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Ngaanyatjarra & Ngaatjatjarra to English Dictionary | IAD Press | Australian Aboriginal Publisher & Book Shop

IAD Press

Ngaanyatjarra & Ngaatjatjarra to English Dictionary


This 744-page book is the only comprehensive dictionary for Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra. The dictionary contains 6500 headwords and sub-headwords, and is suitable for language speakers, learners and researchers. Each word is defined in English, with example sentences in both languages that illustrate the range of meanings and uses. It also includes a guide to spelling and pronunciation, grammar, a comprehensive English to Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra Finder, and a list of scientific names for animals, insects, birds and plants.

The central east of Western Australia is the home of the Ngaanyatjarra and Ngaatjatjarra people, a land of spinifex plains, sandhills and mulga, crisscrossed by rocky ranges.  Their language is a dialect of the widespread Western Desert  language, and while speakers consider it a separate language, it has 70% of the same words as the neighbouring Pitjantjatjara language.

This dictionary was prepared from the late 1960s to 2000.  A large number of speakers contributed language examples, checked drafts and spelling, to keep their language strong.  This dictionary is ideal for language learners, because the many example sentences and non-technical grammar show how words go together.  It is helpful for advanced speakers of the languages who may want to check spelling, learn how words are expressed in English, or find the meanings of words they don’t know.  It is also interesting for anyone interested in learning more about Aboriginal languages and culture, because the example sentences give insight into ways of speaking.