Aboriginal languages are traditionally oral languages with complicated verb and pronoun systems. Through this learning stage, you will see some examples of these systems, but further study and information will be available in the next stage.

Our language is quite different to the English language with some sounds that are not found in English, we have a different sentence structure and meanings that relate to living on the land and the environment. Some Wirdi words can mean several English words. For example; binbi can mean good, beautiful, pretty, nice – but their meanings are relative to each other.

Historically, Aboriginal language speakers and linguists have worked together to record the languages and analyse the sounds in order to determine the best letters of the alphabet to use, this word list has been established using historical spelling by linguists and has also been adapted to create a consistent and systematic speech.

If you would like to participate in an online workshops please contact us for the details of the next workshop and link to join.

Speaking Wirdi Online Workshops

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It is important to study the sounds of the double letters, vowels & consonants & watch and listen to the video/audio linked to that sound.

It may take time for your brain to retain the spelling of the words and the sounds they make, but this is important to being able to pronounce words how they were spoken and sounded.

The Letter "R"

  1. The single letter “r” is not pronounced like the English “r”.
  2. The double letter “rr” is a long trilled sound.
  3. The double letter “rd” is particular to Wirdi and may have been lost in the pronunciation of some words since the introduction of the English language.


  1. Special sounds in a word are underlined to assist you to quickly identify the sound of the double letter sounds.
  2. All words that have the  double letter followed by a consonant “ngg” are pronounced with the “ng” sound and the “geh” sound. Eg: wanggan is pronounced wang-gan.
  3. All words which end in the “yn” sound at the end of a word are pronounced as a long “n” sound as in onion. Eg: dagayn is pronounced dug-uyn.

Our language is easy to read and write because the sound of every letter stays the same and does not change.

  • Consonants and Vowels always make the same sound
  • Two letter sounds (diagraph) always make a single sound
  • The sounds of consonants, vowels and double letters never change

Double Letters (Digraphs)

Our language uses sounds represented by these double letters: dy, ng, yn, rr, rd

Hear the Phonetics


Our language has only three (3) vowels – a, i (ee and ih), u

Hear the Vowels


Our language only uses the consonants – b, d, g, l, m, n, r, w, y

Hear the Consonants

Practice Phrases

We have included phrases for you to practice using the words from the Word List, the learning of the structure of these phrases is planned for the next stage of the language project.

You will notice that the practice phrase structure may not compare to the Wirdi word but is a translation of a phrase. Eg: I will go to the camp. yamba yarrana – “camp going – add “na” to the word yarra (go) to change to going”.

Suffixes (letters added to the end of a word)

Adding gu or nggu to the end of a noun – indicates a motion towards (purpose) and can translate in English as: to, for, at, do, etc.

Eg: Yambagu – translates – “to the camp”

Eg: Wandinggu – “the dog is doing something”
This stage of the project does not cover the sentence structure.

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a i i u


b d g l m n r w y

Acknowledgement Of Country

We respectfully acknowledge our Ancestors and Elders for their strength, guidance and wisdom shared with family and researchers at a time when our people were being dispossessed of language and culture.