As part of State Library’s commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a ‘word of the week’ from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.
State Library’s ‘word of the week’ for Week Twenty-Two is Tadaisa netat berda [pronounced Tar-dai-sa net-at berr-da], from the Meriam Mir language of Eastern Torres Straits. It means ‘to unite / reunion’ and coincides with National Reconciliation Week and was suggested by Bel Lui, Torres Strait Islander community member, Cairns.
Meriam Mir (also written as Miriam Mer) is the Language of the Eastern Islands of the Torres Strait. Linguistically, it is connected to the Papuan languages of the Austronesian family of languages. There are two regional dialects:
- Mer dialect – Mer (Murray), Waier, Dauar.
- Erub dialect – Erub (Darnley) and Ugar (Stephen).
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is supporting language revival across the Torres Strait region and has established the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Centre to coordinate regional and community-specific efforts to retrieve, record and research traditional languages.
Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The Reconciliation Australia website has some informative resources for schools and community groups on their web pages.
State Library of Queensland invites you to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages as we raise awareness of the rich diversity of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Join the conversation as we post a new word for each week!
Week Twenty-Two 28 May – 3 June 2019.
Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages
State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map
The word of the week was suggested by Bel Lui, Torres Strait Islander community member, Cairns.
State Library Source: Haddon, A. (1971) Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Strait. Q 994.38 CAM
Other materials in the State Library collections relating to Meriam Mir and neighbouring languages of the Torres Strait include the following:
Babia, M. and Day, E. Torres Strait Picture Dictionary. JUVQ 499.1503 tor
Davies, A. Notes 1924-1925. OM66-02/3
Edwards, R. Some songs from the Torres Strait. Q 782.5162 SOM
Gisu, S. Meriba Mir Erwerem: a book on reading and writing Meriam Mir for people who already read English. Q 499.15 MER
Jukes, J. Narrative of the surveying voyage of the HMS Fly. J 919.43 JUK
Lawrie, M. Myths and legends of the Torres Strait. Q 398.2099438 MYT
Lawrie, M. The Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Straits Materials. TR2082
MacGillivray, J. Narrative of the Voyage of the HMS Rattlesnake. G 994.02 1967
Mosby, L. Stephens, N and Teske, T. D is for dari : a Torres Strait picture dictionary. P 994.38 MOS
Piper, N. A sketch grammar of Meryam Mir. Q 499.15 pip
Ray, S. Dictionary of Torres Strait Languages. Q 499.1503 RAY
Scragg, S. Retold: A retelling of stories and songs from Myths and Legends of the Torres Strait by Margaret Lawrie. DVD 27464
Sharp, N. Stars of Tagai: the Torres Strait Islanders. G 994.38 1993
Shnukal, A. Broken, an introduction to the Creole language of Torres Strait. J 427 shn
Singe, J. The Torres Strait: people and history. G 994.38 1989
Tabo, S. Triggerfish and Trevally = Nageg and Geigi. A traditional story retold by Stephen Tabo; illustrated by Peter Lankas. JUV 398.2 TAB
Vocabulary of the Murray Island dialect [microform]. FILM 0713