Wirangu Alphabet

The basic Wirangu alphabet contains:

a, b, d, dh, dy, g, i, l, lh, ly, m, n, ng, nh, ny, r, rd, rl, rn, R, u, w, y

NOTE: the first syllable of each word is stressed.

b

b - as in bad.

Try saying:

buba
dog

d

d - as in doctor.

Try saying:

yadu
good

dh

dh - is like a d with the tip of the tongue between the teeth.

Try saying:

baladhaga
they

dy

dy - as in jar.

Try saying:

waldya
eagle

g

g - as in goat.

Try saying:

bugardi
shoes, boots

l

l - as in little.

Try saying:

bulugi
cow, cattle

ly

ly - as in million.

Try saying:

gagalya
cockatoo

m

m - as in more.

Try saying:

mama
father

n

n - as in nest.

Try saying:

dyina
foot

ng

ng - as in sing.

Try saying:

ngabala
bearded dragon lizard

nh

nh - is like a n with the tip of the tongue between the teeth.

Try saying:

nhangga
Aboriginal person, man

ny

ny - as in onion.

Try saying:

bunyuru
bush, scrub

r

r - is a tap produced with the tongue behind the ridge of the teeth. Like butter, if spoken fast.

Try saying:

ngura
camp

rd

rd - is like a d with the tongue tip curled back.

Try saying:

bardi
grub, witchetty grub, tree grub

rl

rl - is like a l with the tongue tip curled back.

Try saying:

mabarla
ashes

rn

rn - is like a n with the tongue tip curled back.

Try saying:

marna
many

R

R - like real.

Try saying:

baRu
meat

w

w - like will.

Try saying:

wana
digging stick

y

y - like you.

Try saying:

yadu
good, beautiful

NOTE: As with many Australian languages the consonant b can sometimes sound like a soft p. It is important to note that this is always spelt as a b in Wirangu. This is also true for the consonant d which can sometimes sound like the consonant t but is always spelt with a d. Further to this the consonant g can also sometimes sound like a k it is also always written as a g in Wirangu.

SHORT VOWELS

Wirangu has three distinct short vowel sounds each with a corresponding long variant. The short vowels are:

a

a - as in father but a bit shorter.

Try saying:

bamba
deaf, blind

i

i - as in sit.

Try saying:

minga
ant

u

u - as in put.

Try saying:

guma
one, alone

LONG VOWELS

The long vowels usually occur in short, one syllable words and are relatively infrequent.

Please note the convention is to spell the short and long vowels the same way: a, i or u. You do come across aa in Wirangu. This is often in result of the addition of an affix to a vowel final word.

An example of this is marnaardu the word for 'very big'. In this case marna means 'big' and -ardu means 'very'.

a

a - like the a in car.

Try saying:

ma
food

i

i - like the ee in feel.

Try saying:

mil
eye

u

u - like the oo in boo.

Try saying:

yu
windbreak