Lesson 8 - Talking about locations and directions

Let’s learn how to say ‘I, you, he, she and it’ in Arabana.

In this lesson we will be learning how to say ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘here’ and ‘there’, as well as learning how to talk about the location of people and things. When you have been through the lesson and listened to the recordings, download this sheet and fill out the labels for the locations and directions.

This and that

In Arabana there is more than one way of saying ‘I, you, he, she and it’.

Here is the first set of Arabana pronouns. These are called nominative pronouns.

Arabana
English
nhiki
this
karla nhiki ngurku
this creek is good
karla nhiki ngadlarra-purru
this creek is sandy

karla means 'creek', ngadlarra means 'sandy', -purru means ‘having’.

awarda
that
madla awarda thangkarda
that dog is sitting down

madla means 'dog', awarda means 'that' and thangkarda means 'sitting down'.

akuru
that over there
nharla akuru tharkarnda
that man over there is standing up

Nharla means 'man or person', akuru means 'that over there' and tharkarnda means 'standing up'.

akarda
that far over there (almost out of sight)
kardiri akarda
that hill/mountain over tehre

Kardiri means 'hill or mountain' and akarda means 'that far over there'.

Here and there

nhikirnda
here, this way
nhikirnda kunirnda
put (it) here
nhikirnda-nganha
from here
antha nhikirnda-nganha
I'm from here

Antha means 'I' and nhikirnda-nganha means 'from here'.

awarnda
there
awarnda-ru yukaka
he came from there

Awarnda means 'there', -ru means 'from' and yukaka means 'came'.

Talking about where someone or something is

-warra
in the direction of (this is a suffix added to the end of a word)
awarda-warra
in that direction
nhiki-warra
in this direction
Marree-warra yukarnda
(I'm) going in the direction of Marree

Marree-warra is the name of the town one is going to, yukarnda means 'going'.

-nga
in, at, on (this is a suffix added to the end of a word)
ngatara
behind
antha ngatara yukarnda
I'm walking behind (someone)
ipara
ahead of, in front of
antha ipara yukarnda
I'm walking ahead (of someone)
maruda
across from, other side
uka karla maruda yukarnda
he’s walking on the other side of the creek
ararda
above, high
ararda-nganha
from above, from up high
paya nyinta-nga ararda thangkarda
the birds are sitting high in the tree*

Paya means 'birds' and nyinta-nga means 'in tree'.

thuru
inside
ngaru-nga
deep inside
mingka ngaru-nga
deep inside a burrow

Mingka means 'hole or burrow'.

parlu-nga
outside
uka parlu-nga tharkarnda
he's standing outside

NOTE:When talking about the location of something you need to use a verb (action word). If the animal, person or thing you are talking about is not doing an action (for example, going or flying), you need to instead use a verb which means ‘being’. In English, we use words like ‘is, am, are’ to mean ‘being, existing’. Arabana uses thangkarda sitting, tharkarnda standing and idnhirnda lying in a similar way to this. The ‘being’ verb you use will relate to the shape or movement of the person or thing you are talking about, for example a snake will be idnhirnda lying somewhere, whereas a kangaroo might be tharkarnda standing somewhere.