Here are some very common Yankunytjatjara words that’ll come in handy in everyday conversation.
Let’s put some of these words we’ve been learning into some greetings and question sentences.
To ask someone how they are you might ask nyuntu palya? Nyuntu means you and palya means good.
Someone might reply ngayulu palya. Ngayulu means I and palya means good.
If your not so good you might say ngayulu palya wiya. Ngayulu means I, wiya means no and palya means good.
You could also say ngayulu pikatjara. Ngayulu means I and pikatjara means sick.
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.
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.
You might want to ask someone where they’re from by asking Ngura yaaltjinguṟu? Ngura means country and yaaltjinguṟu means from where.
To this you might answer Ngayulu ngura nyanganguṟu. Ngayulu means I, ngura 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.
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.
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 I, tjapu means a little, wangka-ku means posession of and ninti means knowledge.
You might also ask someone what language they are speaking, you could ask wangka nyaa nguntu wangkanyi? Wangka means language, nyaa means what, nyuntu means you and wangkanyi means speaking.
You could reply to this by saying Ngayulu Yankunytjatjara wangkanyi. Ngayulu means I, wangkanyi means speaking and Yankunytjatjara is the name of the language you are speaking.
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.
SOME MORE FEELINGS AND DESCRIBING WORDS
Here are a few other ways you can answer Nyuntu palya?
Next up we’ll be looking at the Yankunytjatjara alphabet and practising prounouncing the sounds of the letters.