Mayi, ngayana yathayathayilha

Over the past few months we have introduced quite an amount of Dieri language, vocabulary, expressions and grammar. Regular readers of this blog should now be ready to practice a conversation in Dieri using what we have been learning so far. To check your knowledge, look at the following conversation and see if you can understand it. Try to answer the questions below. To really test your Dieri knowledge you should not look at the vocabulary list below the questions. If you have a friend who is also learning Dieri you can take turns in being the two speakers. All the vocabulary and grammar has been covered in previous blog posts, and in the next blog post we will give the full English translation and some grammar notes.

Ready? Here we go.

Speaker A: Mayi! Wardaru yini ngathata?
Speaker B: Matya nganhi manyu. Wardaru yini kaku?
Speaker A: Wata nganhi manyu. Nganhi mandra madlhantyi
Speaker B: Minhandru?
Speaker A: Ngathu kara nganthi thungka thayirna warayi. Karari nganhi mandra katyakatyayi
Speaker B: Thikamayi ngaldrarni nguraya muka thuraralha
Speaker A: Wata ngathu ngantyayi yinha kurnu-kurnu wararalha nhingkirda
Speaker B: Wata yaruka yathamayi. Thikamayi ngaldrarni nguraya ngandriyali yinha nhayinhayiparnathu
Speaker A: Kawu, ngathata. Karari nganhi thikayilha
Speaker B: Mindriyamayi nhurru-nhurru!


  1. What is the relationship between Speaker A and Speaker B?
  2. Is Speaker A male or female?
  3. What happened to Speaker A earlier in the day?
  4. What does Speaker B suggest that Speaker A does?
  5. Why doesn’t speaker A want to do this?
  6. What happens in the end?

kara ‘perhaps, maybe, or’
kaku ‘older sister’
karari ‘today, now’
katyakatya-rna ‘to be sore’
kawu ‘yes’
kurnu ‘one, single, alone’
madlhantyi ‘bad’
mandra ‘stomach’
manyu ‘good, well’
matya ‘already, OK, just’
mayi ‘hey!’
mindri-rna ‘to ru’
minha ‘what’
muka ‘sleep’
ngaldra ‘we two (including you)’
ngandri ‘mother’
nganhi ‘I’ — intransitive subject
nganthi ‘meat’
ngantya-rna ‘to want, like, love’
ngathata ‘younger sister, younger brother’
ngathu ‘I’ — transitive subject
ngura ‘camp’
nhayi-rna ‘to see, look’
nhingkirda ‘here’
nhurru ‘fast, quick’
thayi-rna ‘to eat’
thika-rna ‘to return, go back, come back’
thungka ‘rotten’
thurara-rna ‘to lie down, sleep’
warara-rna ‘to leave’
warayi ‘recent past’ — auxiliary
wardaru ‘how’
wata ‘not’
yaruka ‘like that’
yatha-rna ‘to speak, say’
yinha or yinanha ‘you (one person)’ — transitive object
yini ‘you (one person)’ — intransitive subject


One thought on “Mayi, ngayana yathayathayilha

  1. Pingback: Kartyimalkani yawarra | Ngayana Diyari Yawarra Yathayilha

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