Another country

Bombala. Bobundara. Billilingra. Cootralantra. Gunningra. Jincumbilly. Murrumbucca. Murranumbla. Merriangaah. Myalla. Nimmitabel. Wullwye. Yarrandoo. The place where I live, like the whole continent, is overlayed with place-names in the languages of black Australia, or corruptions of those names, but most times I hardly hear them.

One day I’m driving through this place and a program I like called Word Up comes on the radio. Someone is reciting a string of Indigenous language words, and at the same time I’m looking out through the car window at grass and sky, treeless conical hills and rocks, and the whole landscape suddenly looks utterly foreign. Like another country. The strange thing is that this feels right. As if it were waiting to be made inexplicable.

ABC Radio: Word Up shares the diverse languages of black Australia from Anmatyerre to Arrernte, from Bidjara to Bundjalung, from Nyungar to Ngaanyatjarra, from Yankunytjatjara to Yorta Yorta—one word at a time.
(I think the language from my part of the world is called Ngarigu.)