Dictionaries

In 2010, AuSIL began making dictionaries in Aboriginal languages available on the web as part of our efforts to document and preserve Australian languages for future generations.

Many of the dictionaries were published previously by AuSIL during our 50 years of serving the indigenous people of Australia (often they were published under our former name of SIL Australian Aborigines and Islanders Branch). Some of the dictionaries have been updated and had semantic categories and pictures added. Others are presented as historical documents and have not been changed or updated since their first publication.

For each dictionary there is a web based version and a stand-alone version that can be downloaded onto your computer. You can also purchase CD-versions of some dictionaries from our Darwin Office.

It is our hope that in making these materials available electronically, that both local indigenous communities and wider audiences will find benefit.  However, we realise that dictionaries are ‘works in progress’ and as such, are never complete.

We welcome and encourage indigenous communities to send us their comments, suggestions or corrections at any time so that updated versions can be published as further research and language data become available.

Our dictionaries

  • are accessible online,
  • available for free download here,
  • can be purchased as a standalone CD. [More about the CD]  

Each dictionary was originally compiled by AuSIL personnel in collaboration with speakers from the specific language community. 

Current dictionaries: Burarra, Bilinarra, Djinang, Gurindji, Iwaidja, Maung, Tiwi, Walmajarri, Warlpiri, Wik Mungkan, Kriol.

Series Editor for AuSIL Interactive Dictionary Series: Charles E. Grimes

Editor for the electronic versions: The electronic versions of these dictionaries were prepared by Maarten Lecompte who updated the file in Toolbox following the MDF conventions (Coward and Grimes 1995, 2000), and ported it over to Lexique Pro for packaging as an interactive web version and a stand-alone digital version. 

Acknowledgements

Many people have had a part in the making of these dictionaries, most importantly the indigenous people who shared their language and culture. Please refer to the introduction of each dictionary for specific acknowledgements of the original compilers and contributors to the dictionaries.