A few weeks ago, most of the people I work with started a Batchelor course (Batchelor is the college/university based in the NT specifically for Aboriginal people). The course they’re doing builds language work skills: reading and writing language, recording, teaching – all the same stuff we do here anyway. But I encouraged these guys to do the course so they can get accreditation for the training they’re already doing.
And so a lecturer came out to get these guys started and we’re continuing meeting twice a week for tutoring sessions to get through the course.
Yesterday morning only three of the students came but we got some good work done. They practiced using the minidisc to play recordings and then make their own. I helped make sure GB was doing it right and then off they went, all recording each other in Marra saying the bush tucker names they’d written down the day before.
After that, we listened to the recordings and then transcribed FR’s recording. Well, I shouldn’t say we. GB did it all on the board, I only had to help a couple of times – the other old ladies were helping him too. This is the short text that FR recorded on minidisc and GB transcribed:
Blackcurrant gana warr-iwiganji gumirr.
Nanggaya gayi white currant blanggangga warr-iwiganji nana nanggaya.
Blackplum gana warr-iwiganji gulinja.
Nana nanggaya conkerberry warr-iwiganji jinggulili.
Lilyseed warr-iwiganji yarlbun.
Nana nanggaya lilyroot garnaya gana warr-iwiganji.
Green plum gana warr-iwiganji yurrmuru.
Lilystalk warr-iwiganji jawjaw.
The only words GB needed help spelling were 'warr-iwiganji', 'jinggulili' and 'jabay'. We didn’t even translate it, which I love – a Marra text standing on its own.
But for those who don’t understand Marra (hehe), here’s a rough translation:
Blackcurrant, we call it gumirr.
That other one, white currant - blanggangga we call that one.
Blackplum we call it gulinja.
That conkerberry, we call it jinggulili.
Lilyseed we call it yarlbun.
That lilyroot – garnaya, we call it.
Green plum we call it yurrmuru.
Lilystalk we call it jawjaw.
That’s about it. (Lit: maybe that’s all).
Oh, and there's pictures of blanggangga and gulinja already on this blog... try look at Feb or March postings...