Lesson 6 – Telling a story

In this lesson we will be listening to Aulpunda Jean Crombie, Anpanuwa Joyce Crombie and their mother Arlinda Linda Crombie telling us a story about making damper. This story was originally told by Arlinda and all rights remain with her family.

Each sentence is said twice by the narrators. Make sure to take a look at the meaning of each word, written underneath the sentences, to better understand the structure of Wangkangurru language.


Makin’ Damper

Malya-mayi athu kunira thityi-nga.
I'm putting the flour into the dish.

malya-mayi means flour, athu means I, kunira means put down, thityi means dish and the ending -nga means in.


Kutha pirpirna malya-mayi-nga.
Now I'm pouring the water into the flour.

kutha means water, pirpirna means pouring, malya-mayi means flour and the ending -nga means in.


Ngunku-thakarna damper.
Rolling out the damper.

ngunku-thakarna means rolling out flat.


Murru damper wanhilhuku, ovena-nga.
Putting the damper into the camp oven to cook.

murru means tucker, wanhilhuku means finished, ovena means oven and the ending -nga means in.


Mingka pakarna damper kunilhuku camp oven-inga.
Digging a hole to put the camp oven in.

mingka means hole, pakarna means dig, kunilhuku means put down and the ending -inga means in.


Puthurru thadnhirda, maka-pudnhu murru kiltalhuku.
Leaving behind the dust and the coals to pull out the bread.

puthurru means dust, thadnhirda means leave off, maka-pudnhu means coals, murru means tucker and kiltalhuku means to pull out.


Maka-pirla kiltarna mingka-ru damper.
Pulling the coals out from the hole.

maka-pirla means coals, kiltarna means pull out (and put down), mingka means hole and the ending -ru means from.


Camp oven-i kiltarna maka-ru, mayi-kunha marna thikiltaru, damper thikilta-lhuku.
Pulling the camp oven from the fire. Take off the lid to get the damper.

camp oven-i means camp oven, kiltarna means pull out (and put down), mayi means fire, the ending -ru means from, mayi means food and the ending -kunha means for, marna means lid, thikilataru means telling someone to pull out, thikilitalhuku means to pull out.


Thadnaru madlhi-wityirna, damper pintyirda.
Leave the damper until it gets cool, and then cut it into small pieces.

thadnaru means telling someone to leave it, madlhi-wityirna means cooling down and pintyirda means to separate out.


Damper pilthirri Kayah-aru tharnirda.
Kayah’s eating a piece of damper.

pilthirri means piece, Kayah is the name of the person, the ending -aru means that Kayah is the one doing the action and tharnirda means eating.


Ukarai! Deadly! Now take a listen to the whole story, how much can you remember?

Listen to the whole story:
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