Linguistics & Friendship

As a consequence of Timor's history, the lingua franca of Dili is Tetum Dili. Tetum Dili is a mixture of Tetum, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesian. Tetum is one of the twenty-two indigenous languages of the island of Timor. According to Geoffrey Hull, linguist and author, Tetum belongs to the Austronesian family of languages, descending from an ancestral language probably originating on the South China coast, over 4,000 years B.C. and affecting Timor only from about the 11th century A.D. Hull also says all the languages in Timor are structurally and lexically quite different from Malay and its offshoot, Bahasa Indonesia.

Australia has an ancient indigenous history. At the time of settlement by the British colonists, the land supported a diversity of hundreds of independent descent groupings. Each had its own clearly defined territory recognised by all its members held in sacred trust from generation to generation. Pt Phillip is on the land once owned by the Kulin Nation, country held in trust now by the surviving Wurundjeri people.

Australia has a history of over 200 years of migration dating back to the late 18th Century and now it is a multicultural nation. As a consequence of Australia's history, the lingua franca of Australia is English.

Choice of English and Tetum Dili
English and Tetum Dili have been chosen for the languages for crimsonthreads because these are the languages of the people in East Timor, Australia and elsewhere, whom we guess, may have an interest in the site, and who would be most likely to have access to the internet.

Most people in Kovalima would understand a visitor speaking to them in Tetum Dili.