Nyikina – Birrmana Nyikina Nganka – Big Nyikina Wordbook


This is the first time the KLRC has combined the written word with the spoken word in a book. The decision to do this was in response to comments from both speakers and learners of Kimberley Aboriginal languages that they find it hard to read their languages, even if they have learned the orthography (writing system).

There is a reader pen available for purchase with this product. The audio reader is loaded with the words and phrases, spoken by Rosie Mulligan, Bessie Nargoodah †, Lucy Wulgarie, Maisie Yakkai † and Jeannie Warbie. The shipping cost for the combined items (audio reader + book) is $20, and the pen and book may be shipped separately.

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Gracie Mulligan with speakers Rosie Mulligan, Bessie Nargoodah †, Lucy Wulgarie, Maisie Yakkai †, Jeannie Warbie.

When the Nyikina CD-Rom* was completed in 2000, Gracie’s sister Merrillee had the idea of making a wordbook for use in the school at Nookanbah. After Merrillee passed away, Gracie took the reins of the project. Like her sister, she wanted others to be able to understand the Birrmana Nyikina dialect spoken by her families. The first draft of this book was ready in 2003.

This project lay quietly for far too long. In 2020 it was finally moving forward, only to be delayed again by COVID-19. Gracie and her family worked in isolation for two weeks in April, checking the content and the spelling. It was not until November that the sound recording was completed.

*The Nyikina CD-Rom can be accessed through the KLRC’s website.


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