Lesson 1 - Greetings, Questions and Answers

This guide will cover basic greetings, leave takings and questions and answers. Anything highlighted is a word in Arabana. Click the play button next to each example to hear the sentence being said in Arabana.

Repeat the phrases out loud to learn the correct pronunciation and then practice the questions and answers with a friend!


A common greeting that can be used is Arru!, this translates to Hello!

Hello there!


When getting to know someone new, you might like to ask wara anpa? Wara means who and anpa means you.

Who are you?
Wara anpa?

A response to this question is antha Laurie–nha. Antha meaning I, Laurie being your name and –nha an ending used for personal names.

I am Mervyn.
Antha Mervyn-anha.

If you want to know where someone is from you may ask intyara-nganha anpa? Intyara meaning where –nganha meaning from and anpa meaning you.

Where are you from?
Intyara-nganha anpa?

A response to this might be antha Marree-nganha. Antha meaning I, followed by the place you are from and –nganha meaning from.

I'm from Marree.
Antha Marree-nganha.

Another response to the question of where are you from might be antha nhikirnda-nganha. Antha meaning I, nhikirnda meaning here and –nghanha meaning from.

I'm from here.
Antha nhikirnda-nganha.

A common question you might ask someone is anpa ngurku? Anpa meaning you and ngurku meaning well.

Are you well?
Anpa ngurku?

A response to this might be aray, antha ngurku, yes I'm well. Aray meaning yes, antha meaning I and ngurku meaning well.

NOTE: You could also just say aray (yes) or padni (no) in response to this question.

Yes, I'm well.
Aray, antha ngurku.

If you’re not feeling well you might answer, maltya antha ngurku. Maltya meaning no/not, antha meaning I and ngurku meaning well.

I'm not well.
Maltya antha ngurku.


A different response might be antha walki-walkirnda. This means I’m a bit crook. Antha meaning I and walki-walkirnda meaning sick-sick.

I'm a bit crook.
Antha walki-walkirnda.

If you were tired you might reply, antha ngantharanta. Antha meaning I and ngantharanta meaning (getting) tired.

I'm (getting) tired.
Antha ngantharanta.

If you were cold you might answer, antha madliri-wanta. Antha meaning I,madliri meaning cold and -wanta meaning feel.

I feel cold.
Antha madliri-wanta.

Another response might be marutya-thirnda. This means it's getting hot. Marutya meaning hot and -thirnda meaning getting/becoming.

It's getting hot.

If you were hungry you might reply, antha wathlara-wanta. Antha meaning I ,wathlara meaning hungry and -wanta meaning feel.

I'm hungry.
Antha wathlara-wanta.

Likewise if you were thirsty you might reply, antha yankathara-wanta. Antha meaning I, yankathara meaning thirsty and -wanta meaning feel.

I'm thirsty.
Antha yankathara-wanta.


If you were to ask what someone is up to you might ask minha-thirnda anpa? Minha meaning what and anpa meaning you.

What are you up to?
Minha-thirnda anpa?

A common response might be, antha tyalpa tharnirnda, this means I’m eating food. Antha meaning I, tyalpa meaning food and tharnirnda meaning eating.

I'm eating food.
Antha tyalpa tharnirnda.

Another answer might be antha wadni wangkarda. Antha meaning I, wadni meaning song and wangkarda meaning singing.

I'm singing (a song).
Antha wadni wangkarda.

A common question you might ask is what do you want? Minha anpa wayarnda? Minha meaning what, anpa meaning you and wayarnda meaning want.

What do you want?
Minha anpa wayarnda?

If you want some food you might say antha tyalpa wayarnda. Antha meaning I, tyalpa meaning food and wayarnda meaning want.

I want some food.
Antha tyalpa wayarnda.

Likewise, if you want some water you might say antha kutha wayarnda. Antha meaning I, kutha meaning water and wayarnda meaning want.

I want some water
Antha kutha wayarnda.

If you were going to ask someone what they want to eat you might say, minha anpa tharnilhuku wayarnda? Minha meaning what, anpa meaning you, tharnilhuku meaning eat and wayarnda meaning want.

What do you want to eat?
Minha anpa tharnilhuku wayarnda?

If you want to eat green vegetables and meat you might say athu tyalpa ngadlyuru wayarnda, puntyu nyudu. Athu meaning I, tyalpa meaning vegetables, ngadlyuru meaning green, wayarnda meaning want, puntyu meaning meat and nyurdu meaning also.

I want to eat green vegetables and meat.
Athu tyalpa ngadluru wayarnda, puntyu nyurdu.

To ask someone where they are going you would ask intyara yukarnda? Intyara meaning where and yukarnda meaning going.

Where are you going?
Intyara yukarnda?


An answer to where are you going might be antha ngura-ruku thikarnda. Antha meaning I, ngura-ruku meaning home-to and thikarnda meaning return.

I am returning home.
Antha ngura-ruku thikarnda

If you were going to the toilet you might answer with antha punga-pungaruku yukarnda. Antha meaning I, punga-pungaruku meaning toilet and yukarnda meaning going.

I am going to the toilet.
Antha punga-pungaruku yukarnda.

If you were going to stay you might say antha thangkarda. Antha meaning I and thangkarda meaning staying.

I am staying (here).
Antha thangkarda.

If you wanted to say see you tomorrow you might say wangarra nhanhi-nha! Wangarra meaning tomorrow and nhanhi-nha meaning see.

See you tomorrow!
Wangarra nhanhi-nha!

Likewise, if you wanted to say I’ll see you soon you would say athu unanha anti nhanhinhanga. Athu meaning I, unanha meaning will, anti meaning soon and nhanhinhanga meaning see.

I'll see you soon!
Athu unanha anti nhanhinhanga!

If you are leaving, you might say antha yukarnda. Antha meaning I and yukarnda meaning going.

I am going.
Antha yukarnda.

To say let’s go you would say yukapi.

Let's Go.

Hopefully you've got through all the greetings, leave takings and questions and answers! To finish off, Yuta-ki means all done!

All done!


Antha and Athu both mean I or me, but they are used in slightly different ways. 

Antha is used when the verb (action word) used in the sentence does not need an object in order for the sentence to make sense. For example, I am running. No object is needed after the word running.

Athu is used when the verb does need an object. For example, I am hitting the dog. I am hitting wouldn’t make sense without the object (the dog). We will be learning more about this in future lessons!