Lesson 3 – Family

The words in this section for family relations were recorded in the 1960s and reflect the traditionally-used terms within Nukunu families. By the late 1960s Nukunu was no longer fully spoken and the full set of kinship terms was not recorded. Nevertheless, enough words were recorded to give a snapshot of the system. In this lesson we will learn these kin terms and other words that refer to people. Practice sentences are at the bottom of the page.


Two generations above you

First up, let’s look at those two generations above you, your grandparents on both sides of your family.

katnyinyi
grandmother (mother's mother)
kapmuna
grandfather (mother's father
mangarti
grandmother (father's mother)
thapmurti
grandfather (father's father)

One generation above you

Let’s look at those one generation above you, these will be your parents and your aunties and uncles.

Nukunu
English
ngami
mother, aunt (mother's sister)
maama
father, uncle (father's brother)
ngamarna
uncle (mother's brother)

Same generation as you

Let’s take a look at those in the same generation as you. These will be your brothers and sisters. You may also refer to your cousins with the same terms.

yaka
sister (elder)
yaka paapa
sister (younger)
yunga
brother (elder)
partu
brother (younger)

One generation below you

Those who are a generation below you are your children. There aren’t specific words for son/daughter, but instead you would say ngatyu kunga my boy and ngatyu mankarra my girl. You can also say ngatyu kungapa my child when talking about your own children. Ngatyu means my

kungapa
child
kungurti
child
yakarla
small child
paapa kumarti
little child
kungunya
baby
kunga
boy
mankarra
girl

Birth-order names

The use of birth-order names was a feature of traditional life for Nukunu and closely related groups such as Adnyamathanha, Barngarla and Ngadjuri. While the system was common to these languages and societies, the individual names vary among the groups.

pirtiya
first child (if male)
kartinya
first child (if female)
warriya
second child (if male)
warrika
second child (if female)
warrartu
second child (if female)
kuni
third child (if male)
kunartu
third child (if female)
muniya
fourth child (if male)
marriya
fifth child (if male)
marritu
fifth child (if female)
wangiya
sixth child (if male)
wanguta
sixth child (if female)
yariya
seventh child (if male)
yarinda
seventh child (if female)
miliya
eighth child (if male)
milatu
eighth child (if female)
mawanha
last child (if male)

Other family and people terms

thuṛa
man, Aboriginal person in general
miṛu
man
yartli
man
paarla
woman
thuṛa-paarla
Aboriginal woman
yartli
husband
ngupa
husband
kartu
wife
purlkaṛi
old man
ngamatya
old woman
kutnyu
white man, white person in general
kutnyu-paarla
white woman

Talking about family and people

Let’s look at a few sentences you might use while talking about your family or people in general.

One of the first Nukunu sentences you might say is Ngayi Nukunu thuṛa this means I’m a Nukunu man. Ngayi means I and thuṛa means man.

Ngayi Nukunu thuṛa.
I'm a Nukunu man.

 

Likewise, you might say Ngayi Nukunu paarla which means I’m a Nukunu woman.  Ngayi means I and paarla means woman.

Ngayi Nukunu paarla.
I'm a Nukunu woman.

 

You might want to ask Nhungku ngami ngana? which means Who is your mother? Nhungku means yourngami means mother and ngana means who.

Nhungku ngami ngana?
Who is your mother?

 

The answer to this might be Ngatyu ngami Beth. Ngatyu means my and ngami means mother.

Ngatyu ngami Beth.
My mum is Beth.

 

Similarly, you might ask someone what their grandmother’s name is, you could ask Mangarti mityi wanhanga? Mangarti means grandmothermityi means name and wanhanga means how. This sentence literally translates to how is your grandmother named?

Mangarti mityi wanhanga?
What is your grandmother's name?

 

Your answer to this might be something like Patnha mityi Parti. This translates to she is called Parti. Patnha means shemityi menas name and Parti is her name.

Patnha mityi Parti.
She is called Parti.

 

Let’s take a look at a few sentences that describe what people are doing or how they look.

If someone has a tall husband you might want to say Patnhu ngupa waraku. Patnhu means her/his/it’sngupa means husband and waraku means long/tall.

Patnhu ngupa waraku.
Her husband is tall.

 

You could say nhungku kungunya milkapa which means your baby is small. Nhungku means your, kungunya means baby and milkapa means small.

Nhungku kungunya milkapa.
Your baby is small.

 

Let’s say your sister is lying down and having a sleep, you might tell someone Ngatyu yaka miya wantatya. Ngatyu means my, yaka means older sister and miya wantatya means lying down and sleeping.

Ngatyu yaka miya wantatya.
My older sister is lying down sleeping.

 

Maybe there is an old man fetching some water and you say purlkaṛi mangkutya kawi. Purlkaṛi means old manmangkutya means fetching and kawi means water.

Purlkaṛi mangkutya kawi.
The old man is fetching water.

 

If there is a big mob of people where you are, you might want to say patnhi marnarta thuṛa. Patnhi means he/she/itmarnarta means a crowd/mob/many and thuṛa means people/Aboriginal people.

Patnhi marnarta thuṛa.
There are lots of people here.

 

If you’re pointing to your friend, you could say Patnha ngatyu thuṛa. Patnha means he/she/itngatyu means my and thuṛa means man.

NOTE: when a woman says ngatyu thuṛa which translates to my man this is referring to her partner. If however she says ngatyu paarla which translates to my woman she is referring to her friend. This is also the same for a man referring to a man (being his friend) and a woman (being his partner).

Patnha ngatyu thuṛa.
He is my friend.
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