Kunwinjku love poem
Kunwaral ngudde ke kuwukku
Yiman kayime mandule manmakkayken
Werrk yimray wanjh, wardi kawaralyakmen
Namekke kunwaral kunkudji ngadjalyime marnedjare wanjh bonj
School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, Canberra
Since there is no word for "mirror" he used "The reflection of your image in water".
→ French poem ←
Her boomerang & Kunwinjku
Translation of the love poem into Kunwinjku (Gunwinjgu, Gunei, Gunwinygu, Muralidban, Gunawitji, Gunwinggu, Mayali, Gumadir, Gundjeipme, Kuninjku, Bininj Gun-Wok, Naiali, Kune, Maialli), an Australian aboriginal language which count 2,000 speakers in the north of the country. Perhaps she live here, so far? What does she wait? Perhaps to get back her boomerang, she lanch it few years ago!
Missionaries having used the gunwinygu of central northern Arnhem Land for their evangelization, in and around this area, the language was learned by non-natives and has become a lingua franca in this region. Half of the speakers have it in first language and the other half in second language.
Aboriginal languages and James Cook
The aboriginal languages are a repository of ancient knoledge, myths and traditions. Many were lost with the colonial breakdown of aboriginal society. These languages are not clearly related to any languages outside the continent. Aboriginal people have continuously occupied Australia for 50,000 years.
Before the colonization, there were 250 languages without to add the dialects. Traditionally, aboriginal people were multilingual, with most adults speaking 3 or more languages. Marriage patterns, where men married women from outside their own tribal group, meant that a child's mother and father would usually speak differents languages. It was James Cook who discovered Australia in 1770, and the aborigines who had lived there for 40,000 years, were repulsed by whites in the most desert regions of the country.
These hunter-gatherer peoples, which today make up only 1% of the population, are concentrated mainly in the north of the country.