The Finongan language1 is spoken by approximately 1500 people in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. They are located in the Sarawaged Mountain Range, mostly between the headwaters of the Irumu and Erap Rivers. The villages of Bakame, Kalange and Gifan are on plateaus located midway up the mountains. The village of Mama is located along the Irumu River2. There are two main dialects. The entries included in this dictionary, unless otherwise indicated, are from the dialect used in Bakame and Kalange village. People in Mama speak a different dialect. The language spoken in Gifan is a mixture of the two dialects. Dialect differences are mainly phonological with only a few lexical differences.

Chris and Amy Rice began collecting data in 2000 and continue to this date. Data consists of oral and written texts, including translated Scripture portions, elicitation using wordlists, semantic domain categories, picture books and general conversation. Most data was collected in Bakame.

This publication is designed as a reference to aid expatriate and local translators as they continue to translate Scripture portions into the Finongan language. It will also aid school students as they learn to read and write in Finongan and English. This dictionary is in progress, and as such, has spelling inconsistencies and other errors. This trial edition is being published to provide an opportunity for the Finongan language community to offer corrections, additions and suggestions.

This dictionary is mainly a Finongan - English dictionary. To help Finongan speakers with a limited knowledge of English, most entries have a very short gloss in Tok Pisin. The Tok Pisin gloss is not meant to be a full definition so it will only give a very general idea of the meaning of the word. For example, specific types of birds will be glossed pisin ‘bird.’ A word meaning ‘carry on top of one shoulder’ will be glossed karim ‘carry.’

1 Finongan is a Papuan language with the classification of Trans-New Guinea, Finisterre-Huon, Finisterre, Erap.

2 The village of Mama is split into two sections. Sahofene is on the east bank of the Irumu and Imong is on the west bank.