Lesson 1 – Daily Conversation

Let’s begin by learning some handy everyday words and sentences in Yankunytjatjara that will help us talk and hear Yankunytjatjara.

We’ll begin with the basics and then move on to some questions and answers.

It’s really good to practise saying things outloud. Listen to the audio, then try to match what you’re saying with it.

USEFUL WORDS

These words are some of the most commmon and useful words used when learning to speak Yankunytjatjara. Use them as your safe words to keep conversations going and listen out for them to begin to understand other people speaking Yankunytjatjara. Some combinations of these words will be in a majority of conversations people have.

English
Yankunytjatjara
ok, good
palya
yes
uwa
no
wiya
maybe
tjinguṟu


COMMON WORDS

Here are some very common Yankunytjatjara words that’ll come in handy in everyday conversation.

hello
wai
you
nyuntu
I
ngayulu
he/she/it
paluṟu
where
yaaltji
what
nyaa
who
ngananya

GREETINGS

Let’s put some of these words we’ve been learning into some greetings and question sentences.

Hello!
Wai!


To ask someone how they are you might ask nyuntu palya? Nyuntu means you and palya means good.

You good?
Nyuntu palya?

Someone might reply ngayulu palya. Ngayulu means I and palya means good.

I'm good.
Ngayulu palya.


If your not so good you might say ngayulu palya wiya. Ngayulu means Iwiya means no and palya means good.

You could also say ngayulu pikatjara. Ngayulu means I and pikatjara means sick.

I'm not good.
Ngayulu palya wiya.
I'm sick.
Ngayulu pikatjara.

We’ll touch on a few other responses a bit later on.


SOME BASIC QUESTIONS

Let’s have a look a few question and answer sentences that will help you use Yankunytjatjara in everyday conversations.

If you meet somebody, you might want to ask them Nyuntu ngananya? Nyuntu means you and ngananya means who.

Who are you?
Nyuntu ngananya?


To this you might reply Ngayulu Lisa-nya. Ngayulu means I and Lisa-nya is your name.

If your name is Pingkai you would answer this Ngayulu Pingkai-nya. Once again Ngayulu means I and Pingkai-nya is your name.

I'm Lisa.
Ngayulu Lisa-nya.
I'm Pingkai.
Ngayulu Pingkai-nya.


You might want to ask someone where they’re from by asking Ngura yaaltjinguṟu? Ngura means country and yaaltjinguṟu means from where.

Where are you from?
Ngura yaaltjinguru?


To this you might answer Ngayulu ngura nyanganguṟu. Ngayulu means Ingura means country and nyanganguṟu means here (this place).

You might also reply with Ngayulu Alice Springs-la-nguṟu. Ngayulu means I and Alice Springs-la-nguṟu is where you’re from.

If you were from Adelaide you would say Ngayulu Adelaide-la-nguṟu. Once again ngayulu means I and Adelaide-la-nguṟu is the place that you are from.

I come from this place.
Ngayulu ngura nyanganguṟu.
I come from Alice Springs.
Ngayulu Alice Springs-la-nguṟu.
I come from Adelaide.
Ngayulu Adelaide-la-nguṟu.


As you are learning to speak Yankunytjatjara it can be handy to tell people what language you are speaking and even let people know that you are still learning.

Let’s learn some sentences that talk about speaking Yankunytjatjara.


To begin with wangka is the Yankunytjatjara word for language and wangkanyi means speaking.

language
wangka
speaking
wangkanyi


If you’ve only just begun to learn Yankunytjatjara you might want say to another speaker I only have a little bit of language, you might say this by saying ngayulu tjapu wangka-ku ninti. Ngayulu means Itjapu means a littlewangka-ku means posession of and ninti means knowledge.

I only speak a little language.
Ngayulu tjapu wangka-ku ninti.


You might also ask someone what language they are speaking, you could ask wangka nyaa nguntu wangkanyi? Wangka means languagenyaa means whatnyuntu means you and wangkanyi means speaking.

What language are you speaking?
Wangka nyaa nguntu wangkanyi?

You could reply to this by saying Ngayulu Yankunytjatjara wangkanyi. Ngayulu means Iwangkanyi means speaking and Yankunytjatjara is the name of the language you are speaking.

I'm speaking Yankunytjatjara.
Ngayulu Yankunytjatjara wangkanyi.


You might also want to ask another speaker if you are speaking alright, you could say Palya-ṉa wangkanyi? Palya-ṉa means I good and wangkanyi means speaking.

Am I speaking alright?
Palya-na wangkanyi?


SOME MORE FEELINGS AND DESCRIBING WORDS

Here are a few other ways you can answer Nyuntu palya?

How are you?
Nyuntu palya?
I'm happy.
Ngayulu pukul.
I'm sad.
Ngayulu iluru-iluru.
I'm tired.
Ngayulu paku.
I'm angry.
Ngayulu mirpan.
I'm scared.
Ngayulu ngulu.
I'm cold.
Ngayulu wari.
I'm hot.
Ngayulu kampanyi.
I'm hungry.
Ngayulu anymatjara.
I'm thirsty.
Ngayulu kapi ilu.
I'm crazy.
Ngayulu rama.
I'm confident.
Ngayulu rapa.


Next up we’ll be looking at the Yankunytjatjara alphabet and practising prounouncing the sounds of the letters.

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