Learn a little Yolŋu Matha in a new book from Nhulunbuy

Learn a little Yolŋu Matha in a new book from Nhulunbuy

Last August, a group of talented students at Nhulunbuy Primary School in the Gove Peninsula, NT participated in their second round of workshops. Both workshops, including some class time in-between, has been dedicated to working on their publishing project which is in their home language and English.

Now, the beautifully illustrated book will be off to print in the next few days!

The workshops at Nhulunbuy were conducted by ILF ambassador and award-winning illustrator Ann James and former teacher-librarian Ann Haddon, both founders of Books Illustrated, which promotes the work of Australian illustrators.

Yolŋu teachers were also on hand during the workshops to assist the students in the writing of the story in Dhaŋu, one of the Yolŋu Matha languages, while Yolŋu woman Lisa Dhurrkay acted as translator so the storytelling could take place in the students’ first language before their words were captured on the page.

“This was very important, explains ILF Program Director Tina Raye. “The kids understand English but are most confident when speaking Yolŋu Matha.”

Copies of I Saw, We Saw (English version with some Yolŋu Matha words) and Nhä Nhunu Nhäŋal? (full Dhaŋu version) will be gifted to schools and other organisations across Arnhem Land, including Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala. But the story is also readily accessible to others. I Saw, We Saw, the English version with some Yolŋu Matha words, will be distributed to remote schools and organisations across Australia through our Book Supply program. Copies can also be ordered online at our website soon.

Kids of all ages will be able to delve into the world of these talented Yolŋu students – and learn a few words in Yolŋu Matha along the way. What better way to celebrate the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages!

We’re thrilled and can’t wait to have copies hot off the press!

  • Posted 15 May, 2019

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