Andrewdhi – from Andrew.

Yaama, how do you say thanks? need to translate blessing from Mother and thanks to our ancestors? I would be grateful if I could know.
thanks Andrew

Yaama Andrew,

 ‘Thanks’ and ‘bless/blessing’ are some of the many words for which there is no tradition Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay translation. Many societies do not have words like these,particularly those based on small groups and with clear family/kin obligations.I’ve been told that in China you only say thanks to people who are not family.

 But we are now in a different world, so we look for words to translate ‘thanks’ etc.

 For a while ‘gaba nginda’ ‘good you[1 person]’ was used. But ‘gaba’ has so many uses. Then we saw again that William Ridley wrote, in 1855:

 “Among this party was a grey headed blind man. Although the lot of a blind savage might be deemed cheerless, this old man’s countenance, bright with smiles, seemed as if no evil passions or melancholy ever beclouded it. Both his own kindred and the white men at the station pay kind attention to his wants, and he is easily pleased. It happened that while I was near him he called to his people to guide him to their camp,and as no one of them noticed him, I took one end of the old spear which they use in leading him, and, handing him the other end, guided him thither. The old man laughed heartily, shouted to his friends to see the white stranger leading him, and warmly thanked me with his repeated “Murruba inda” (Good are you) for this little attention. [[in current spelling ‘maarubaa nginda’]]”

The article is at: 

A transcription is at, ‘old sources’ follow the link to the Ridley folder, it is Ridley1855SMH

 So these days quite a few people say ‘maarubaa’ for ‘thanks’, sometimes adding nginda you[1], ngindaali you[2], ngindaay you[>2].

Maaru yananga –garay guwaaldaya. Go well and talk the language.


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