Helping Noongar people reclaim their language

Commemorating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on the Year of Indigenous Language.

Indigenous peoples have sought recognition of their identities, culture and land for years, yet throughout history their rights have been violated. For many, even their language has been taken from them.

Today in Australia, of the estimated original 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, only around 120 are still spoken. Of these, approximately 90 per cent are endangered.

'Knowledge of the Heart' is a powerful story of a language stolen and almost destroyed by oppressors. The Noongar people of South-West Western Australia are working hard to restore their language; it speaks to the core of their being, to their culture and to their understanding of themselves. It is the wisdom of their hearts.

This is a story which shows the power of restoring voice through language, to those who had it ripped away.

The Lord’s Prayer in Noongar

Ngalang Maaman, yira noonang Kooranyap-ak,
noonang kwerl kooranyi nyin.
Ngalak koordak kedala yoowal-koorlo
ali noonook Djelyib nyin ngalang boodja-k.
Ngalak koordak noonany Birdiyar-biny ngalang boodja-k,
war-djin noonook Birdiyar nyin noonang Kooranyap-ak.
Nidja kedala yanga ngalany mereny ali ngalak ngarn yenar kedala.
Nyinya-nyinya ngalang wara-warniny,
war-djin ngalak nyinya-nyinya wara-warniny ali moorta warn ngalany-ak.
Yoowart barang ngalany bidi-k ali wara-warniny-ak koorl,
yalga ngalany maar-barang ngarl Djenak ngalany yoowart barang.
Noonook maar-barang boodja.
Noonook maar-barang mardayin.
Noonook maar-barang binari.
Kalyakool wer kalyakool.

Our Father, high in your Holy Place,
your name is holy.
We want the day to come
when you reign as King in our land.
We want you to become Boss of our land,
the same way you are Boss of your Holy Place.
Today, give us the food that we eat every day.
Forgive our wrong-doing,
the same way we forgive the wrong-doing that people do to us.
Do not take us on the path that goes to wrong-doing,
but hold us so the Devil cannot get us.
You hold the land.
You hold the power.
You hold the light.
Forever and forever.

"Jesus is a storyteller. He had his language too and he explained his culture through parables, like how we do ours.”

How To Get Involved

Give to support Noongar Bible translation work

Your generous donation today will help support Noongar speakers as they translate the Bible for their community.

Resources in Australian Indigenous Languages

A translation of the Gospel of Luke to aid in their language’s resurgence and this was completed & published in 2014.

Noongar/English Gospel of Luke

The Noongar Gospel is set in parallel with the English, a glossary of Noongar words runs beneath the text.

About Bible Society

The message about the love of God found in Jesus Christ is just as important today as it has always been. That's why we champion the Bible to share this message with a world that desperately needs it. Our mission is to provide the Bible to those who don't have it - both here in Australia and around the world.