Wathaurong: The Magpie
Maeewan nyanbo meerree
Woorrwoorr kommerreen-ik dja wangala woordeegarrong-goolee-a yanmeelpala
Parwon-getyaweel ngotaborreeyn ba karrangateeyngayoopanyoon-goopma-ik
ba koora meernook woorr-woorr benganak yan bakoopma
Benganak gayoopanyoon-goopma-ik nyeerreem talk-getyaweel ba beetyarra.
Baleet benganak waeema-ik woorr-woorr kombaba.
Benganak goopmala-ik talk-getyaweel Nganyakee ba deerdabeel laa-getyaweel
Benganak beetyarra-ik waeema woorr-woorr werreeyt-ik
Woorr-woorr tyoorrkoorrma werupmering wenering-ik yerram nganboo
Benganak lola booyt nya yerram ba comugeen yoodorra meerree thorn
Benganak werraa yeng-yeeng
Benganak yeeng-ik yelatneboorang moorrkal werraa-ik ba ngaalbooma-ik
Matnyoo yerram Parwan wayaperree kardineyoo benggoeethanang yerra
Translated by Uncle David Tournier
Long time before today…
The sky covered the earth making everyone crawl around in the dark.
The Magpies, being proud and industrious, gathered and worked to raise the
sky so everyone could move about freely.
They gathered some long sticks and fighting hard they lifted the sky up.
They placed the long sticks on small and big rocks,
they fought to lift the sky even higher.
The sky split open, showing the beauty of the first sunrise.
They were so overjoyed to see the light and feel the warmth of the sun’s heat,
they burst into song.
As they sang, the blanket of darkness broke and drifted away like clouds.
To this day the Magpies greet the sunrise with their joyful song.
Re-told by Uncle David Tournier
The sounds of Wathaurong
a as in cart
ee as in feet
oo as in look
o as in pot
e as in egg
p as in pig
t as in tea
rt tongue is curled back and released into ‘t’
t made with tongue touching the back of the teeth
ty (yt) combination of ‘t’ and ‘y’
k as in kick
m as in milk
n as in noise
rn tongue is curled backwards and released into ‘n’
nh ‘n’ made with tongue touching back of teeth
ny (yn) combination of ‘n’ and ‘y’
ng as in sing
l as in look
rl tongue is curled backwards and released into ‘l’
rr as in road
y as in you
w as in water