The following description is an excerpt from an article which appeared in Islander Magazine in May 2011 titled Many Languages One Voice by Dana Ober, Linguist at Tagai State College.

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View the full article Many Languages One Voice by Dana Ober at Islander Magazine here

Language and dialect description

Kala Lagaw Ya
KLY is the traditional language owned by the people of the Western and Central Torres Strait Islands, it is inherently related to the Australian Aboriginal languages and has four regional dialects:

Mabuyag (Mabuiag, Badu and St Pauls Village)
Kalaw Kawaw Ya (Saibai, Dauan and Malu Ki'ai)
Kawrareg (Kubin & Kaiwalagal)
Kulkalgaw Ya (Masig, Iama, Poruma and Warraber)

Meriam Mir
Meriam Mir the traditional language owned by the people of the Eastern Islands in the Torres Strait. It is related to the Papuan languages that are part of the Austronesian family of languages. There are two regional dialects:

Mer dialect (Mer, Waier and Dauar)
Erub dialect (Erub and Ugar)

Yumplatok, commonly referred to as "Creole", is the product of colonization. It is an English- based creole. It is the Torres Strait's common language (or lingua franca). Each island group has its own variations of Yumplatok


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