Sunset over water

Maliyaa bulaarr, ngadaa dhuni


The Gamilaraay language is a Pama–Nyungan language of the Wiradhuric subgroup found mainly in south-east Australia.

Gamilaraay conversation script by Charlotte Ward and Keri James, as part of their work in Gamilaraay 2 (AUST2008) at ANU, a two-week intensive course held during the winter break. The script has directions for making a video. Part of the task was to include grammatical features of Gamilaraay, such as the inclusive/exclusive pronoun distinction and the ‘associated eating’ verb suffix.


C: Yaama baawaa. Gaba nginda?

C: Hello sister, are you good?


K: Yawu, gababan.gaan ngaya. Gaba nginda?

K: Yes, I’m really good. Are you good?


C: Gamilbala, yuulngin ngaya.

C: No, I’m hungry.

K: Ngarragaa. Yananga ngali dhaligu.

K: Poor thing. Let us go eat.


C: Yananga ngali Cafegu, ngiyarrma ngali dhali. Yaa, dhamaylanha (Girrinilgu yananhi…)

C: Let’s go to the café, there we will eat. Hey/oh, it’s raining!    (goes to the window…)


K: Dhamaylandaay, gamilnga ngaya yanay.

K: If it’s raining, I will not go.


C: Yanangabala ngali, ngamiligu ngali minyagaa balanhiidha ngarriylandaay.

C:  Let’s go to the kitchen, to see what is in the fridge.


K: Gamil, yanangabala nginda balanhiigu, guwaalanga nganunda dhurraluwingindaay.

K: No, you go to the fridge and tell me when you return.


K: (Calls out…) Ngay yuul Gaadhaya!

K: Bring me food!


C: Ngaayaybaay, yinggilbala nginda.

C: OK, but you’re lazy.

(C leaves and goes to fridge and then returns with food for herself).


K: Dhalaa yuul ngay? Gamilaanda ngaama yuul gaanhi?

K: Where’s my food? Why didn’t you bring food?


C: Dhalaabay ngaya yuul. Galibala ngaya dhaay gaanhi, ngarugigu nginda.

C: I ate all the food.  I have brought water for you to drink.


K: Wamba nginda!

K: You’re crazy/an idiot. 

(we hit each other – then stop).


C: Bumalaylanhi ngali.

C: We were hitting each other.


K: Yawu. (look at camera) bumalaylanhi ngalinya.

K: We were hitting each other. (This section has inclusive and exclusive pronouns)


C: Madja Keri.

C: Sorry Keri.


K: Madja Charlotte.

K: Sorry Charlotte.


C: Madja ngaliyuu ginyi

C: Both of us are sorry.


K: Yanay ngaya

K: I will go to the kitchen.

(Goes to kitchen and then comes back).


K: Yuul ngalingu nginu nhama.

K: Food for me and you.


C: Giirr ngali nginda yuul dhali.

C: Me and you will eat some food.

(they eat the food and then vomit –off camera!).


K: Dhaldaay ngali dhinggaa, wiibidhanhi ngali.

K: We ate the meat and then we got sick (because of the meat).


C: Gamilbala, ngadhan.gaa milgin ngarungindaay, wiibidhanhi ngali.

C: No, we drank the milk and got sick, I think.


K: Galibala ngarunga! Barraay, gali ngay wuudhaya.

K: Drink water! Quick, give me water.

(We drink water). 


C: Giirrnga ngaya gaba gidhanhi.

C: I feel better now.


K: Burumagubula ngaya gali wuudhay .

K: I will give the dog water as well.


C: Dhalaa buruma?  

C: Where is the dog?


K: Dhalaawaayaa. Gamil ngaya ngamiy.

K: I don’t know where the dog is. I have not seen it.


C: Ngaarrimanha, nguuguubaldanha nguru minyagaa.

C: She is chewing something over there!


K: Gabanha, wana ngali yanay ngamiligu!

K: Oh no, let’s go and see!


C: Nguwama nguru biiba nguuguubaldanha.  Wanagidjay.  Kipper, Buruma gagil, garriya biiba nguuguubaldaya – wanaa!

C: She’s there and she’s chewing the paper! Bad dog Kipper, stop chewing the paper – you mustn’t do it!


K: Kipper, barraay dhaay ‘nanga.  Wana ngiyaniyuu yurrulgu yanawaabali.  Yiyalngabala baluwaa dhamaylanha.

K: Come here quickly Kipper.  Let’s all go to the bush.  It is only showering now.


C: Gadhabal!  Gamilaa?  Wana ngiyani yarraaman ngamilday.

C: Wonderful!  Why not?  Let’s visit the horse.

(Cut to horse, dog and paddock)


K: Gamiluunha ngaya ngamildanha.

K: I can’t see her yet.


 C: Gamiluunga baadidhi wurunga.  Ngayawaanda wurugi.

C: Don’t go into the paddock yet.  I will go in first.


K: Ngaayay.  Ngaarrimanhabala ngaya ngamildanha.  Dhirrabuu nhama yarraaman ngamiyaanha.

K: OK.  I see her now over there!  That horse looks totally flash.


C: Badidha ganmaymayaanhi Poppy, yarraaman ngay, burumagunha ngay gaawaandaay.

C: A few days ago, when my dog chased it, my horse Poppy got caught in the fence.


K: Yilaadhu gaba Poppy?

K: Is Poppy OK now?


C: Yawu, gaba ngaama.

C: Yes, she’s good.


K: Gaan.giilinyi ngaya yuul Poppygu.

K: I brought food for Poppy.


C: Yawu, gaba. Wuuna ngurungu yuul.

C: Yes, good. Give her the food.


K: Ngaayaybaay.

K: OK.

(Gives Poppy carrots).


C: Giirr maaru!

C: Good job!


C: Yilaa gundhigu ngiyaniyuu yanawaabali, ngadhan.gaa dhamangaylandaay.

C: We will all go home soon, because I think it will rain again this afternoon.


K: Gaba, yananga ngali!

K: Good, let’s go!



Gamilaraay will be taught (AUST1001, INDG2003) as an intensive in Sydney, January 14-21, 2019, as part of the Australian Indigenous Languages Institute.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.