For the sake of a song

A note on orthography

A note on orthography

The spelling system for Marri Tjavin and Marri Ammu, which are closely related dialects of the same language, has been developed by Lysbeth Ford in consultation with the staff of the Wadeye Language Centre and the teacher aides at the Wadeye school. The spelling system for Batjamalh was also developed by Lysbeth Ford in consultation with fluent speakers at Belyuen

How to read Marri Tjavin/Marri Ammu words

                                                             
Vowel  Marri Tjavin/Marri-ammu  English (Standard Australian unless otherwise stated) 
middlei   nidin (country)  bi
endi   wudi (water)  ski  
u   kuwa (he/she stands)  pu
a   ma-yawa (Marri-ammu ancestor)  but  
e   yendili (placename)  be
Consonant 
t   titil (clapstick)  tar 
d   nidin (country)  hid  
rt   rtadi (back, on top)  American English “part”  
th   thanggurralh (Marri-ammu and Marri-tjevin people)  Not in English but as in Italian “tu”  
dh   walakandha (Marri-tjevin ancestor)  and this  
tj   tjiwilirr (Hairy Cheeky Yam)  chat 
dj   djindja (here)  ginger 
p   purangang (saltwater)  put 
b   bugim (white)  but 
k   kuwa (he/she stands)  cut 
g   gapil (big)  gut 
rz   rzamu (sea turtle)  Dr. Zhivago 
sj   gisji (like this)  fusion 
v   verri (foot)  very 
n   nidin (country)  nut 
ny   pumininy (spring)  onion 
m   mana (brother)  mud 
ng   ngata (house)  sing  
l   wulumen (oldman)  hol
lh   kavulh (he/she lies down)  stealth 
rr   verri(foot)  trilled r as in Scottish “sporran” 
r   yeri (child)  ver
y   yeri (child)  yes 
w   wudi (freshwater)  wet 

How to read Batjamalh words

                                                     
Vowel  Marri Tjavin/Marri-ammu  English (Standard Australian unless otherwise stated) 
middlei   yine (what?)  bi
endi   nga-mi (Is it)  ski  
u   nya-mu (sit!)  pu
a   yagarra (Oh no!)  bu
e   werret (quick)  be
ü   tjüt (foot)  few 
Consonant 
t   tjüt (foot)  cut  
d   dawarra (belly)  dot 
tj   batjamalh (language)  batch  
dj   badjalarr (place)  badge  
p   nga-p-pindja-ng  happ
b   bangany (song)  but 
k   maka (for; perfective marker)  lacquer 
g   yagarra (Oh no!)  bugger 
v   nga-ve (I go)  having 
n   nüng (him)  nut 
ny   nyung (for)  onion 
m   maka (for; perfective marker)  mud 
ng   nga-mi (Is it)  sing  
l   badjalarr (place)  hol
lh   batjamalh (language)  stealth 
rr   badjalarr (place)  trilled r as in Scottish “sporran” 
r   rak (patri - country)  ver
y   yagarra (Oh no!)  yes 
w   werret (quick)  wet 

How to read Emmi-Mendhe words

                                                               
Vowel  Emmi-Mendhe  English (Standard Australian unless otherwise stated) 
middle i  -pit (clean)  bi
end i  endheni (now)  ski 
u  gumbu (foot)  pu
ö  mörö (buttock)  word 
a  mandha (throat/ song)  ba
e  derr (native bee; policeman)  be
Consonant 
t  -tit (bend)  tar 
d  dörr (ground)  hid 
rt  rtedi (back, on top)  American English “part” 
th  thawara (mangrove)  Not in English but as in Italian “tu” 
dh  dherr (cheek)  and this 
tj  tjelmundak (garfish)  chat 
dj  djedjet (sit down)  ginger 
p  pöndör (elbow)  put 
b  -bet (open)  but 
k  kuman (he/she pokes)  cut 
g  gulukguluk (cough)  gut 
rz  -werzame (shriek)  Dr. Zhivago 
sj  musjulng (swag)  fusion 
v  viye (head)  very 
n  na (he/him)  nut 
ny  -gurriny (belonging to)  onion 
m  mana (older brother (M))  mud 
ng  ngany (I/me)  sing 
l  mele (older brother (E))  hol
lh  lhumbu (leg)  stealth 
rr  -wurri (to speaker)  trilled r as in Scottish “sporran” 
r  mari (belly)  ver
y  kaya (s/he lies down)  yes 
w  wörörör (mudcrab (M))  wet