Lesson 1 – Daily Conversation

In this first lesson we will go over some basic conversations and phrases in Adnyamathanha.

You can read, hear and practise saying Adnyamathanha words and work your way through some basic words and conversations.

The basics

yes, sure
leave it, forget it


A common greeting that can be used is nhangga!, this means how in Adnyamathanha but is used in conversation as a general greeting.

Hi, Hello

If you were asking someone how they’re going, you might say nhangga nhina? Nhangga means how and nhina means you.

Nhangga nhina?
How are you?

If you’re feeling good you might answer warndu ikand’-ai. Warndu means fine/good, ikanda can mean to be and -ai means I.

Warndu ikand'-ai.
I'm fine/good.

NOTE: The punctuation mark ‘ is used to show that a sound/letter is missing in the sentence. This sound is dropped because it makes the sentence flow better. For example, if said slowly the sentence above would be “warndu ikanda-ai” but in fast speech it is said “warndu ikand’-ai”.


If you’re not feeling too well you might reply with wirdni irndayaWirdni (also: virdni) means not well and irndaya can mean to be.

Wirdni irndaya.
Not so well.

When learning to speak Adnyamathanha you might miss what someone is saying, you could ask them to speak slowly by saying amanyi wanggaka. amanyi means slowly and wanggaka means speak

Amanyi wanggaka.
Speak slowly.

Another response to Nhangga nhina? might be warndu watya! Warndu means good and watya means very.

Warndu watya.
Very good.

NOTE: Notice how the Adnyamathanha language is made up of combining different words and endings to convey different meanings, this is called conjugation and we’ll be learning more about this as we go through the lessons.


If you are feeling sick or sore you can say Ngarland’-aiNgarlanda means sick/sore and -ai means I.

I'm sick/sore.

Another common response might be Ngai utyu aldha-aldha-yaNgai means Iutyu is used for emphasis and aldha-aldha means happy. The ending -ya is added for extra emphasis.

Ngai utyu aldha-aldha-ya!
I'm happy!

If someone is feeling sad you might say ngayingga-wa, this means poor thing and is used to express sorrow for someone. Ngayingga means poor thing and -wa means he/she.

Poor thing.

If you’re thirsty you might say to someone awi muranind’-ai-yaAwi means watermuraninda means thirsty and -ai means I. The ending -ya is added for extra emphasis.

Awi muranind’-ai-ya!
I'm thirsty!

I you’re hungry you might say mai arnbanind’-ai-ya! Mai means food, arnbaninda means hungry and -ai means I. The ending -ya is added for extra emphasis.

Mai arnbanind’-ai-ya!
I'm hungry!

You could be more specific and say that you are hungry for meat varlu arnbanind’-ai-ya! Varlu means meat, arnbaninda means hungry and -ai means I. The ending -ya is added for extra emphasis.

Varlu arnbanind’-ai-ya!
I'm hungry for meat!

If you’re feeling angry you might say Vatya akanand’-ai-ya! Vatya means anger, akananda means comes out and -ai means I. The ending -ya is added for extra emphasis.

This sentence literally translates as anger comes out of me.

Vatya akanand’-ai-ya!
I'm feeling angry!

Introducing yourself

As you learn Adnyamathanha you might want to tell friends and family that you can speak your language. You might say ngai utyu warndu wanggata ngarlpurla ngawarla. Ngai means I, utyu is added for emphasis, warndu means well, wanggata means speak, ngarlpurla means our and ngawarla means language.

Ngai utyu warndu wanggata ngarlpurla ngawarla.
I can speak our language.

When meeting people, you might want to find out who they are. You could ask Nganhanha nhina-nai? Nganhanha means who and nhina means you. The ending -nai is added to emphasise the question.

Nganhanha nhina-nai?
Who are you?

To this someone might respond with ngai utyu mityi Linda-nha. Ngai means I, utyu is added for emphasis, mityi means name and -nha is used to indicate that Linda is a person’s name.

Ngai utyu mityi Linda-nha.
My name is Linda.

A shortened version of this might be Ngai utyu Linda-nha. Once again ngai means I, utyu is used for emphasis and -nha is an ending to show that Linda is a name.

Ngai utyu Linda-nha.
I'm Linda.

Some more questions

You might want to ask someone where they live by saying wanhanga nhina-nai ikanda? Wanhanga means where at, nhina means you, the ending -nai is used to emphasise the question and ikanda means to be.

Wanhanga nhina-nai ikanda?
Where do you live?

Someone might respond ngatyu wardli utyu Copley ikanda. Ngatyu means my, wardli means house, utyu is used for emphasis and ikanda means to be at.

Ngatyu wardli utyu Copley ikanda.
My house is in Copley.

Another response might be inhaadi ngatyu wardli this translates as this is my house or my home is here. Inhaadi means this/here, ngatyu means my and wardli means house/home.

Inhaadi ngatyu wardli.
This is my house.

If you want to know where someone has just come from, you could ask wanhanganha yanaangga nhina-nai? Wanhanganha means where from, yanaangga means came and nhina means you. The ending -nai is added to emphasise the question.

Wanhanganha yanaangga nhina-nai?
Where did you come from?

Another common question might be wanhanga nhina-nai wandida? which means where are you staying? Wanhanga means where at, nhina means you, the ending -nai is added to emphasise the question and wandida means to rest/to lie down

Wanhanga nhina-nai wandida?
Where are you staying?

If you’re chatting on the phone to someone and asking them where they are, you might say wanhanga nhina-nai yuwanda? Wanhanga means where at, nhina means you, the ending -nai is added to emphasise the question and yuwanda means to stand, to be.

Wanhanga nhina-nai yuwanda?
Where are you? (when speaking on the telephone)

Coming and going

Let’s work on some sentences around people (or yourself) coming and going.

wanha ngukand’-in’-ai? means Where are you going? Wanha means where, ngukanda means going and -ina means you. The ending -ai is added to emphasise the question.

Wanha ngukand’-in’-ai?
Where are you going?

If you’re going to the grocery store you might say Ngukand’-ai grocery store-thadi. Ngukanda means going, the ending -ai means I and the ending -thadi means towards.

Ngukand’-ai grocery store-thadi.
I'm going to the grocery store.

If we’re heading off and want to say goodbye, we might say something like adi idla nakuty’-ina! which means alright, see you soon! Adi means alright, nakutyu means will see and -ina means you.

Adi idla nakuty’-ina!
See you soon!

Finally, you might also say adi idla wala-wala nhathu-‘na! This translates to alright, speak soon! Adi means alright, idla is used for emphasis, wala-wala means chat, nhathu means I and -ina means you.

Adi idla wala-wala nhathu-‘na!
Alright, speak soon!
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