Helping Nyoongar 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 Nyoongar 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.

Knowledge of the Heart Documentary

The Lord’s Prayer in Nyoongar

Ngaala Maaman ngiyan yira moonbooli
moodlooga. Kooranyi nooak korl.
Noonak waangk yoowarl koorl, birdiyar
ngaala boodja noonook waarn noonak
kooranyi kaalak. Nyinyak ngaalang nidja kedela
ngaala wara waarniny.
Ngaalak nyinya nyinyak baalang ngiyan
waarn wara ngaalang.
Yoowart koorl ngaalang moort-moort djooroot.
Maaman maar barang ngaalang,
djenak yoowart barang ngaalang.
Noonak waangk birdiyar.
Noonak moorditj, noonook ngaangk yira.
Kalyokool, kalyokool. Kaya.

Our Father who is above and beyond everything.
Holy and sacred is your name.
Your word will come here and be boss
on our ground as you do in your holy and sacred home.
Give us this day our bread.
Forgive us our bad doings.
We forgive them who do bad to us.
Don't take us to the struggling path.
Father hold us so the devil doesn't get us.
Your word is boss.
You are strong.
You are the rising sun.
Forever and forever. Amen

"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 Nyoongar Bible translation work

Your generous donation today will help support Nyoongar 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.

Nyoongar/English Gospel of Luke

The Nyoongar Gospel is set in parallel with the English, a glossary of Nyoongar 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.