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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Launch of Dictionary of anatomy - Dhäruk mala ga mayali' rumbalpuy

Date posted: 8 September 2010

Dictionary of anatomyThe first dictionary translating anatomical and medical terms from English to an ancient Aboriginal language was launched on 7 September at the Northern Territory library. The Dictionary of anatomy - Dhäruk mala ga mayali' rumbalpuy, has taken six years to complete, and translates over 200 anatomical terms; including everything from DNA to tear ducts, into Yolngu Matha, the main language used in east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. It also includes innovative full colour graphics and examples of related pathology.

Translator, Marilyn McLellan, and Yolngu translator, Yurranydjil Dhurrkay, said that people's health is constantly put at risk because they do not know what doctors are talking about. This is a vital resource for Indigenous Health Workers, interpreters and health professionals working with Yolŋu people who speak the Djambarrpuyŋu language. 

The dictionary is available from the Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Inc (ARDS) which is an Indigenous, non-government, charitable organisation. The ARDS is recognised as an effective capacity building organisation, its expertise over thirty years experience specifically aims to empower the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land.


Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Inc
191 Stuart Hwy
Parap Darwin NT 0804
Ph: (08) 8982 3444
Fax: (08) 8982 3499


Last updated: 9 September 2010
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