Lesson 3 - Trees, plants and placenames

Nyinta is the Arabana word used for plants in general, including bushes and trees. There are also names for each plant found on Arabana country.

Let’s learn some of the plant names in Arabana, and practice some sentences using these new words. Don’t forget to listen to the accompanying recordings to help with your pronunciation.

Give the find-a-word a go once you have finished the lesson to see how many plant names you can remember! Download find-a-word.

Arabana
English
wara awarda nyinta pidla?
what's that plant there called?

Here are some plant names to practise saying aloud.

nyinta
general term for plants, including bushes and trees
alkityira
dead-finish wattle
pitha
box-tree
apira
gum tree (general)
yapmalka
quandong, native plum
urinyingka
gidgee tree, stinking wattle
wardityi
mulga
mantharra
sandhill wattle
kutluwa
needlewood tree
yurdi
emu Tree
kalku
acacia
ityara
tea-tree, paperbark, honey-myrtle
yatyalka
tangled lignum (shrub)
karingkarla
mint plant (medicine plant)
kurla
cane grass (found in swamps)
thapi
mistletoe

Tyalpa is a general term for food from plants, but there is also a whole heap of other food that grows on trees, plants and bushes.

tyalpa
General term for all plant-based food
yalka
wild onion
arityi
mulga beans
ardakula
mulga apple
yardlarda
any edible grass seeds (ie nardoo)
miltyi-paru
mistletoe berries
ngudlyu
edible, chewy sap from any tree

Here are a few other useful words relating to nyinta!

pardi
grub (general term)
maka
fire, wood
karrura
roots
palyka-arla
dry leaves
mupu
a stick

Sometimes names of places reflect the nyinta and tyalpa of that place. Here are some key placenames:

Pitha-kalthikalthi-nha
Coward Springs. It also means 'crooked box tree'.
Yalka-paka-nha
Elizabeth Springs. It also means 'digging for wild onions'.
Karla-tyalpa-nha
Anna Creek. It also means 'vegetable food creek'.

Here are some practise sentences containing the words we've learnt.

This gum tree is very tall.

Nhiki means 'this', para-para means 'tall' and -arla means 'really/very'.

Nhiki apira para-para-arla.
This gum tree is very tall.

The gum from the Acacia tree is very good (to eat).

Ngurku means 'good' and -arlai means 'really/very'.

Kalku ngudlyu ngurku-arlai.
The gum from the acacia tree is very good (to eat).

There are many grubs in this box tree.

Nhuka means ‘many’, the ending –nga means ‘in’ and thangkarda literally means ‘sitting’, but is used in this sentence to mean ‘are’.

Pardi nhuka pitha-nga thangkarda.
There are many grubs in this box tree.

We are 'cleaning' grass seeds to eat.

Arnanthara means ‘we’, ngurku-marnda means ‘make good/clean’ and tharnilhuku means ‘eat’.

Arnanthara yardlarda ngurku-marnda tharnilhuku.
We are 'cleaning' grass seeds to eat.

Mum is going to dig some wild onions.

Lhuka means ‘mum’, yukarnda means ‘going’ and pakalhuku means ‘dig’

Lhuka yukarnda yalka pakalhuku.
Mum is going to dig some wild onions.
Remember to download the find-a-word and to see how many plant names you can remember.