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 dityi-nga.
I put the flour into the bowl.

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


Kutha pirpirna malya-mayi-nga.
Now pour the water into the flour.

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


Ngunku-thakarna damper.
Roll out the damper.

ngunku-thakarna means rolling out flat.


Murru damper wanhilhuku, ovena-nga.
Once you’ve finished rolling out the damper, put it into the camp oven.

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


Mingka pakarna damper kunhilhuku camp oven-inga.
Dig a hole and put the camp oven in there.

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


Puthurru thadnhirda, maka-pudnu murru kinthalhuku.
Shovel coals over the camp oven, but don’t get it all dusty.

puthurru means dust, thadnhirda means leave off, maka-pudnu means coals, murru means tucker and kinthalhuku means throw.


Maka-pirla kiltarna mingka-ru damper.
Move the coals and pull the camp oven 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.
Pull the camp oven from the fire and take off the lid. Lift out 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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