Phrasebook: Difference between revisions

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When speaking with people, it is good to limit eye contact.
 
When speaking with people, it is good to limit eye contact.
Sustained eye contact may come across as domineering.
+
A small amount is fine, but sustained eye contact may come across as domineering.
 
Bininj differ in how comfortable they feel with strangers,
 
Bininj differ in how comfortable they feel with strangers,
 
so pay attention to how much eye contact you're receiving, and don't give more than that.
 
so pay attention to how much eye contact you're receiving, and don't give more than that.
   
 
You'll probably need help to pronounce these phrases correctly.
 
You'll probably need help to pronounce these phrases correctly.
Beginners struggle with the "ng-" words, and it's usually fine to not pronounce it.
+
Beginners struggle with the "ng-" words, and it's usually fine to not pronounce "ng-" at the start of words.
 
So, avoid the hurdle and leave it out to start with.
 
So, avoid the hurdle and leave it out to start with.
 
For more on pronunciation see the [[Pronunciation|pronunciation guide]] and the [[Podcasts|podcasts]].
 
For more on pronunciation see the [[Pronunciation|pronunciation guide]] and the [[Podcasts|podcasts]].
 
You might find a bininj who is prepared to help you with pronunciation.
 
You might find a bininj who is prepared to help you with pronunciation.
  +
  +
If you've forgotten a word or phrase that someone taught you,
  +
don't be afraid to ask them again... it's better to ask again and use this to consolidate what you're learning.
   
 
== Greetings ==
 
== Greetings ==
Line 19: Line 22:
 
If you're not an outgoing kind of person, you'll have to pretend!
 
If you're not an outgoing kind of person, you'll have to pretend!
 
It is appropriate to show curiosity about where people are going and what they are doing, even if you only just met them.
 
It is appropriate to show curiosity about where people are going and what they are doing, even if you only just met them.
  +
It is also appropriate to state the obvious, e.g. saying ''yire shop'' to someone who is heading towards the shop (a bit like saying "nice day!" when it is obviously the case).
   
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
Line 42: Line 46:
 
|-
 
|-
 
| yire || you're going ||
 
| yire || you're going ||
  +
|-
  +
| mah bonj || ok we're done ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| nan kaluk || see you later || (use with any size of group)
 
| nan kaluk || see you later || (use with any size of group)
Line 53: Line 59:
 
Here your challenge is to get over needing to know someone's name.
 
Here your challenge is to get over needing to know someone's name.
 
Learn their skin name, and optionally the kinship term you use for them, and try to just use that.
 
Learn their skin name, and optionally the kinship term you use for them, and try to just use that.
Don't be afraid to ask the same question again next time you see someone.
 
It's better to ask again and use it to consolidate what you're learning.
 
Once you know people, you might ask if you can sit with them.
 
   
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
Line 63: Line 66:
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ngudda yingale? || Who are you? ||
 
| ngudda yingale? || Who are you? ||
  +
|-
  +
| yimulewarren ngudda || Tell us about yourself || mulewan = give a report
 
|-
 
|-
 
| baleh kunkurlah nguddangke? || what's your skin? ||
 
| baleh kunkurlah nguddangke? || what's your skin? ||
 
|-
 
|-
| nangale ngunwong? || who gave it to you? || (your skin name)
+
| nangale ngunwong? || who gave it to you? || won = give (your skin name)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| njale marneyime? || what do I call you? || (elicits a kinship term)
 
| njale marneyime? || what do I call you? || (elicits a kinship term)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| baleh ngudda beh? || where are you from? ||
 
| baleh ngudda beh? || where are you from? ||
  +
|-
  +
| baleh yidolkkang || where did you grow up? ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ngaye Melbourne beh || I'm from Melbourne ||
 
| ngaye Melbourne beh || I'm from Melbourne ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngadolkkang Darwin || I grew up in Darwin ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| kamak ngayerrkan? || good if I sit? || (i.e. may I sit)
 
| kamak ngayerrkan? || good if I sit? || (i.e. may I sit)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| baleh kayime wurdurd yikarrme? || how many children do you have? || baleh kayime = how many
 
| baleh kayime wurdurd yikarrme? || how many children do you have? || baleh kayime = how many
  +
|-
  +
| ngakarrme danjbik wurdurd || I have three children || (nakudji, boken, danjbik = 1, 2, 3)
 
|}
 
|}
   
Line 84: Line 95:
 
! Kunwok !! English !! Comments
 
! Kunwok !! English !! Comments
 
|-
 
|-
| tea yibongun? || Would you (singular) like some tea? || yi-bongun you.sg-drink
+
| tea yibongun? || Would you (singular) like some tea? || yi-bongun = you.sg-drink (bo-ngun = liquid-eat)
 
|-
 
|-
| tea ngurribongun? || Would you (plural) like some tea? || ngurri-bongun you.pl-drink
+
| tea ngurribongun? || Would you (plural) like some tea? || ngurri-bongun = you.pl-drink
 
|-
 
|-
| kundjikka? || milk? ||
+
| ngabomarnbun tea || I'm making tea || nga-bo-marnbun = I-liquid-make
 
|-
 
|-
| djukka? || sugar? ||
+
| ngabokinje || I'll put the kettle on || bo-kinje = liquid-cook
 
|-
 
|-
| ngabokinje || I'll put the kettle on ||
+
| mambard || billycan ||
 
|-
 
|-
| bowurlkeng || it's boiled ||
+
| yikurrmen mambard kukunak || put the billycan on the fire || ku-kunak = at-fire
  +
|-
  +
| bowurlhmeng || it's boiled || bo-wurlhme-ng = liquid-be.hot-past
  +
|-
  +
| kundjikka yidjare? || Would you like milk? ||
  +
|-
  +
| mankung? / djukka? || sugar? || mankung = honey
  +
|-
  +
| mankung kanwo || give me sugar || kan-wo = you.me-give.imperative
  +
|-
  +
| kanbowo kundjikka || give me milk || kan-bo-wo = you.me-liquid-give.imperative
 
|-
 
|-
 
| nja || here || passing the tea, milk, sugar
 
| nja || here || passing the tea, milk, sugar
 
|-
 
|-
  +
|}
  +
  +
  +
== Speaking ==
  +
  +
{| class="wikitable"
  +
! Kunwok !! English !! Comments
  +
|-
  +
| kunwok || talk, word(s), language ||
  +
|-
  +
| yiwokdi kunwok || you're speaking Kunwok || yi-wokdi = you-speak
  +
|-
  +
| yiwokdi yeledj || speak slowly ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngaborlbme kunwok || I'm learning Kunwok || nga-borlbme = I-learn
  +
|-
  +
| njale kayime "dog"? || how do you say "dog"? || ka-yime = it-says
  +
|-
  +
| yuwn kandjekmiwon! || don't laugh at me! || kan-djekmiwon = you.me-laugh.at
  +
|-
  +
| yimeng "hello" || he/she said "hello" || 0-yime-ng = he/she-say-past
  +
|-
  +
| ngabenmarneyimeng malaywi || I told them this morning || ngaben-marne-yime-ng = I.they-for-say-past
  +
|-
  +
| ngadjawan bu ngare kumekke || I'm asking him/her if I can go there || nga-djawan = I-ask
 
|}
 
|}
   
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|-
 
|-
 
| yimang mandengiyi || you're fetching the vehicle ||
 
| yimang mandengiyi || you're fetching the vehicle ||
  +
|-
  +
| minj yimarnbun nakudji || you can't do it alone ||
  +
|-
  +
| karribidyikarrmerren || we're helping each other || karri-bidyikarrme-rren = we-help-reciprocal
 
|-
 
|-
 
| karridjarrkdurrkmirri || we're working together || karri-djarrk-durrkmirri = we-together-work
 
| karridjarrkdurrkmirri || we're working together || karri-djarrk-durrkmirri = we-together-work
Line 136: Line 186:
 
| med! || wait! ||
 
| med! || wait! ||
 
|-
 
|-
| karriyakwong || we finished it ||
+
| kanbidyikarrimen! || help me! || kan-bidyikarrme-n = you.me-help-imperative
  +
|-
  +
| karriyakwon || we finished it || karri-yakwon = we-finish
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ngabimbun timesheet || I'm doing the timesheet ||
 
| ngabimbun timesheet || I'm doing the timesheet ||
Line 143: Line 195:
   
 
== Phonecalls ==
 
== Phonecalls ==
  +
  +
Note that the verb ''bun'' "strike" is often used to mean "call" or "ring".
   
 
{| class="wikitable"
 
{| class="wikitable"
! Kunwok !! English !! Comments
+
! Kunwok !! English !! Comments
 
|-
 
|-
| yoh || yes? || when answering, else just "hello"
+
| yoh || yes? || when answering, else just "hello"
 
|-
 
|-
| nangale yidjare yimarnewokdi || who do you want to talk to? ||
+
| nangale ngunewokdi || who do you want to talk to? || ngune-wokdi you.two-talk
 
|-
 
|-
| ngudda nangale / ngalngale || who are you? (male / female) ||
+
| ngudda nangale / ngalngale || who are you? (male / female) ||
 
|-
 
|-
| med, ngayawan || wait, I'll look for him/her ||
+
| med, ngayawan || wait, I'll look for him/her ||
 
|-
 
|-
| wam / dowen || he/she is gone / unwell ||
+
| minj ngunewokdi, wam (dowen, warlbom) || you can't talk he/she is gone (sick, went hunting) ||
 
|-
 
|-
| minj kahdi bolkkime || he/she isn't here now/today ||
+
| minj kahdi bolkkime || he/she isn't here now/today ||
 
|-
 
|-
| yimarnewokngimen wolewoleh / malaywi || call this afternoon / tomorrow ||
+
| yimwokngimen wolewoleh o malaywi || call this afternoon or tomorrow ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| yirohrokmen (number) || try this number ||
 
| yirohrokmen (number) || try this number ||
  +
|-
  +
| wokmadbom bu minj yimbuyinj || I was waiting for you but you didn't call ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngamwokngimi wolewoleh || I was calling you yesterday ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngarohrokmeni kanewokdiwirrinj || I was trying to talk to you ||
  +
|-
  +
| yimbu ngudda yimwokngimen || you call me ||
  +
|-
  +
| yimre kanmang || come and get me || kan-mang = you.me-get
 
|}
 
|}
   
Line 173: Line 237:
 
| ngakombukdoweng || I'm thirsty || nga-kom-buk-dowe-ng I-throat-dry-sick-past
 
| ngakombukdoweng || I'm thirsty || nga-kom-buk-dowe-ng I-throat-dry-sick-past
 
|-
 
|-
| njale ngunbayeng? || what's wrong? || lit. what's biting you?
+
| njale ngunbayeng? || what's wrong? || lit. what bit you?
 
|-
 
|-
 
| baleh ngunnjamedmeng? || what happened to you? || ngun-njamedmeng = it.you-somethinged
 
| baleh ngunnjamedmeng? || what happened to you? || ngun-njamedmeng = it.you-somethinged
Line 197: Line 261:
 
| ngaberlbakmeng || I broke my arm || nga-berl-bakme-ng = I-arm-break-past
 
| ngaberlbakmeng || I broke my arm || nga-berl-bakme-ng = I-arm-break-past
 
|-
 
|-
| ngabiddorrinj || I hit my hand || nga-bid-do-rr-inj = I-hand-hit-reflexive-past
+
| ngabiddorrinj || I hit my hand || nga-bid-do-rri-nj = I-hand-hit-reflexive-past
  +
|}
  +
  +
== Playing cards ==
  +
  +
  +
{| class="wikitable"
  +
! Kunwok !! English !! Comments
  +
|-
  +
| ngurrimray karridirri kunkod || you (all) come, we're playing cards || kunkod = cards (from paperbark)
  +
|-
  +
| karridirri ABC / Instant || we're playing ABC / Instant ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngadjobke kad || I'm shuffling the cards || djobke = cut (i.e. cut cards)
  +
|-
  +
| yidjobkemen || shuffle them || djobke-men = cut.imperative
  +
|-
  +
| ngakadmang || I'm picking up the card/s || mang = get, collect
  +
|-
  +
| yikadma || get the card/s || ma = get.imperative (from mang = get, collect)
  +
|-
  +
| ngaye / ngudda wali || my/your turn ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngakadmang || I'm picking up the card/s || mang = get, collect
  +
|-
  +
| yiwewemen kad || deal the cards || we-we-men = throw-redup-imperative (throw repeatedly)
  +
|-
  +
| ngadilhme kad || I'm dealing the cards || dilh (from English "deal")
  +
|-
  +
| ngakukwarrewong || I lost ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngadowen || I've got no luck ||
  +
|-
  +
| moken || the pile ||
  +
|-
  +
| budda ten || full house || (ABC game)
  +
|-
  +
| mayla || nothing || (ABC game)
  +
|-
  +
| ngaye ngardduk rowk || I win ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngawinhmeng || I won || winhme = win (from English "win")
  +
|-
 
|}
 
|}
   
Line 208: Line 314:
 
|-
 
|-
 
| werrk karrire || hurry up, we're going ||
 
| werrk karrire || hurry up, we're going ||
  +
|-
  +
| nangale kakanemkarrme? || who's driving? || ka-kanem-karrme = pres-ear-hold (he/she drives)
 
|-
 
|-
 
| kandikan Jabiru || you (all) take me to Jabiru || (remember "kan" is pronounced like English "gun")
 
| kandikan Jabiru || you (all) take me to Jabiru || (remember "kan" is pronounced like English "gun")
Line 217: Line 325:
 
| karrire djarre || go further / keep going || karri-re djarre = we-go far
 
| karrire djarre || go further / keep going || karri-re djarre = we-go far
 
|-
 
|-
| yibolkkadjung || follow the road || yi-bolk-kadjung = you-country-follow
+
| yibolhkadjung || follow the road || yi-bolh-kadjung = you-road-follow
  +
|-
  +
| karridjowkke || we're crossing over (the river) ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| karridjalrohrokme || we'll keep trying || karri-djal-rohrokme = we-still-try (we're driving til we find what we're looking for)
 
| karridjalrohrokme || we'll keep trying || karri-djal-rohrokme = we-still-try (we're driving til we find what we're looking for)
 
|-
 
|-
| ngabolkbengmiddanj || I forgot the place || nga-bolk-bengmiddanj = I-country-forgot
+
| ngabolkbengmidjdanj || I forgot the place || nga-bolk-bengmidjdanj = I-country-forgot
  +
|-
  +
| manbolhwarre || wrong road, rough road ||
  +
|-
  +
| kuwarre || wrong place, bad place || ku-warre = loc-bad
  +
|-
  +
| konhda kabolkmak || here is a good place || ka-bolk-mak = it-country-good
 
|-
 
|-
 
| ngudda yibebmen! || get out ||
 
| ngudda yibebmen! || get out ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| dengebelngdanj kadberre || we've got a flat tyre ||
 
| dengebelngdanj kadberre || we've got a flat tyre ||
  +
|-
  +
| ngamwam nayinj bu minj yidiwirrinj || I came to see you but you weren't there ||
  +
|-
  +
| madbom kunkuyeng bu minj yimrayinj || I waited for you for a long time but you didn't come || yi-m-ra-yinj = you-towards-go-irrealis
 
|-
 
|-
 
|}
 
|}
Line 260: Line 380:
 
|-
 
|-
 
| yibawo! || stop that! ||
 
| yibawo! || stop that! ||
  +
|-
  +
| yibidbawo! || don't touch that! ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| yimray! || come! ||
 
| yimray! || come! ||
 
|-
 
|-
 
| yirohrokmen! || try it! ||
 
| yirohrokmen! || try it! ||
  +
|-
  +
| yiburlumerren || you're doing it well / showing off || yi-burlume-rren you-praise-reflexive
 
|-
 
|-
 
| kanyolyolmen || tell me/us about it ||
 
| kanyolyolmen || tell me/us about it ||
 
|-
 
|-
| ngurribidyikarrmerrimen || help each other ||
+
| ngurribidyikarrmerrimen || help each other || ngurri-bidyikarrme-rri-men = you.pl-help-reflexive-imperative
 
|-
 
|-
 
| yuwn yibidbun || don't climb it ||
 
| yuwn yibidbun || don't climb it ||
Line 298: Line 422:
 
| kanbukka njale yiyime || Show me what you're doing || kan-bukka = you.me-show.imperative
 
| kanbukka njale yiyime || Show me what you're doing || kan-bukka = you.me-show.imperative
 
|-
 
|-
| yiyirrme || You're stripping it ||
+
| yiyirrme || You're stripping it || yi-yirrme = you-it.strip
  +
|-
  +
| karrimang kala || Let's collect colour (ochre, bark) || karri-mang = we-it.collect
 
|-
 
|-
| karrimang kala || Let's get colour (ochre, bark) ||
+
| kadungyibme karridokme || The sun's going down, let's head off home || ka-dung-yibme = it-sun-descend
 
|}
 
|}
   
Line 345: Line 471:
 
== To do ==
 
== To do ==
   
* learning language (yuwn kankukdjekmiwon, don't laugh at me)
 
 
* country (kunbolk, kunred)
 
* country (kunbolk, kunred)
 
* family (bininj, daluk, namud, wurdurd, mawahmawah)
 
* family (bininj, daluk, namud, wurdurd, mawahmawah)
 
* leave-taking (woknan, kamak ngarriwokdanj)
 
* leave-taking (woknan, kamak ngarriwokdanj)
* hospitality (ti yibongun? kanwo djukka, kundjikka)
 
 
* at the arts centre (njale yimarnbun?)
 
* at the arts centre (njale yimarnbun?)
 
* sorry business (bolkwarreminj, ngarribidkurrmeng)
 
* sorry business (bolkwarreminj, ngarribidkurrmeng)
 
* outstation life (duruk yingudmen, djenj karrire, ngayawan kunyerrng ngaworrkme)
 
* outstation life (duruk yingudmen, djenj karrire, ngayawan kunyerrng ngaworrkme)
 
* asking permission to go places
 
* asking permission to go places
* church (karriwayini, pray karriyime)
+
* church (yiwarrudj, karriwayini, karriburlume)
 
* forbidden places (kubolkdjamun djang)
 
* forbidden places (kubolkdjamun djang)
 
* fire and burning
 
* fire and burning

Latest revision as of 12:11, 3 October 2022

Preface

The first challenge for a balanda learner of Kunwok is to get used to the idea that there's no words for hello or thank you. We like to discuss the weather with strangers, but here in West Arnhem, there's not much to discuss, except to remark on it being quite cold if the overnight temperature falls sub-20!

When speaking with people, it is good to limit eye contact. A small amount is fine, but sustained eye contact may come across as domineering. Bininj differ in how comfortable they feel with strangers, so pay attention to how much eye contact you're receiving, and don't give more than that.

You'll probably need help to pronounce these phrases correctly. Beginners struggle with the "ng-" words, and it's usually fine to not pronounce "ng-" at the start of words. So, avoid the hurdle and leave it out to start with. For more on pronunciation see the pronunciation guide and the podcasts. You might find a bininj who is prepared to help you with pronunciation.

If you've forgotten a word or phrase that someone taught you, don't be afraid to ask them again... it's better to ask again and use this to consolidate what you're learning.

Greetings

When greeting people, you'll probably be the one to initiate the interaction. If you're not an outgoing kind of person, you'll have to pretend! It is appropriate to show curiosity about where people are going and what they are doing, even if you only just met them. It is also appropriate to state the obvious, e.g. saying yire shop to someone who is heading towards the shop (a bit like saying "nice day!" when it is obviously the case).

Kunwok English Comments
ngudda kamak? are you good? (use with any size of group)
yoh, kamak yes, good
baleh yire? where are you going? (said to just one person)
ngare shop I'm going to the shop (it's ok to include English words)
yire kakbi you're going north (fine to state the obvious)
yimdurndi you've come back
baleh keno yimdurndeng when are you coming back?
ngawarnyak wak I can't stand the crows
mah bonj, ngare ok, I'm going
yire you're going
mah bonj ok we're done
nan kaluk see you later (use with any size of group)
bobo goodbye

Introductions

Here your challenge is to get over needing to know someone's name. Learn their skin name, and optionally the kinship term you use for them, and try to just use that.

Kunwok English Comments
ngaye nakamarrang I'm nakamarrang (give your skin name if you have one)
ngudda yingale? Who are you?
yimulewarren ngudda Tell us about yourself mulewan = give a report
baleh kunkurlah nguddangke? what's your skin?
nangale ngunwong? who gave it to you? won = give (your skin name)
njale marneyime? what do I call you? (elicits a kinship term)
baleh ngudda beh? where are you from?
baleh yidolkkang where did you grow up?
ngaye Melbourne beh I'm from Melbourne
ngadolkkang Darwin I grew up in Darwin
kamak ngayerrkan? good if I sit? (i.e. may I sit)
baleh kayime wurdurd yikarrme? how many children do you have? baleh kayime = how many
ngakarrme danjbik wurdurd I have three children (nakudji, boken, danjbik = 1, 2, 3)

Cuppa Tea Time

Kunwok English Comments
tea yibongun? Would you (singular) like some tea? yi-bongun = you.sg-drink (bo-ngun = liquid-eat)
tea ngurribongun? Would you (plural) like some tea? ngurri-bongun = you.pl-drink
ngabomarnbun tea I'm making tea nga-bo-marnbun = I-liquid-make
ngabokinje I'll put the kettle on bo-kinje = liquid-cook
mambard billycan
yikurrmen mambard kukunak put the billycan on the fire ku-kunak = at-fire
bowurlhmeng it's boiled bo-wurlhme-ng = liquid-be.hot-past
kundjikka yidjare? Would you like milk?
mankung? / djukka? sugar? mankung = honey
mankung kanwo give me sugar kan-wo = you.me-give.imperative
kanbowo kundjikka give me milk kan-bo-wo = you.me-liquid-give.imperative
nja here passing the tea, milk, sugar


Speaking

Kunwok English Comments
kunwok talk, word(s), language
yiwokdi kunwok you're speaking Kunwok yi-wokdi = you-speak
yiwokdi yeledj speak slowly
ngaborlbme kunwok I'm learning Kunwok nga-borlbme = I-learn
njale kayime "dog"? how do you say "dog"? ka-yime = it-says
yuwn kandjekmiwon! don't laugh at me! kan-djekmiwon = you.me-laugh.at
yimeng "hello" he/she said "hello" 0-yime-ng = he/she-say-past
ngabenmarneyimeng malaywi I told them this morning ngaben-marne-yime-ng = I.they-for-say-past
ngadjawan bu ngare kumekke I'm asking him/her if I can go there nga-djawan = I-ask

Working together

Another adjustment when learning Kunwok is all the long words, e.g. karridjarrkdurrkmirri, which can be broken down into karri-djarrk-durrkmirri (we-together-work).

Note that we generally don't translate "do this with me" literally, but rather say "you and me we will do it".

Kunwok English Comments
baleh ngurriyime? what are you doing / will you do? (to a group)
baleh yiyime ngudda? what are you doing / will you do? (to one person)
yibimbun you're painting/writing it
yimilebun you're weaving it
yidulkdadjke you're cutting wood yi-dulk-dadjke = you-tree-cut
yikaru! dig it!
yimang mandengiyi you're fetching the vehicle
minj yimarnbun nakudji you can't do it alone
karribidyikarrmerren we're helping each other karri-bidyikarrme-rren = we-help-reciprocal
karridjarrkdurrkmirri we're working together karri-djarrk-durrkmirri = we-together-work
karribebbehdurrkmirri we're working separately karri-bebbeh-durrkmirri = we-separately-work
ngawarrewong I made a mistake
werrk! hurry up!
yeledj! slow down!
med! wait!
kanbidyikarrimen! help me! kan-bidyikarrme-n = you.me-help-imperative
karriyakwon we finished it karri-yakwon = we-finish
ngabimbun timesheet I'm doing the timesheet

Phonecalls

Note that the verb bun "strike" is often used to mean "call" or "ring".

Kunwok English Comments
yoh yes? when answering, else just "hello"
nangale ngunewokdi who do you want to talk to? ngune-wokdi you.two-talk
ngudda nangale / ngalngale who are you? (male / female)
med, ngayawan wait, I'll look for him/her
minj ngunewokdi, wam (dowen, warlbom) you can't talk he/she is gone (sick, went hunting)
minj kahdi bolkkime he/she isn't here now/today
yimwokngimen wolewoleh o malaywi call this afternoon or tomorrow
yirohrokmen (number) try this number
wokmadbom bu minj yimbuyinj I was waiting for you but you didn't call
ngamwokngimi wolewoleh I was calling you yesterday
ngarohrokmeni kanewokdiwirrinj I was trying to talk to you
yimbu ngudda yimwokngimen you call me
yimre kanmang come and get me kan-mang = you.me-get

Ailments

Kunwok English Comments
ngamarrwedoweng I'm hungry nga-marrwe-dowe-ng I-hunger-sick-past
ngakombukdoweng I'm thirsty nga-kom-buk-dowe-ng I-throat-dry-sick-past
njale ngunbayeng? what's wrong? lit. what bit you?
baleh ngunnjamedmeng? what happened to you? ngun-njamedmeng = it.you-somethinged
kanmarneyolyolmen tell me about it
ngakodjbabang my head hurts nga-kodj-babang = my-head-hurts (substitute other body parts)
ngakodjke I'm tired also nga-mim-kodjke = my-eyes-tired
ngabondjek I'm cold
ngaladmen I'm hot
ngadjare ngayo I want to lie down
ngaworrkoluy I fell out of a tree
ngadengelurlmeng My foot is swollen
birndu nganberlbayeng A mosquito bit my arm ngan-berl-baye-ng = it.me-arm-bite-past
ngaberlbakmeng I broke my arm nga-berl-bakme-ng = I-arm-break-past
ngabiddorrinj I hit my hand nga-bid-do-rri-nj = I-hand-hit-reflexive-past

Playing cards

Kunwok English Comments
ngurrimray karridirri kunkod you (all) come, we're playing cards kunkod = cards (from paperbark)
karridirri ABC / Instant we're playing ABC / Instant
ngadjobke kad I'm shuffling the cards djobke = cut (i.e. cut cards)
yidjobkemen shuffle them djobke-men = cut.imperative
ngakadmang I'm picking up the card/s mang = get, collect
yikadma get the card/s ma = get.imperative (from mang = get, collect)
ngaye / ngudda wali my/your turn
ngakadmang I'm picking up the card/s mang = get, collect
yiwewemen kad deal the cards we-we-men = throw-redup-imperative (throw repeatedly)
ngadilhme kad I'm dealing the cards dilh (from English "deal")
ngakukwarrewong I lost
ngadowen I've got no luck
moken the pile
budda ten full house (ABC game)
mayla nothing (ABC game)
ngaye ngardduk rowk I win
ngawinhmeng I won winhme = win (from English "win")

On the road

Kunwok English Comments
ngurribidbu karrire you (all) get in and let's go
werrk karrire hurry up, we're going
nangale kakanemkarrme? who's driving? ka-kanem-karrme = pres-ear-hold (he/she drives)
kandikan Jabiru you (all) take me to Jabiru (remember "kan" is pronounced like English "gun")
yibolkbengkan baleh yire? do you know where you're going? yi-bolk-bengkan = you-country-know
karrire kumekke let's go there (pointing)
karrire djarre go further / keep going karri-re djarre = we-go far
yibolhkadjung follow the road yi-bolh-kadjung = you-road-follow
karridjowkke we're crossing over (the river)
karridjalrohrokme we'll keep trying karri-djal-rohrokme = we-still-try (we're driving til we find what we're looking for)
ngabolkbengmidjdanj I forgot the place nga-bolk-bengmidjdanj = I-country-forgot
manbolhwarre wrong road, rough road
kuwarre wrong place, bad place ku-warre = loc-bad
konhda kabolkmak here is a good place ka-bolk-mak = it-country-good
ngudda yibebmen! get out
dengebelngdanj kadberre we've got a flat tyre
ngamwam nayinj bu minj yidiwirrinj I came to see you but you weren't there
madbom kunkuyeng bu minj yimrayinj I waited for you for a long time but you didn't come yi-m-ra-yinj = you-towards-go-irrealis

In the classroom

Note that expressions involving yi- are addressed to an individual, while those with ngurri- are addressed to a group. Feel free to replace yi- (you singular) with ngurri- (you plural) and vice versa, as needed. You can also use karri- (we all) if the expression includes the speaker.

Kunwok English Comments
kamak bu ngundinan bolkkime! nice to see you all today!
ngudda kamak? are you (all) good?
kamak yiyoy? did you sleep well?
ngurriyerrka all sit down
ngurringudmen all be quiet
ngurridolkka all stand up
kandibekka all listen
ngudda warridj you too .
karribiddokme rowk let's all clap hands
ngurribiddjirridjburren wash your hands ngurri-bid-djirridjbu-rren = you-hand-wash-reflexive
yiyidmeburren? did you brush your teeth? yi-yidme-burren = you-teeth-beat
yibawo! stop that!
yibidbawo! don't touch that!
yimray! come!
yirohrokmen! try it!
yiburlumerren you're doing it well / showing off yi-burlume-rren you-praise-reflexive
kanyolyolmen tell me/us about it
ngurribidyikarrmerrimen help each other ngurri-bidyikarrme-rri-men = you.pl-help-reflexive-imperative
yuwn yibidbun don't climb it

Collecting Pandanus

Kunwok English Comments
karrire karrimang kunngobarn Let's go and get pandanus also karri-ngobarn-mang = we-pandanus-get
balekeno karrire? When will we go?
yibenbengdayhkemen daluk Let the women know yiben-bengdayhke-men = you.them-inform-imperative
ngalngale kamre? Who is coming? ngal-ngale = fem-who
yimka manmarli Bring the pandanus hook yi-m-ka = you-towards-carry.imperative (you bring)
yibomey kukku? Have you got water? yi-bo-mey = you-liquid-get.past
ngamang mudika I'll get the truck
karribenkan daluk Let's take the women karriben-kan = we.them-carry (in the vehicle)
baleh kabirrihdi? Where are they?
kanbukka njale yiyime Show me what you're doing kan-bukka = you.me-show.imperative
yiyirrme You're stripping it yi-yirrme = you-it.strip
karrimang kala Let's collect colour (ochre, bark) karri-mang = we-it.collect
kadungyibme karridokme The sun's going down, let's head off home ka-dung-yibme = it-sun-descend

Emotions

Kunwok English Comments
nganjilngmak I feel good nga-njilng-mak = I-feeling-good
nganjilngwarre I feel bad nga-njilng-warre = I-feeling-bad
nganjilngmarnbun I'm cheering him up
ngakangemak I'm happy nga-kange-mak = I-heart-good
ngamarrmarrni I'm happy
ngakangewarre I'm sad nga-kange-warre = I-heart-bad
ngakukdowen I'm bored
ngadjurrkwon I'm getting excited
ngangukruy I'm angry nga-nguk-ruy = I-belly-burn
ngakangebakke I'm attracted to him/her
ngakangerayekwon I'm encouraging him nga-kange-rayekwon = I.him-heart-make.strong
kayiddung He's speaking harshly
kayidwern He's a troublemaker
njale ngunbayeng? What's wrong? ngun-bayeng = it.you-bite
njale ngunngun What's wrong? ngun-ngun = it.you-eat
njaleken yinalkbun? why are you crying?
ngankangemey it touched me ngan-kange-mey = it.me-heart-get

To do

  • country (kunbolk, kunred)
  • family (bininj, daluk, namud, wurdurd, mawahmawah)
  • leave-taking (woknan, kamak ngarriwokdanj)
  • at the arts centre (njale yimarnbun?)
  • sorry business (bolkwarreminj, ngarribidkurrmeng)
  • outstation life (duruk yingudmen, djenj karrire, ngayawan kunyerrng ngaworrkme)
  • asking permission to go places
  • church (yiwarrudj, karriwayini, karriburlume)
  • forbidden places (kubolkdjamun djang)
  • fire and burning
  • cars and road safety
  • hunting
  • stripping bark and bark painting
  • jobs, ranger work
  • food and food preparation (kandidjawa, buburru, ngabiddjibme)
  • (requests welcome)
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