Dieri yawarra kupa wakaya

Today’s Dieri language post is for our younger readers (or for older readers to share with younger language learners — if you click on the panel you will see it full size in a new window, which you can then print out if you want to).


Here is the dialogue and its translation going left to right.

Boy: wardaru yini kaku? ‘How are you older sister?’
Girl: matya nganhi manyu ‘I’m fine.’
minha yundru ngankayi? ‘What are you doing?’
Boy: nganhi wapayi schoolanhi ‘I am going to school.’
yundru ngantyayi wapalha ngakangu? ‘Do you want to walk with me?’
Girl: pulu nganhi wapayi karari ‘I can’t go now.’
ngandri ngakarni muntya ‘My mother is sick.’

Here are the words in this dialogue — we have seen them all in previous blog posts but you can revise them here:

  • kaku ‘older sister’ – but note that in Dieri we can use this term for both actual older sisters and for classificatory older sisters, that is, a girl who is like an older sister, such as an older female cousin
  • karari ‘now, today’
  • manyu ‘well, fine’
  • matya ‘just, OK’
  • minha ‘what?’
  • muntya ‘sick, ill, unwell’ – this is the opposite of manyu ‘well, fine’
  • ngakangu ‘with me’ – this is the location form
  • ngakarni ‘my’ – this is the possessor form
  • ngandri ‘mother’ – this word is also used traditionally for ‘mother’s sister’, your aunt on your mother’s side
  • nganhi ‘I’ – the intransitive subject form
  • ngankayi ‘be doing’ – this is made up of the verb root nganka-rna ‘to do, work, make’ and the ending -yi ‘present tense, doing now’
  • ngantyayi ‘want’ – this is made up of the verb root ngantya-rna ‘to want, like’ and the ending -yi ‘present tense, doing now’
  • pulu ‘cannot’ – this word must come before the verb (the action word in the sentence)
  • schoolanhi ‘to school’ — this is made up of the English noun school and the ending -nhi ‘location, in(to) a place’
  • wapayi ‘be going, be walking’ – this is made up of the verb root wapa-rna ‘to go, walk’ and the ending -yi ‘present tense, doing now’
  • wapalha ‘to go, to walk’ – this is made up of the verb root wapa-rna ‘to go, walk’ and the ending -lha ‘in order to’ when the subject is the same as the subject of the previous verb (in this example ngantyayi ‘want’)
  • wardaru ‘how?’
  • yini ‘you (one person)’ – the intransitive subject form
  • yundru ‘you (one person)’ – the transitive subject form

Note: The title of today’s post means ‘Dieri language for young children’. I made this cartoon with Make Beliefs Comix, a free website where you can create your own comics and print them out — give it a try and make your own Dieri language comic!

One thought on “Dieri yawarra kupa wakaya

  1. Pingback: Nhawuya mawakantyi | Ngayana Diyari Yawarra Yathayilha

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