Yaadha Valentine-gu (Valentine's Day)

Yaadha Valetine-gu

Here is a poster to download. One of the children at our Early Learning Centre recently drew spirals for his ears. For an explanation on why we have used that instead of a heart to show love, please read the explanations below.
Download the pdf of both posters here: Valentines-Day_2024.pdf

Words of love

[This discussion does not differentiate between Gamilaraay (GR), Yuwaalaraay (YR) and Yuwaalayaay (YY), but just refers to them all as GYY. For details of traditional uses, please see the dictionary.]

In English the idea of love is often connected to our hearts. But traditionally in GYY languages, gii ‘heart’ is also ‘gallbladder’, ‘bitter’ (also ‘blueberry’), and may be the base of the word giyal, ‘frightened’, ‘afraid’.

Family love

In GYY the words for positive emotions are from bina ‘ear’, e.g. binaal ‘well-behaved’ and winanga-li ‘will hear, listen, know, think, love’; and winanga-y ‘will understand, remember, know, think, love’.
Winanga-y-la-nha ngaya nginunha: 'I love you, I hear/understand you'

Download a pdf here: I-love-you-(family)_2022.pdf

Romantic love

Other words are based on guwiirr ‘sweet’, e.g. guwiirra ‘sweetheart’ (also ‘eucalypt manna’, ‘mallee willow’), and guwirrnga-li ‘will love, be sweet on’.
Guwiirrnga-lda-nha ngaya nginunha; ‘I love you, I am sweet on you’.

Download pdf: I-love-you-(romantic)-_2023.pdf

Another word is gambaay, 'sweetheart'. (This is in the GYY versions of Stand by Me, sung in Gamilaraay by Castlereagh Connection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdMOQSwigDc, video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXhYCYF7afM words in Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay from Yugal 1 here: Stand-by-Me-(from-Yugal-1).pdf)

Download pdf: gambay_2022.pdf

Here is Meya Taylor with the two phrases for "I love you".

The grammar of love

Winanga-li and Guwiirnga-li are both transitive verbs. This means that someone does something to someone -  this is shown in the grammar so that nginda (‘you, 1 person’) changes to nginunhu (‘done to you, 1 person’).

In English we have this change too, but the word for ‘you’ does not change in ‘I love you’ in the same way that ‘he’ changes in ‘I love him’.

Follow up

To read more on emotions, particularly love, in Australian languages: