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Making written resources

When making written resources you need grammatically correct translations in English. Learning another language often helps children learn English, particularly its grammatical structure. So it is essential to always provide grammatically correct English structures (phrases, clauses and sentences) in written resources. It helps to remember that 'translating' means that you express the meaning of grammatically correct sentences from one language through grammatically correct sentences in another language. The following two examples provide the sentence in Wiradjuri and then the English translation.

Example 1
Ngandi nginha? Nginha yugay bula.
What's this? These are two dingoes.
(NOT This is two dingoes.)

Example 2
Dhaga mirri? Mirri buguwinydya.
Where's the dog? The dog is on the grass.
(NOT Dog is on the grass.)

Often you will also find a middle line included in written resources, such as the second line in the following example. In linguistic texts these are called 'interlinear glosses'.

Example 3
Olabat gula-gula gija jeya
3pl fight-rdp RCP there
They are fighting (together/each other) there. (Munro 2004:94)

Such complicated linguistic terms (3pl stands for third person plural pronoun, rdp for reduplication, RCP for reciprocal marker) are not considered appropriate for students in K–10. Remember we are not teaching 'linguistics', but rather how languages are constructed. The following example shows the sort of interlinear gloss that is appropriate for teaching such things as word order and case marking, as long as a grammatically correct translation is also provided.


Example 4
Ngandi nginha? Nginha yugay bula.
what this this dingo two
What's this? These are two dingoes.

When constructing questions and answers make sure that the grammatically correct version is presented in writing in each language. In the following, for example, nginha buguwinydya (here on the grass) is not a complete sentence in Wiradjuri. As in English it is a phrase, not a sentence. The phrase may be used as a reply when speaking but learners of the language should also be aware of the way it is used in a grammatically correct sentence.

Example 5
Dhaga bula gulambali? Bula gulambali nginha buguwinydya.
Where are the two pelicans? The two pelicans are here on the grass.

All punctuation conventions used for English are the same for Aboriginal languages, such as capitalisation, full stops and so on.

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