Learn to speak Meirek properly

Source: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/12/24/nation/16408625&sec=nation

Sunday December 24, 2006

Learn to speak Meirek properly

KUCHING: A book on the proper way to speak the Meirek language, one of the oldest spoken languages in the world, is expected to be launched next year.

Ujut Abdul Rahman, secretary of the Miri Jatti Meirek Association, said the book, entitled Panduan Berbahasa Meirek or A Guide to the Meirek Language was currently being edited and would be the countrys first ever book on the language.

It is about 75 per cent completed and hopefully, we can launch it as soon as possible, he said.

Ujut said the book would focus on the translation of the language into simple Malay.

Initially, we are trying to focus on bahasa pasar or phrases that are spoken daily, especially in the urban areas, and then translate it into simple Malay language, he said.

He said that if the Miriek generation, either in Sarawak or neigbouring oil-rich Brunei, gave positive feedback on the book, the association might hold a seminar on the history and development of the language.

Known as the Jatti Meirek, or simply Meirek, historically it is not conclusive when the ethnic group landed in Sarawak. Some say it was 200 or 300 years ago but it is generally known that the name, Miri, was coined from the word, Meirek.

Presently, the Meirek population numbers 10,000, mostly residing in Sarawak and some in Brunei. Bernama

Cool. So what does Miri stand for? ‘Mosquito infested fishing village with devil liquid from the ground that catches fire’?