Jayden Boundry launches Noongar Boodja Waangkan pronunciation guide to help Australians learn first Noongar words

Jayden Boundry has been hard at work behind the scenes recording an online pronunciation guide to support readers of Noongar Boodja Waangkan: First Noongar Words. Launched to coincide with the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, the book was co-created by Jayden, a Wadjak Ballardong Noongar and Badimaya Yamatji man, and Tyrown Waigana, a Wardandi Noongar and Ait Koedhal (Torres Strait Islander) multi-disciplinary artist and graphic designer.

Jayden said his work as a Noongar language teacher and cultural consultant had shown him how important it is to teach the language of the Country on which we stand to everyone – particularly to young people. He said, ‘Noongar is the language of the Aboriginal people of the south-west of Western Australia. It’s an oral language with regional dialects. So my audio guide presents one way of pronouncing each word. As Fremantle Press records more readings and more guides, other dialects will emerge, giving us a bigger representation of Noongar dialects.’

Jayden also said, ‘Language and place, language and identity – they’re intertwined – the more we learn the language of this Country, the more we’ll understand it, which can only lead to a greater appreciation for all living things.’

Tyrown agreed, saying he hoped that the book influenced everyone in the South West to start speaking Noongar. He said, ‘It’s the language of this land, it’s ingrained here … when you go to France, you learn French, so why not learn Noongar when you come to Noongar country?’

Marketing and Communications Manager Claire Miller said a QR code in the book takes readers to the Fremantle Press website where there is an embedded audio player. She said the guide was also available wherever readers listened to podcasts through distributors such as Apple, Spotify and Google. Claire said, ‘The audio guide is part of a new section on our website dedicated to highlighting the books and achievements of the storytellers whose land we occupy, the Wadjak people of the Noongar nation. Working on this project and witnessing first-hand Jayden’s and Tyrown’s passion for their work, only underlined the importance of dual language projects to Australian readers

Noongar Boodja Waangkan: First Noongar Words is available in all good bookstores and online. The video and audio guides are available here: fremantlepress.com.au/series/noongar-pronunciation-guide/

Jayden will be appearing at Scribblers Festival as part of their school program on Friday 16 September. Jayden and Tyrown will be at the AWESOME Arts Festival on Saturday 1 October.

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