Nhawurdatha nganhi!

Here is the comic we presented in the last blog post:
comic6

Here is what the two characters (Thidnamara ‘Frog’ on the left, and Mawakantyi ‘Greedy’ on the right) are saying:

Thidnamara: wardaru yini mawakantyi? ‘How are you?’
Mawakantyi: matya nganhi manyu ‘I’m fine’
Thidnamara: waranha nhaniya? ‘Who is she?’
Mawakantyi: nhaniya ngakarni papa ‘She is my aunt’
Thidnamara: waranha nhawurda? ‘Who is he?’
Mawakantyi: nhawurda ngakarni kaka ‘He’s my uncle’
Mawakantyi: nhawurdatha nganhi! ‘This is me!’

The English translation misses some important parts of the meaning in the Dieri original because English does not have a way to express certain concepts, like the distance someone is from the speaker. Notice that Frog uses nhaniya to refer to the aunt who is a little distance away, using the ending -ya. But when he points to the uncle who is understood to be right close by he uses nhawurda with the ending -rda that means ‘close by’. Similarly, when Greedy sees himself on the computer screen he uses nhawurda because it is close by (he could reach out and touch it) — he also adds the ending -tha which indicates old information, something that everyone can see and know about. Notice if the character was female she would say nhanirdatha nganhi! ‘This is me!’ using the female term for ‘this, she’.

You can use these expressions by yourself or in a group to practise Dieri in several ways. One possibility is to draw pictures of your relatives (and yourself!) and write the term for their relation to you in Dieri under the picture. Then place them on a table at various distances away and practice saying things like nhawurda ngakarni kaka ‘This (right here) is my uncle’ or nhaniwa ngakarni ngandri ‘That (far away) is my mother’. You can also do this with a friend as question and answer pairs, like:

Question: waranha yingkarni kaka ‘Who is your uncle?’
Answer: nhawurda ngakarni kaka ‘This (nearby) is my uncle’

or:

Question: nhaniya yingkarni kaku kara yingkarni ngathata ‘Is this your older sister or your younger sister?’
Answer: nhaniya ngakarni kaku ‘This is my older sister’

If you can use Powerpoint you can also scan the pictures with their Dieri relation terms, and create a Powerpoint show with them, one on each slide, and then narrate the slides in Dieri as you present them. You can end your presentation with nhawurdatha nganhi! or nhanirdatha nganhi!, depending on whether you are male or female.

Note: Thanks to Greg Wilson and the Dieri Language Committee for sharing some of the materials and ideas in this blog post.

Mithanhi ngamamayi!

chair

Today we present another Dieri language game similar to the one in yesterday’s post.

One person is chosen to be Mayatha ‘boss’ and the others stand in a straight line in front of Mayatha.

Mayatha calls out an order in Dieri for the others to follow. It begins like this:

Mithanhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the ground!’

You can replace the first word with other places to sit, as in:

Mithanhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the ground!’

Pulawanhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the floor!’

Tyiyanhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the chair!’

The person who is Mayatha should try to trick the others and say the sentence wrong by leaving out the ending -nhi indicating location, as in this example:

Mitha ngamamayi

If anyone sits down when they hear this command they are out of the game.

Keep going until only one person is left who has not been tricked. That person then can play Mayatha.

You can also use this game to practice colours in Dieri. If you have coloured chairs then put several of each colour mixed up in a big circle around the players and the Mayatha calls out the names of each coloured chair that the people playing the game have to sit on. (If you don’t have coloured chairs you can put coloured postit notes on the chairs or write colour names in Dieri and stick them on the chairs.) Anyone who sits on a chair of the wrong colour it out of the game.

Here are the colours you can use:

maru ‘black’
warru ‘white’
marralyi ‘red’
kulyakulya ‘green’

So the Mayatha would call out:

Tyiya warrunhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the white chair!’

Tyiya kulyakulyanhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the green chair!’

Tyiya marralyanhi ngamamayi ‘Sit on the red chair!’

If you think that it might be too rowdy or dangerous to sit on the chairs the Mayatha can say mara kurramayi ‘put your hand!’ instead:

Tyiya warrunhi mara kurramayi ‘Put your hand on the white chair!’

Tyiya kulyakulyanhi mara kurramayi ‘Put your hand on the green chair!’

Tyiya marralyanhi mara kurramayi ‘Put your hand on the red chair!’

Anyone who makes a mistake is out of the game.

The game continues until there is only one player left. The last player left can now play at being Mayatha.

Note: Thanks to Greg Wilson and the Dieri Language Committee for the idea for this game and for the sound recordings.

Mayatha yatharna warayi mara kurramayi mangathandranhi

simon

Here is a game that you can play using the Dieri language. It is designed for 4 or more players and is similar to the English game “Simon says”. The game was designed and developed by Greg Wilson and the Dieri Language Committee.

One person is chosen to be Mayatha ‘boss’ and the others stand in a straight line in front of Mayatha.

Mayatha calls out an action in Dieri for the others to follow. It begins like this:

Mayatha yatharna warayi mara kurramayi ‘The boss said put your hand …’

and ends with a word for some part of the body with the ending -nhi, indicating location. For example mangathandranhi ‘on the head’ or pilpiranhi ‘on the shoulder’.

The action should be followed only when the command ends with a word that has the -nhi ending like Mayatha yatharna warayi mara kurramayi mangathandranhi ‘The boss said put your hand on your head’. Listen to how Aunty Rene says this:

If Mayatha states the action without saying -nhi on the last word and one of the players follows the action, that player must sit down. Listen to the following recording, you will hear several ‘correct’ words and one that is incorrect:

Did you hear which one is incorrect? The recording says: tharlpanhi ‘on your ears’, mulhanhi ‘on your nose’, pilpiri ‘shoulder’, milkinhi ‘on your eye’ and pantyanhi ‘on your knee’. Notice that Aunty Winnie says pilpiri ‘shoulder’ not the correct pilpiranhi. Here it is in a full sentence:

Anyone who does the action of touching their shoulders after hearing Mayatha yatharna warayi mara kurramayi pilpiri would be out of the game and have to sit down.

The game continues until there is only one player left. The last player standing can now play at being Mayatha.

Here are some useful terms for playing the game:

mangathandra ‘head’
para ‘hair’
tharlpa ‘ear’
mulha ‘nose’
marna ‘mouth’
tharli ‘tongue’
marnathandra ‘tooth’
murnampiri ‘chest’
pilpiri ‘shoulder’
thinthipiri ‘elbow’
thuku ‘back’
mandra ‘stomach’
wulu ‘thigh’
pantya ‘knee’
thina ‘foot’

Have a go at this Dieri game with your friends.

Note: Many thanks to Greg Wilson and the Dieri Language Committee for sharing this material and the sound recordings.

Ngayana pirkirna warayi Lingo Bingo

One of the activities we carried out on Monday during the ILS Dieri language revitalisation workshop was Lingo Bingo. This is a team game that involves remembering Dieri words, or looking them up in the available language materials (like the draft dictionary and the Dieri Yawarra book).

lingobingo

We had five teams of participants and 30 bingo cards (in various colours). For half the cards, Peter wrote English words on one side and for the other half he wrote Dieri words on one side. Each team got six cards and had to write either the Dieri word or the English translation on the other side, either by remembering the words we had learned before or by looking them up (and making sure they were spelled and pronounced correctly). Then the two rounds of competition began. For the first round everyone put their cards on the table so the Dieri words were facing up, and then Peter called out the words in random order. The goal was to hear the word, and the team with that card had to call out the English translation and then turn the card over. The team with all their cards turned over was the winner when they shouted out “Lingo Bingo”. Round one was won by a team from Broken Hill. For round two the teams turned the cards with the English facing up, Peter called out English translations and the teams had to say the Dieri word (making sure to pronounce it properly). This round was won by a team fr0m Port Augusta. Everyone got very engaged in the game and enjoyed it a lot, and got to share and practice their knowledge of Dieri words and pronunciation.