MPI EVA Department of Linguistics Jakarta Field Station Front page
(The Former) Jakarta Field Station
of the
Max Planck Institute
for Evolutionary Anthropology
Jakarta Field Station Front page
  Language Acquisition
  Bilingual Language Acquisition
  Language Contact
  Language Description
  Language Experiments
  Javanese Dialectology
  Metaphor and Emotion
Collaborative Projects
  Documentation of Kenyah
  Figurative Language
  Language and Thought
  Phon. of Jakarta Indonesian
  Traditional Jambi Malay
  Moluccan [external link]
  Acquisition of Passive Voice
  Sociolinguistic Questionnaire
Former Collaborative Projects
  Acq. of Morpho-phonology
Publications & Conf. Papers
Regular Events
The Jakarta Forum
Contact Us
Site Map

Jakarta Field Station > Other Research > Kenyah > Sample Text

Sample Text - Kenyah

Description:Transcription, interlinear glossing, translation and comments of a story told by a Kenyah Uma' Pawa' speaker regarding the traditional rice-planting process.
Session date:1995
Audio clip:4 min 30 sec
Low quality WAV format: kenyah.wav (2.83 MB | 13 min 47 sec @ 28.8kbps)
Medium quality MP3 format: kenyah.mp3 (4.12 MB | 20 min @ 28.8kbps)
(Audio quality reduced to reduce file size)
Location:Long San, Kenyah village on the mid course of the Baram River, Sarawak (Malaysia)
Informant's name:Oka Paya Batu (female)
Informant's age:About 60
Situation:At the village chief's house in Long San on the Baram River at night.
More Info:Uma' Pawa' is just one of the different Kenyah dialects. This variant collected in Long San was given by a native speaker from the village of Long Apu a small village along the Baram River. This variant is closely related for vocabulary and phonetic features to Kenyah Uma' Kulit, Uma' Timai and Uma' Ujok whose speakers are spread in East Kalimantan (Indonesia).

tailu na'at tana'
go-we see land
'We went to look for a piece of land'

tei ume.
make rice.field
'to make a rice field.'
[Traditionally Kenyah people do not cultivate rice in the wet fields but on hilly dry fields and practice the slash and burn technique.]

tailu na'(at) tei ume na… tailu masat
go-we see make rice.field NA go-we walk
'We went to see … to make a rice field… we went walking'

masat tana' irai.
walk land that
'we went walking for that land.'

ilu ta'an njung ulai
we appear snake
'We saw a snake'
[According to the traditional belief, snakes are between animals that are considered bad omens for some activities.]

uli liwet.
go.home go.back
'then we went back home.'

abe sukat tei tana' iti.
NEG. possible make land this
'It wasn't possible to cultivate this piece of land.'
[The appearance of a snake was a sign that the land chosen wasn't appropriate for cultivation.]

lale… lale…
disaster disaster
'Misfortune… misfortune…'

tailu na'at tana' kecelu lee
go-we see land other again
'We went to see another piece of land'

tailu na'at tana' kece.
go-we see land other
'we went to see another piece of land.'

na jadi ilu tei tana' irai.
NA become we make land that
'And we decided to make this land.'
[The word ‘jadi' is obviously borrowed from Malay.]

ilu miriek tana' irai… miriek…
we cut.branches land that cut.branches
'We cut the branches in this land, we cut branches…'
[Referring to the process of preparing the land for cultivation. The first step is cutting the leaves and the branches of the trees.]

irilu ta'an irai pelanok lale telun ne pelanok. appear that mousedeer disaster xx NE mousedeer
'All of a sudden a mousedeer appeared, what a misfortune, a mousedeer'
[A mousedeer is another bad omen.]

ode balou men naa
EXCL EXCL from earlier
'Oh from the moment'

ta'an pelanok ilu tai nebbang
appear mousedeer we go fell.tree
'the mousedeer appeared, we were felling trees,'

leppek nebbang abe lepele jadi tei ume irai.
PFCT fell.tree NEG not.yet-we become make rice.field that
'after felling trees we didn't make the ricefield.'

laple pellem tana' irai lee.
avoid- we promise land that again
'Let's avoid that land again.'

tailu naat tana' kese lee.
go-we see land other again
'We went to see another piece of land.'

na ilu miriek tana' irai, nebbang tana' irai, mettu teie,
NA we cut.leaves land that fall.tree land that cut make-it
'We cut the branches in that piece of land'
[Referring to the preparation process. After cutting the branches]

leppa mettule iri, ilu nutung,
PFCT cut-we we N-burn
'after collecting it we burnt it'
[Referring to the practice of burning the trees to make the soil fertile and to prepare it for cultivation.]

leppek nutung irile nu'gan
PFCT N-burn N-dibble
'soon after burning it we planted seeds'
[The plantation is done by dropping few rice seeds in holes done by dibbling in the newly burnt field.]

leppek nu'gan ilu mawau
PFCT N-dibble we N-cut.grass
'after planting seeds we cut grass'

ohle mawau ilu masau
PFCT-we N-cut.grass we N-reap
'after cutting grass we harvested'

ohle masau neilu uli'.
PFCT-we N-reap come-we go.home
'after harvesting we went back home.'

ilu ba' parei
we carry unhusked.rice
'We carried the unhusked rice'

peliwai parei mo'o
PE-transport unhusked.rice finished
'after finishing to transport all the rice'

lalan ilu tai lalem lepovong parei.
really we go inside rice.barn unhusked.rice
'really we put the unhusked rice in the rice barn.'

inu leeu taan?
what else-you see
'What else do you want to know?'

aa mole masau
yes if-we N-reap
'Yes, when we harvested,'

masau leddau tai na lale tai lale.
N-reap woman go NA disaster go disaster
'the women harvested and sent the misfortune away.'

tai ilu tei parei lalem ingen i'ot
go we make unhusked.rice inside basket small
'We put the unhusked rice in the small basket'

tai parei lalem ingen i'ot
go unhusked.rice inside basket small
'we put the unhusked rice in the small basket'

Ilu ala'
We get
'we got'

kain maring ilu tai neng ulunye layo re, keta'anne,
cloth N-beginning we go on head-it this.way RE KE-appear-it
'a new piece of cloth and we put it on the head, this way, see,'
[The word ‘kain' is obviously borrowed from Malay.]

ala' kain maring tai neng ulu
get cloth N-beginning go on head
'we put a new cloth on the head'

ilu ba' ingen tailu ke likut re
we carry basket go-we to back.part RE
'we carried the basket on the back'

piseu ngan balei
talk with ghost
'we talked with the gods'
[Referring to the habit of communicating with Gods to obtain the blessing for the harvest.]

piseu ngan balei
talk with ghost
'we talked with gods.'

leppek ini lee neilu uli'
PFCT this again go-we go.home
'After this we went back home again'

ilu ala' parei lee
we get unhusked.rice again
'we took the unhusked rice again'

messe ke lep ilu neng lesung
pound to knee we on rice.mortar
'kneeling we pounded it in the rice mortar'

ala' baare nggin ke lamin
get husked.rice-RE bring to house
'we got the rice and we brought it into the house'

ilu pesak baa irai
we cook husked.rice that
'we cooked the rice'

na lu tei tei sakai iap
NA we make make chicken
'we made a chicken side dish'

tei sakai iap
make chicken
'we made a chicken side dish'

ilu ala' bulo
we get bamboo
'we got some bamboo'

ilu ala' lie
we get spice
'we got spices'

ilu mettun taie
we cut go-it
'we cut and we put it into it'

ilu mi'uk i'otle
we N-pack small-we
'we put in in a small pack'

mi'uk teie
N-pack make-it
'we put it in a small pack'

tai bulo ngan liere.
go bamboo with spice-RE
'we put it into the bamboo with spices.'

leppek ini ilu matak kanen irai paya neng asou tei
PFCT this we serve cooked.rice that arrange on floor make
'After this we served rice displayed on the floor'

teilu lan kenaa iti
make-we really KE-earlier this
'we really did this'

jake ilu leppek ini nailu ke lamin lee
moment we PFCT this come-we to house again
'soon after that, we went to the house again'

ireilu tai bae lulu ‘oman'
IREI-we go call person eat
'we called the people ‘time to eat''

bae anak ‘ilu oman'
call child we eat
'we called the children ‘we are going to eat''

bae ‘oman kanen irai'.
call eat cooked.rice that'
'we cried: ‘we're going to eat this rice'.'

ilu na' tilo iap irei me lulu
we give egg chichen IREI toward person
'We gave chichen eggs to people'

ilu na bulo irai neng lulu.
we give bamboo that on person
'we gave that bamboo to the people.'

ireilu sokat koman parei maring
IREI-we possible KE-eat unhusked.rice N-beginning
'We could eat the new rice'

abelu sokat oman parei maring sebarang
NEG-we possible eat unhusked.rice N-beginning at.random
'we could not eat the new rice randomly'
[The word ‘sebarang' is obviously borrowed from Malay.]

tei onle ilu tei lale lale aring.
go exist-we we egg make disaster disaster beginning
'we would have a new misfortune.'

leppek ini irei ilu tai ala' obek
PFCT this IREI we go get glutinous.cooked.rice
'after this we went to get glutinous rice'
[Generally glutinous rice is the very first rice to be harvested, it's considered very nutritious and fragrant, it's ground and generally is used to make cakes.]

tei masau ala' obek
make N-reap get glutinous.cooked.rice
'we went to harvest the glutionous rice'

ala' obek delu ala' kuren
get glutinous.cooked.rice DE-we get pot
'we got the glutinous rice and we got a pot'

tai neng apoi ilu nya'ge ne re nya'ge nya'ge
go on fire we fry NE RE fry fry
'we put it on fire and we fried it, we fried it, we fried it'

tai lalem kuren
go inside pot
'we put it inside the pot'

avele mapo labu neng apoi.
until-we durable fall on fire
'until we made it fall on fire.'

ave sukat lale.
until possible disaster
'Maybe there would be a misfortune.'

lalou parei ni labo neng apoi lalou kuba nei tanda
xx unhusked.rice this fall on fire xx KE-want come sign
'Then this rice fell on fire it was a sign'
[The word'tanda' is obviously a Malay borrowing.]

ilu sakit ni ini….
we sick this this
'that now we'd be sick, here…'
[Referring to the fact that if the glutinous rice falls on the fire it's a bad sign]

Last modified: 2002
Location: kenyah-sample.php.html