The primary purpose of producing this dictionary is to record the most commonly used elements of the Bukawa language, in order to help to preserve both the language and the culture of its speakers.
A secondary purpose is to provide a tool for the teachers of the Bukawa language in the developing Elementary school system of Papua New Guinea. Formalised literacy (reading and writing) in the Bukawa language is a relatively recent innovation, and there was no established orthography (writing system) for the language up until the 1990s, thus it is hoped that this dictionary will be a guide which will in time help to standardise the writing and spelling of the language. It is also our hope that this book will be of assistance to both mother tongue speakers of the Bukawa language who wish to delve into their language, as well as to other people who are not mother-tongue speakers, but who wish to either learn or study the language. With that purpose in mind, the dictionary has reversal listings in both English and Tok Pisin for all the Bukawa entries in the dictionary.
The entries in this dictionary represent language data that has been gleaned during the translation of the Bukawa New Testament (1991-2001) or recorded during the years in which the compilers lived and worked among the Bukawa people, based at Bukawa village in the Cape Arkona area. There is also data contributed by several people who have become interested in this dictionary project. The data is thus primarily from the particular dialect of the language spoken around Cape Arkona, with limited reference to dialect specific terms or dialectic variations. Brief comments on the dialects are made below.
Being non-mother tongue speakers of the language, the authors trust that readers will forgive them for any mis-representations, or errors resulting from an incomplete understanding of the language. It is also freely admitted that this is a work in progress. Hopefully, in time there will be not only revision of the existing data and additional examples to depict the usage of the data, but also supplementation with new information.
Anyone who would like further information, or Bukawa speakers who may wish to take up the above challenge of revising and supplementing this work, may make contact with the authors through the following channel:
Lutheran Bible Translators Australia
197 Archer Street
South Australia 5006