Nganbal ngaragay/ngayagay

I recently received a request for a translation of text to do with the Stations of the Cross, a Catholic ritual often performed in Lent, the 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter. A document with the request, discussion and a translation is attached.

The words trans-late and trans-lation are common in discussions about language, but we have no GY equivalents, so it might be good to develop GY words. We needed to develop a word for ‘cross’ as in ‘Jesus died on a cross’. There is a discussion of this in the document, starting with a number of GY words that begin with ‘ngan’, which seems to mean something like ‘across, crossways’. Trans-lation is something like ‘move across’. GY could develop a word ngan-ba-li ‘across-say; trans-say’ i.e. ‘translate’. -ba-li is a bit of verbs that can mean ‘say’, as in gayrr ‘name’, gayrrba-li ‘say name’.

By a regular process GY can derive a noun from the verb, a noun which names the result or similar. This is seen in bulirrali ‘breathe’, bulirral ‘breath’; giinba-li ‘scale (a fish)’, giinbal ‘scale (of a fish), gaawi-li ‘vomit, (verb)’, gaawil ‘vomit (noun)’ and other words. So from nganba-li ‘translate’ can be derived nganbal ‘(a) translation.’

As ever, this is for discussion. GY people will decide if they want to use these words and have them in future dictionaries.

Ngaragay is GR and ngayagay YR ‘other’.

John Giacon, jgiacon@ozemail.com.au. 2019-03-13

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