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About Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay

Over recent years there has been an increasing interest in Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay (GY) languages. There have been a number of revival projects which have worked together to renew knowledge of these closely related languages. These revival efforts rely in great part on historical records of the languages. The most important are the tapes made in the 1970s. These are mainly of Arthur Dodd, who spoke Yuwaalaraay, and Fred Reece who spoke a closely related dialect, Yuwaaliyaay. (This dialect is also known as Yuwaalayaay. For simplicity Yuwaalaraay is often used to refer to both Yuwaalaraay and Yuwaalayaay. You can hear a recording of Arthur and Fred pronouncing GY here.)

There are other tapes and also written records dating as far back as the 1850s which are also sources for the language revival. Some of the more important writers include Rev William Ridley, R.H.Mathews and K Langloh-Parker. Langloh-Parker recorded many stories in English but also has a Yuwaalaraay story, which is used here.

Most of the historical material consists of words or sentences. The GY people were asked to give certain words, or translate sentences, often with the purpose of understanding the grammar. For instance, the questions might be aimed at learning how to say 'will walk, is walking, was walking' in GY. The number of stories is quite small.

The aim of this site is to present coherent stories that are accurate, relatively easily understood GY. The original material has been adapted for this purpose. In the written stories there are words and parts of the grammar which are not understood with our current knowledge of GY. Generally these have been adapted to known GY. The majority of stories are from tape material, where Arthud Dodd and Fred Reece generally tell the story in English and Yuwaalaraay. At times parts of the English is not translated on the tapes, or the translation is not clear. At other times there are a number of versions of a story, and these have been combined to make one story here. In future as knowledge of GY increases other versions of the stories will be produced.

NSW map

Some neighbouring Aboriginal languages of Yuwaalaraay, Yuwaalayaay and Gamilaraay.