September 29, 2011

Lovely photo - Marra mob join in the Song Peoples Sessions project

I just wanted to share this lovely photo that Ant from the Ngukurr Arts took of me working with the Ngukurr Marra gang today. We were going through some Marra songs that were recorded a couple of months ago as part of the Song Peoples Sessions project run by Winanjjikari Music Centre and Barkly Regional Arts.

It was a good session and the translations and transcriptions will be published soon, along with a collection of songs from a range of endangered languages throughout the region. One of the old ladies here had already done a great job transcribing and translating the songs a couple of months back. We're just doing a bit of a clean up. Good work team!

Lovely photo, I reckon.

And here's a blogpost about the Marra part of the Song Peoples Session project. Keep an eye for the CD when it's released!

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.

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

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

September 02, 2011

Welcome to the Art Centre

So I'm in Ngukurr again and have been hanging around the Art Centre a bit. They asked me to help with getting 'welcome' messages done in language, which has been kinda fun.  MT did the Marra one first:

Ngarlarla ginya nuwu-minay ninya gana jarag-niwijujunyi waya-wayarra nuwu-minay. 

Kriol and English translations: 

Yumob gaman iya, yumob garra luk dijan weya mela meigimbat, nathakain yumob garra luk.
Come here and you will see what we’ve been making. You’ll see different kinds of things.

And then the next day, Rek-Rek did a Ritharrŋu version: 

Gayunu nhuma nhäŋu yakun'na gamunuŋgu-mala ŋuli napu djaŋ'guŋu.

Kriol and English translations:
Yumob gaman luk dijan ola peinting, weya mela bin duwum. 
You are welcome here to look at all the paintings we've been making.

Was kinda fun thinking about Ritharrŋu again! 

What's also been fun is helping the French volunteer at the Art Centre straighten out some of the Marra that old MT has been teaching her.  There's another Marra student!  She didn't know anything about Marra grammar, spelling or phonology but did her best.  Hopefully my tips have helped and she can learn a bit more.  Good on MT for being such a warhorse of Marra language maintenance.