Lesson 1 – Greetings and Introductions

In this lesson you will learn a short conversation in Wangkangurru. Start by learning how to say hello and how are you. You can then ask each others’ name and where you are from. Finally, you can ask what they want to eat and where they are going. Practise this conversation with a friend. Click on the icon next to the sentences to hear the recording.


Wangkangurru has many ways of greeting people. A common way to greet someone might be to say Arru!, this means hello, you could also say Mayi which also means hello or hi.



A few other handy words to know as we begin learning are:

good, ok

Questions and Answers

When getting to know someone new, you might like to ask unpa ngurku? Unpa means you and ngurku means good.

Unpa ngurku?
How are you?


You might also respond with antha ngulpaAntha means I and ngulpa means sick.

Antha ngulpa.
I'm sick.

You might ask a few different questions about who people are and where they’re from.

A common question might be Wara unpa? Wara means who and unpa means you.

Wara unpa?
Who are you?


You might also ask Minha unpa pidla?Minha means whatunpa means you and pidla means name.

Minha unpa pidla?
What is your name?


A response to this could be Antha pidla Anpanuwa-nha. Antha means Ipidla means name and -nha or -anha is added after your name to show that it is a name.

Antha pidla Anpanuwa-nha.
My name is Anpanuwa.


To find out where someone is from you could ask Thiyara-nganha unpa? Thiyara means where-nganha means from and unpa means you.

Thiyara-nganha unpa?
Where are you from?


An answer to this might be Antha Wirarri-nganhaAntha means IWirarri is the Wangkangurru name for Birdsville and -nganha means originally from.

Antha Wirarri-nganha.
I'm from Birdsville.


Here are some other places that you might be from

Simpson Desert
Alton Downs


You might also respond to the question ‘where are you from?’ by saying that you are a Wangkangurru woman or man. Antha means I, ulyurla means woman, and yuwu means man.

Antha Wangkangurru ulyurla.
I'm a Wangkangurru woman.
Antha Wangkangurru yuwu.
I'm a Wangkangurru man.

Feelings and Actions

Being able to describe some feelings and what you might want is handy when learning conversation in Wangkangurru.

Someone might ask you Minha unpa wayarnda? Minha means whatunpa means you and wayarnda means want.

Minha unpa wayarnda?
What do you want?


You might reply to this question with Antha kudnala wayarnda. Antha means Ikudnala means sleep and wayarnda means want.

Antha kudnala wayarnda.
I want to have a sleep.


You might also answer Antha wadlhara. Antha means I and wadlhara means hungry.

Antha wadlhara.
I'm hungry.


If you would like to ask for water you might say, Antha kutha wayarnda. Antha means Ikutha means water and wayarnda means want.

Antha kutha wayarnda.
I want some water.


Another question you can ask someone is What do you want to eat?Minha unpa tharnilhuku wayarnda? Minha means whatunpa means youtharnilhuku means to eat and wayarnda means want.

A response to this might be Antha tharnilhuku kathi wayarnda I want to eat meat. Antha means Itharnilhuku means to eatkathi means meat and wayarnda means want.

You might also want to eat some damper. For this you would say Antha tharnilhuku murru wayarnda. Antha means Itharnilhuku means to eatmurru means damper/tucker and wayarnda means want.

Minha unpa tharnilhuku wayarnda?
What do you want to eat?
Antha tharnilhuku kathi wayarnda.
I want to eat meat.
Antha tharnilhuku murru wayarnda.
I want to eat damper.


You may want to ask someone Unpa thiyara-ruku yukarnda? Unpa means youthiyara means where-ruku means to and yukarnda means going.

Unpa thiyara-ruku yukarnda?
Where are you going?


You might respond to this by saying Antha ngura-ruku yukarnda. Antha means Ingura means home/camp-ruku means to and yukarnda means going.

Antha ngura-ruku yukarnda.
I'm going home.


If you’re returning home you might say Antha ngura-ruku thikarnda. Antha means Ingura means home/camp-ruku means to and thikarnda means returning.

Antha ngura-ruku thikarnda.
I'm returning home.


Another common response might be Antha kudna-warli-ruku yukarnda. Antha means Ikudna-warli is a word for toilet, the ending -ruku means to and yukarnda means going.

Antha kudna-warli-ruku yukarnda.
I'm going to the toilet.

Language learning

You might like to talk about your experiences learning Wangkangurru language.


First, let’s proudly announce that we’re speaking Wangkangurru! Antha means I,  and yanhirnda means talking.

Antha Wangkangurru yanhirnda.
I'm talking Wangkangurru.


Here are some other sentences related to language learning. Remember that yanhirnda means speaking. Wangka means word or language and yata means again.

What? Pardon?
Wangkangurru yanhirnda.
Speak Wangkangurru.
Wangka yanhirnda yata.
Say the word again.


As you finish up a conversation you might say Wanga-wanga nhanhinha! which means See (you) tomorrow. Wanga-wanga means tomorrow, and nhanhinha means will see.

Wanga-wanga nhanhinha!
See (you) tomorrow!
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