BK Kakadu course 2020

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14 replies
  1. Amber-W
    Amber-W says:

    I always have to remember that brothers and sisters don’t say each others names – so if I am asking for the name of someone I make sure to ask someone else. In terms of sitting in groups – as long as there are options people can choose their own place to sit as appropriate so making sure there are some different areas available.

    Nakudji daluk wam kabbal. Wanjh djarrang kalobme wernkih kore daluk. Kakeleminj daluk dja kadokme kured. (please let me know how to make thi one make sense!)

    Nakamarrang kahdi makabo. Kahnan namarnkol dja modjarrki/kumoken.

    • Cathy Bow
      Cathy Bow says:

      Feedback from Murray on your sentences (sorry for the delay)
      Nakudji daluk wam kabbal. CORRECT
      Wanjh djarrang lobmeng [use past tense] wernkih kore daluk.
      Keleminj ngalekke daluk dja dokmeng kured. [past tense]
      Nakamarrang kahdi kukabo [at the river].
      Kahnan namarnkol dja modjarrki/kumoken. [very good]

  2. Erin-R
    Erin-R says:

    Spending time and asking questions with Bininj people, you start to get a sense of the complexity of family relationships and the language and cultural practice around them. This course is helping me make further sense of (and remember the bits I have forgotten!!) that incidental learning along the way, and reinforce it in my mind … Though fully aware that we are just scratching the surface here.

    It really makes me reflect on how much language and culture is inseparable no matter what the language. Even a language like English that pretends to be neutral.. all of it rests of cultural assumption, understanding and norms, and all the things non-native English speakers have to negotiate to get their message across in English which in contrast lacks so much nuance, especially around family and relationships! I really hope just having more insight into these things helps me to improve my communication and my self-awareness working in West Arnhem.

    Reflecting back – there have been so many moments working across differences.. managing travel arrangements/rosters with siblings for example, with so little understanding of why people were not able to sit together. The patience Bininj (and other groups in West Arnhem) have had with me explaining concepts and giving my feeble mind time cannot be overstated!

  3. Erin-R
    Erin-R says:

    picture 1. (decided the girl was my yabok 🙂 )

    Yabok baleh wam?
    Yabok Koyek kunukka mayhmayh, dja Karrikad kunukka djarrang, dja walem kunukka kulabbarl .
    Yabok, djarrang dja mayhmayh birriwam kulabbarl 

    picture 2 (he is my rdardda)
    Rdardda wam makeba
    Rdardda nang djenj, dja kinga nang rdardda.
    djenj kare kunred

    • Cathy Bow
      Cathy Bow says:

      Hi Erin – you attempted some more complicated sentences for this activity! Here is some feedback from Murray (sorry for the delay)

      Yabok baleh wam? GOOD
      Yabok Koyek kunukka mayhmayh, dja Karrikad kunukka djarrang, dja walem kunukka kulabbarl.
      If you want to say, ‘Sister went east to that bird’ it would be ‘Yabok wam koyek kore namekke mayhmayh.’

      Kunukka wam. ‘She went like that’.

      What is the target English equivalent? There are no verbs in the sentence. You need some verbs.

      (Also no need for koyek and karrikad to be capitalised?)

      Yabok, djarrang dja mayhmayh birriwam kulabbarl (good)
      Rdardda wam makeba
      – Makeba is not a word in Kunwinjku – perhaps you meant mankabo? Here you would use kukabo (to the river)

      Rdardda nang djenj, dja kinga nang rdardda. (good)
      djenj kare kured (instead of kunred)
      The ku- prefix means to or at.

  4. Celina-E
    Celina-E says:

    My thoughts and reflections are similar to Erin’s. While I have been made aware of certain cultural practices I still often forget and have trouble putting them into place. One thing that I have become very aware of and trying to change is when I speak to my ‘brothers’. I often forget it is better to not say their name. Sometimes the difficulty comes in not knowing how to say them in another way apart from skin name which can sometimes be confusing if there is more than one brother! I often find it difficult to remember the reasons behind why a particular person maybe speaking to me instead of the person they are speaking for. This is definitely something I want to work on as it is a major part of communication.

    Just like the heat makes me slow down and adjust my pace, so do the nuances in bininj communication and relationships. In many ways I have become more reflective.

    Ngalkamarrang wam kulubarl. Nang mayhmayh dja djarrang. Ngalkamarrang wam Nabangardi. Ngalkamarrang dja Nabangardi birriwam djenj.

    • Cathy Bow
      Cathy Bow says:

      Good sentences Celina – watch your spelling (kulabbarl)
      When there are two subjects, use bene- (Ngalkamarrang dja Nabangardi BENEwam djenj.)
      And using wam, you should also use kore to indicate ‘to’ (Ngalkamarrang wam KORE Nabangardi).

  5. Michael-A
    Michael-A says:

    While I am finding some of the pronunciation difficult, practicing out loud is helping a lot.

    In particular I have enjoyed getting a fuller understanding of the skin names and how they are passed down from the mother. It highlights the importance (and complexity) of kin.

    Now it is time for me to practice describing the pictures…. this will take a bit of time.

  6. Mia-D
    Mia-D says:

    I found this week I really needed to brush up on my English grammar, which is definitely a good thing and is certainly an important part of learning a new language. It also took me a while to get my head around the ‘Terms of Address’ and the differences in how people interact depending on age and gender. Thankfully we revisited the topic in in the vocabularly lesson which cleared it up.

    1. Bininj nang kinga dja djenj
    2. Djakku kanani kinga dja djenj
    3.Yabok dja mayhmayh dja djarrang kare kabbal

    • Cathy Bow
      Cathy Bow says:

      Some feedback from Murray about your sentences (sorry for the delay)

      1. Bininj nang kinga dja djenj (good)

      2. Djakku kanani kinga dja djenj (kanani is incorrect)
      The past imperfective -nani is only used for things in the distant past like, what people used to do long ago. For recent past continuous, you reduplicate the verb nang > nangahnang ‘he watched’. You always drop the ka- off in the past. Thus:
      Djakku nangahnang kinga dja djenj ‘Djakku was watching the crocodile and the fish.’

      3.Yabok dja mayhmayh dja djarrang kare kabbal. (The number of the subject is plural but the prefix on your verb to go -re is singular. They have to match, thus:
      Yabok dja mayhmayh dja djarrang kabirrire kabbal.

  7. Jonathan-H
    Jonathan-H says:

    I think that in the Western culture, it is a big deal to have distinction between surnames. We trace our ancestors that way. However, it must be very challenging for Bininj to understand our culture when the woman traditionally loses her own surname forever. Our concept of middle names and initials would also be difficult for them. I have found the further we go in the course, the harder it is for me to build sentences as i am on my own with no one to talk to – i have some Gunbalanya friends I will try to call and practice. Like the others in the course, i have found it difficult when grammar has not been my strong point in the English language.

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