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Pitjantjatjara is part of the Western Desert Group of the Pama-Nyungan languages spoken in central Australia by about 3000 people, about 80% of whom are monolingual. Speakers of Pitjantjatjara call themselves Anangu (people) and their language is closely related to Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra.

Pitjantjatjara has been written with the Latin alphabet since the 1940s and the spelling system was standarised in 1979 and confirmed in 1987 by the publication of a Pitjantjatjara–English dictionary.

Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and many other sites are sacred to the Anangu, and prefer people not to climb Uluru as they believe doing so desecrates one of their main dreaming tracks.

Pitjantjatjara pronunciation

Pitjantjatjara pronunciation

Sample text in Pitjantjatjara

Ngayuku ini Raelene-nya, ngayulu wangkapai Pitjantjatjara, ngayulu ngura Areyonga-la. Munu ngayuku nyunytju mama-kulu wangkapai Pitjantjatjara, ka ngayuku tjamu walkapi Ngaatjatjarra, ka ngayuku kami wangkapai Pitjantjatjara.

Ngayuku kulta nyinapai ngura, Katukatjara-la ka palumpa tjiji kutjara, kungka munu nitayira.

Ka ngayuku kangkuru kutjara palumpa pulampa ini Karen-nya munu Janie-nya, palupula nyinapai Mutitjulula.


Hello my name is Raelene and I speak Pitjantjatjara. I live at Areyonga. My grandmother speaks Pitjantjatjara and my grandfather speaks Ngaatjatjarra. My father speaks Pitjantjatjara and my brother speaks Pitjantjatjara too. He lives at Katukatjara (Docker River) and he has got one little girl and boy. My cousins live at Mututjulu (Ayers Rock). Their names are Janie and Karen.



Information about the Pitjantjatjara language and Anangu people

Pitjantjatjara phonology (Word doc)

Some Pitjantjatjara words and texts

Pama-Nyungan languages

Arrernte, Bundjalung, Gooniyandi, Gugadja, Kala Lagaw Ya, Kaurna, Murrinh-Patha, Ngiyambaa, Noongar, Paakantyi, Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri, Wemba Wemba, Wik-Mungkan, Wiradjuri, Yindjibarndi, Yolngu

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet