Magui, wulara, jara – spirit, language, country
Jandai Wularaba – is the Place of Jandai Language. Jandai, Gower and Nunagal language is being woken up in the community.
Jandai Wularaba has been set up to ensure our languages continue to be used in and around Quandamooka Country on a daily basis now and into the future.
The Jandai, Gower and Munyjan dialects are part of the Yagara language and were spoken on Quandamooka Country by the people now known as Nunagal, Ngugi and Goenbal. Alternate spellings of the languages have been variously recorded as:
Djandai, Tchandi, Dsandai, Djendewal, Jundai, Jandi, Janday, Jendairwal, Jenderval and Coobenpil, Goa, Gowar, Moonjan, Moonjine. Jandai language belongs to the Pama-Nyungan family of Australia languages.
The language of contemporary Quandamooka society combined and words handed down through families are a combination of the three dialects. In each case the dialect name is the negative ‘no’ of the dialect.
Language is an expression of people, culture and land – and a core component of cultural identity. Studies show that before European settlement, around 250 distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were spoken throughout Australia.
These languages also had several dialects, extensive vocabulary and different grammatical structures. 160 of these languages are now dormant and it is commonly believed that only around 20 languages will survive overall.
As a result, there are now a growing number of government and non-government projects across Australia that are supporting the maintenance, transmission and revival of Indigenous languages.
What is language revival?
The teaching and learning of Aboriginal languages is different than the teaching and learning of any other language. This is due to the language loss caused by the impact of colonisation. However a great deal of language was recorded by a range of people from the earliest days of contact right through to more recent years. Also community members today still remember and use language, sometimes words and phrases, sometimes more details, depending on the history of the particular language and depending on the families’ cultural knowledge and experiences.
Language reclamation, or revival, involves combining archival material with the community-held knowledge that has survived. The resulting materials are used to reconstruct the sound system and grammar of the language. The next step is to spend considerable time using these written and audio materials to relearn their language.
People in communities across Australia use a range of terms to describe this process, including language revival, reclamation, revitalisation, and renewal.
Language revival has been gaining momentum over the past couple of decades in communities in Australia. Some language groups have been working on their languages for many years, others are just beginning. Language revival is happening not just in Quandamooka Country and in many parts of Australia – it is also underway in Indigenous communities in other countries in the world, including New Zealand, Canada and the USA
Examples of Jandai language
|Ngango nginda?||How are you?|
|Wanyadhu yanmana?||Where are you going?|
|Nginda Minjerribahgu yana.||I am going to Minjerribah|
|Goompi balgagu bogey.||Come to Dunwich and swim|
|Pulan balgagu jungga.||Come to Amity and fish|
|Mulumba balgagu yalingbilajin ngayiga.||Come to Point Lookout and see the whales|
|Mulgumpin balgagu tabobilajin ngayiga.||Come to Moreton Island and see the dolphins|
Some Jandai words
|Gana||Place to hear, think and understand|
|Yura banji||Hello friend|
|Yura||Hello / hi / greetings|
|Wunjayi marumba||Good day / G’day|
|Gujunjeba marumba||Good morning|
|Wanyung nyinda||How are you going?|
|Ngari marumba||I am good/we are good|
|Gindi||Good on you/well done|
|Yura Quandamookaja balgagu||Welcome, to Quandamooka country|
|Quandamookja budjarrang||Quandamooka country is beautiful|
|Yawayi banjijin||Goodbye friends|
Some Jandai Placenames in Quandamooka Country:
|Minjerribah||North Stradbroke Island|
|Terangeri / darrangari||Northern part of North Stradbroke Island|
|Pulan Pulan||Amity Point|
|Currigee / Garadgi||South Stradbroke Island|
|Warrer Warrer||Victoria Point|
|Cullen Cullen||Wellington Point|
Sandra Delaney 2019