Now that I'm in Katherine, I'm around different languages. I've started to learn a little bit of Warlpiri and couple of words of Gurindji. With Warlpiri I've gone back to my learning style I used when I was a kakabum learning Icelandic. I carry around a bit of paper and each day my job is get one English sentence translated into Warlpiri. Forget analysing data and systematic approaches, I'm just learning functional words and sentences. (Well, it's more that I don't have any references that I can look at to analyse my data with!). So last week I learned Nyapara ngaju-nyangu coffee-yiji? (Where's my coffee?). And one of yesterday's sentences was Ngaju karna yani ngurra-kurra (I'm going home). Again, these are all unchecked and just done the best way I could on the spot so don't growl me if I've got something wrong.
Although yesterday I cheated and was treated to an excellent 1.5 hour practice of a Warlpiri language training session that will be delivered to local aged care workers here in Katherine. So with a bit of hardcore rote learning, I should be able to say "Mum, that lady can speak language!" in no time (Ngati, wangkami mayi ka jaru yinyaju karnta!)