My name is Anne Gela and I am a fluent big thap kriol / yumpla tok language speaker born on Thursday Island. I am a Mualgal woman from St Paul community of Moa Island which is situated in the inner-west Torres Strait group of islands.
I believe that there are two types of Torres Strait Islander Yumpla Tok speakers:
a. The broken English speaker, who speaks purely broken English
b. The Bigthap speaker, who uses traditional Torres Strait language words in their Yumpla tok speech.
I am a facilitator who conducts the Torres Strait Islander Indigenous Language programs for Saima Torres Strait Islander Corporation and I also provide assistance to language speakers in the interpretation of the language dialect words into English.
My vision is to see that all the dialects of the Torres Strait Islander languages of Kala Lagau Ya, Meriam Mir, Kala Kawaw Ya, Kawalgal and Kulkagaw, and also the west and east Torres Strait Kroil dialects, are revived and preserved as they are living language dialects that have been passed down from one generation to another by word of mouth.
That’s all the more reason they should be documented, as they are part of our history.
- This article originally appears at:
- Article taken from the following publication:
- ABC Open Mother Tongue
- Article submitted by:
- Saima Torres Strait Islander Corporation