Warlpiri is part of the Yapa/Ngarrkic group of Pama-Nyungan languages. In 2016 2,300 peopple spoke Warlpiri, according to the Australian census. Most Warlpiri speakers also speak English, and many speak other Aboriginal languages, such as Arrernte, Jaru and Warumungu. The traditional land of the Warlpiri is in the Northern Territory of Australia to the north and west of Alice Springs, and the largest settlement is Yuendumu.

Warlpiri is written with the Latin alphabet without any diacritical marks. A spelling system for the language was first devised by Lothar Jagst during the 1950s and has been revised slightly since then. This system has been used in Warlpiri schools since 1974.

Warlpiri alphabet and pronunciation

Warlpiri alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Warlpiri (Excel)

Details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text in Warlpiri

Kuja kalapalanyanu kajangka nyurruwiyi walyajarrarlu marripungu marda, kala purungku pakarnunjunu, manu marda kala panturnunjunu kajangka. Ngulajangkaji kalanyanu kangurnu. Ngampurrparluju ngulaji kalalu yawarra wiri panturnu wanarrirla. Ngampurrpawangurlu ngulaju kalalu pakarnu purturlurla kurdunyanurluju, manu marda kajanyanurlu kalalu pakarnu purturlurla kuturukurlurlu. Ngulangka kalaunyanu walykayirrarnu, Nyanungujarrarlu yangka kijijirli ngulaji kalapalanyanu jurru pakarnu, manu marda kala purturlu pajurnu junmangku, manu wanarri kala panturnu.


When two of our ancestors long ago wanted something, one of them perhaps would go and steal it by hitting the other, or maybe he would go and spear him. After that he would turn himself in. If they so desired, then they would wound him severely by spearing him in the thigh. But if they did not so desire, then the nephews (of offended party) would hit him on the back, or perhaps the sons (of the offended party) would hit him on the back with a club. That's how they used to appease themselves. Two of the close kin, they would hit each other on the head, or maybe one would cut him with a knife, or spear his thigh.

Source: http://www.language-museum.com/w/warlpiri.htm

Sample videos in and about Warlpiri

Information about Warlpiri | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Warlpiri people, language and culture

Warlpiri dictionary

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: 08.05.23


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