Noongar language courses are expanding. This is an opportunity to become familiar with the history of your region and to discover its culture.
These courses are for anyone who has a passion for languages, who wishes to broaden their knowledge or connect to the local culture. It is also to learn the language of the first inhabitants of the south-west of Australia.
What is Noongar?
The Noongar language, also spelled “Nyungar” or “Nyoongar”, is an Australian Aboriginal language of the Noongar people. It would be a collection of native dialects merged into a single language spoken some time after English colonization. The Noongar people have lived in the southwest and west of Western Australia for over 45,000 years.
Linguists and scholars are still divided on which languages belonged to this group and which may have belonged to different groups. However, a conference in 1990 of the “Nyoongar Language Project Advisory Panel” officially recognized the Noongar dialects.
There are several of the dictionary, including one compiled by Bernard Rooney and Rose Whitehurst or the Ballardong Noongar Waangkany.
The list of speakers is growing, thanks to the Noongar community and the Noongar Boodjar Cultural Aboriginal Corporation, an organization and language school dedicated to preserving Noongar cultural identity. There is even a community college, Moorditj Noongar Community College.
Learn more about Noongar
NAIDOC week celebrations are held across Australia the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognize the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Strait Islander peoples of Torres. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and history and participate in the oldest and most continuous celebrations of living cultures on earth.
NAIDOC is the acronym for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins date back to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s who sought to raise awareness in the wider community about the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
Kaartdijin means “knowledge” in the Noongar language. The purpose of the Kaartdijin site is to share the wealth of Aboriginal knowledge, culture and history in order to build community spirit and promote broader understanding.
Those interested in this Western Australian language and culture can explore its people and heritage with edX.org.
Courses are created in partnership with leading researchers in the field of linguistics, history and cultural studies. Students create their own schedule and study from the comfort of their own home.
CurtinX offers an online course called “Noongar Language and Culture”, which introduces students to the Boodja (country) and Noongar history, over 6 weeks. You will learn a series of Noongar conversational words and phrases, how to incorporate and use Noongar words in basic conversational phrases, Noongar culture and identity as well as cultural knowledge including medicines and foods of the bush.
At the Cannington Bookstore, you can attend face-to-face Noongar language and culture classes on the second Saturday of each month. These classes are suitable for beginners or those who have already attended a beginner level workshop. For more information and to book, contact Cannington Bookshop, telephone 6350 7350.
You can also consult the bookseller’s website to get an idea of the pronunciation.
Without forgetting Youtube which is also a mine of information:
There are many opportunities find out in your neighborhood…
Exploring Noongar Heritage
Thanks to the work of the community, including Wirlomin Noongar and Noongar Boodjar Cultural Aboriginal Corporation, the Nyungar language and culture are returning. Noongarpedia records written and oral language and customs, more and more people are interested in its history.
Collecting Wirlomin stories and dialect supports the maintenance of the Noongar language, and sharing them with Noongar families and communities as part of a process of claiming, controlling and valuing Wirlomin Noongar cultural heritage.