Guugu Yimithirr Lesson 7

A song: Guujuwi Barrabarrawi (Fishing in the Mangroves)

One of the most important projects in our language work is creating new songs together with Guugu Yimithirr school students. Singing is one of the best ways to revitalise a language.

In this lesson we’ll llisten to the song Guujuwi Barrabarrawi (Fishing in the Mangroves).

 Below is the text with English translation:

Ngayu baduur ngathu thambarr

I throw my line          I / line / my / throw

gurra gunbu-gunbu waarrilil.

and it sings as it flies.          and / song-song / is flying

 

Ngayu thiigaaya gurra diigal.

I stretch and let it go.         I / stretch / and / send

Nhayun bulii buurraay bathaalbi.

It falls in deep water.         It / falls / water / deep-in

 

Ngayu garrbun, ngayu garrbun,

I’m happy, I am happy.         I / happy / I / happy

Ngayu ngathu baduur thambanbarr.

I throw my line.         I / my / line / am throwing

 

***

 

Ngayu dagaalgiya barrabarrawi.

I sit in the mangroves.         I / am sitting / mangrove-in

 

Ngayu binaalgu banyjiilnyjinhu

I know how to wait.         I / know / be waiting-to

 

Ngayu buurraay munhi nhaamaalma.

I watch the dark water.         I / water / black / am watching

 

Buurraay munhiwi nhulu daabaalbiya.

In the dark water he moves.         Water / black-in / he / is moving

 

***

 

Ngayu baduur ngathu thambarr

I throw my line           I / line / my / throw

gurra gunbu-gunbu waarrilil.

and it sings as it flies.          and / song-song / is flying

 

Ngayu thiigaaya gurra diigal.

I stretch and let it go.         I / stretch / and / send

Nhayun bulii buurraay bathaalbi.

It falls in deep water.         it / falls / water / deep-in

 

Ngayu garrbun, ngayu garrbun,

I’m happy, I am happy.         I / happy / I / happy

Ngayu ngathu baduur thambanbarr.

I throw my line.         I / my / line / am throwing

 

***

 

Ngayu banyjii barrbaalnda jindanhu.

I wait for the black bream to bite.          I / wait / black bream-doer / bite-to

 

Ngayu binaalgu banyjiilnyjinhu

I know how to wait.         I / know / be waiting-to

 

 

Ngayu dagaalgiya guugumulgu.

I sit quietly          I / am sitting / speech-without-gu

 

Ngayu banyjii buurraay munhiwigu.

I wait by the dark water.          I / wait / water / black-at-gu

 

***

Ngayu baduur ngathu thambarr

I throw my line           I / line / my / throw

gurra gunbu-gunbu waarrilil.

and it sings as it flies.          and / song-song / is flying

 

Ngayu thiigaaya gurra diigal.

I stretch and let it go.         I / stretch / and / send

Nhayun bulii buurraay bathaalbi.

It falls in deep water.         it / falls / water / deep-in

 

Ngayu garrbun, ngayu garrbun,

I’m happy, I am happy.         I / happy / I / happy

Ngayu ngathu baduur thambanbarr.

I throw my line.         I / my / line / am throwing

 

***

 

Ngayu banyjii barrbaalnda jindanhu.

I wait for the black bream to bite.          I / wait / black bream-doer / bite-to

 

Ngayu binaalgu banyjiilnyjinhu

I know how to wait.         I / know / be waiting-to

 

Ngayu buurraay munhi nhamaalma.

I watch the dark water.         I / water / black / am watching

 

Buurraay munhiwi

In the dark water          water / black-in

nhulu daabaalbiya.

he moves.          he / is moving

The ending –wi/-bi can mean “to or at a place”

There’s lots of grammar in this song, but we’ll pick one important piece of grammar. The title is Guujuwi Barrabarrawi. We have said that –wi means “to” as in “Give it to him”. But it can also mean “to a place” or “at a place” or “in a place”

Barrabarra is a mangrove tree, so barrabarrawi means “in the mangroves”.

The ending –wi can have the form –bi after a consonant. In the song we heard the words buurraay “water” and bathal “deep”. Buurraay bathaalbi means “in the deep water”. The –bi at the end means “in”.

GRAMMAR FACT IN LESSON 7

The ending –wi/-bi menas “to”, “in” or “at” when we talk about places or things. These meanings are called Allative and Locative in linguistics, but it’s not necessary to remember those terms.

TEST YOURSELF

Now go to the Quizlet web site to practice what you learned in this lesson:

https://quizlet.com/339191615/guugu-yimithirr-lesson-7-flash-cards/

Three are many new words in this song, but we are only testing ten of them in the Quizlet. Please remember that many of the words in the song have endings that we haven’t studied in detail. For example, the song has the word ”waarrilil” (is flying), but in the Quizlet we learn the basic form ”waarril” (fly).