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New Online Dictionary of Kunwinjku

09 July 2019

The Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre is pleased to announce the appearance of a very valuable free language resource. 
A basic dictionary of Kunwinjku and related varieties (such as Kuninjku and Kune from the Maningrida region) is now available online at 
There are about 1500 entries, and though this is only a small percentage of the total lexicon, it includes many of the most frequently encountered words in the language. This year, students at Charles Darwin University and the Australian National University have been able to study Kunwinjku in a structured one semester online course. 
The new online dictionary was designed to assist those students, but it will also be of value to anyone wanting to learn more about Kunwinjku and the related dialects, all of which are collectively called Bininj Kunwok, or ‘The People’s Language’. 
You can search for words either in Kunwinjku or in English and if there is another equivalent in a related variety, those forms are sometimes given too. The dictionary uses the official Kunwinjku orthography (or alphabet) which is a systematic way of spelling all words in the language. 
It helps if you are familiar with the spelling system first, because there are some major differences to sounds represented by the same letters (or groups of letters) in English. 
Once you have located the word you have searched for, you then click on the result to bring up the full entry in the dictionary. 
The resource is the result of many years of work by Bininj speakers and language specialists such as linguist Murray Garde and expert language worker Jill Nganjmirra. 
The technical setup and data editing was done by Danny Kennedy who previously worked at Injalak Arts and Crafts in Gunbalanya. 
Other logistics support is thanks to the field officer Andy Peart.
More and more people in Kakadu and western Arnhem Land are learning to speak Kunwinjku, Kundjeyhmi and the other dialects of Bininj Kunwok. Weekly Kuninjku classes are held in Maningrida with the assistance of the Bábbarra Women’s Centre. 
The new online dictionary will be a great resource for the various regional language activities supported by the language centre. The dictionary is being expanded on a fortnightly basis with Danny and Jill working together to check new entries from a larger database. 
Obviously there’s a lot of material to be added, so if there’s something you want to see added sooner rather than later, let us know. You can contact us via our Facebook page (Bininj Kunwok Regional Language Centre) or by emailing us at
And if you want to know what ‘njamed’ means, look it up on the dictionary!
Ma bonj, bobo
(okay that’s all, bye)