September 05, 2011

Gani n-marranguru gana ngarl-umindini

Here's a photo of my "office" for the afternoon:


I sat down here with BR, FR and JJ to transcribe a story in Marra old MT had recorded with me last week. It's a great story about two men who encountered a submarine in the Gulf of Carpentaria while hunting for dugong but had no idea what it was. Initially, they thought it was a rainbow serpent. 

Kudos to the language mob here for their wonderful work and contributions: MTs story was great and well told and this arvo BR and FR helped me plough through the 7-minute recording in just two hours, completing a nice transcription and Kriol translation.

I have to share the bit that I loved the most, from when the army guys encountered the two Marra hunters:

"Ngarl-urrumanji Ingglish?"
Gani n-marranguru gana ngarl-umindini.

Translation:
"Do you two speak English?"
Only heads were speaking. 

Inferring that they just stood there and shook their heads.  How lovely is that! :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Only heads were speaking...
That Ngukurr?
Maggagie