Guugu Yimithirr

Guugu Yimithirr is a Pama-Nyungan language spoken mainly in Hopevale and Cooktown in Far North Queensland, the northern most part of the Australian state of Queensland. According to the 2016 census, there are about 780 speakers of Guugu Yimithirr. The majority of speakers are adults, but some younger people also speak the language. Efforts are being made by various community members and groups to revitalize the language.

Other ways of writing the name of this language include Guugu Yimidhirr, Gugu Yimijir, Gugu-Yimidhirr, Guguyimidjir, Guugu Yimithirr, Koko Imudji and Kukuyimidi. The native name of the language, Guugu Yimithirr [ˈkuːku ˈjɪmɪt̪ɪr], means "having this speech".

Guugu Yimithirr was first documented in 1770 by Lieutenant James Cook (later Captain Cook), Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson, and was the first Australian Aboriginal language to be written. They collected words in Guugu Yimithirr, including kangooroo / kanguru, which referred to a large black or grey kangaroo, and is usually written gangurru [ɡaŋuru].

Guugu Yimithirr alphabet and pronunciation

Guugu Yimithirr alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Guugu Yimithirr (Excel)

Sample videos in and about Guugu Yimithirr


Information about the Guugu Yimithirr language

Pama-Nyungan languages

Alyawarr, Arrernte, Bundjalung, Dharawal, Dhuwal, Diyari, Djinang, Djinba, Gamilaraay, Gooniyandi, Gugadja, Guugu Yalandji, Guugu Yimithirr, Kala Lagaw Ya, Kalkatungu, Kaurna, Kuku Nyungkal, Kunjen, Kuuk Thaayorre, Martu Wangka, Ngaanyatjarra, Ngiyambaa, Nhangu, Noongar, Paakantyi, Pintupi, Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri, Wemba Wemba, Wik-Mungkan, Wiradjuri, Yankunytjatjara, Yindjibarndi, Yolŋu

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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