It’s time to learn how to pronounce Mandjoogoordap Drive and celebrate our Aboriginal place names

Our writer reckons Manjoogoordap Drive doesn't deserve the flack it gets.
Our writer reckons Manjoogoordap Drive doesn't deserve the flack it gets.

HAVE you ever lived in the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch? No? Then it’s time to stop whinging about Mandjoogoordap Drive and embrace our Aboriginal place names.

We live in a country that used to be solely inhabited by Aboriginal people.

Surely it’s fair to honour their language and let the Noongar people name a few things?

Artist Karee-Anne Kearing Salmon reckons we should rename the Peel region – Bindjareb. It’s the name Aboriginal people used before Europeans arrived.

MORE: The Peel region is not a good name, it is the Bindjareb region. 

The main issue a lot of people have with using Aboriginal words for place names – is that they are hard to pronounce.

But really it’s easy.

I have some advice to help you with the pronunciation of places like Bindjareb or Mandjoogoordap Drive.

Go back to when you were a child and learning to read, phonetically sound the word out. Man-jew-gooer-dap. Bin-jah-reb.

Despite Mandjoogoordap Road opening eight years ago – people still complain about the name.

The Kiwis and the Welsh both honour their native speakers.

Maori names litter the countryside in New Zealand.

When I visited my Kiwi whanau (that’s family) they had a great time laughing at the Aussie trying to pronounce their street signs.

With places in New Zealand called – Whakapapa, Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu (say that ten times fast) and Whakahoro, it certainly tests the tongue.

The Welsh do it and are full of national pride. Watch this guy pronounce the aforementioned Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

It’s time for West Aussies to learn to have the same pride in our unusual place names.

After all Manjoogoordap is no Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathan Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit (Bangkok’s real name).