[GOTO 95 logo]

[ Home | Weather | Wiki | RSS | HN | xkcd ] [ Search | Settings | About ]

Rohingya language

[ Related articles | Random article | Open in Wikipedia ]

Rohingya flag Rohingya, is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Rohingya people of Rakhine State, Myanmar. It is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Bengali-Assamese branch, and is closely related to the Chittagonian language spoken in neighbouring Bangladesh. The Rohingya and Chittagonian languages have a high degree of mutual intelligibility.

Table of contents
  1. Phonology
  2. Grammar
  3. Writing systems
  4. Sample text



Rohingya has primarily the following 25 native consonant phonemes. There are some other consonant phonemes which are from foreign languages such as Arabic, Bengali, Burmese and Urdu. Vowels There are six vowels and several diphthongs in the Rohingya language. They contrast between "open-o" ([?]) and "closed-o" ([o]) by using the different spellings <o>/<ó> and <ou>/<óu> respectively.


Accented vowels, marked with an acute accent, represent stressed (or "hard" vowels), and repeating a vowel lengthens it. Thus, tonals are marked by arranging the location of a stressed vowel in a lengthened pair, like <aá> and <áa>.


Definite articles

1. If a noun ends with a vowel then the article is either an or wa if singular, or un or in if plural or uncountable.
Usually wa is used for round-fatty objects, and an for flat-thin objects.

2. If a noun ends with a consonant then the article is the end-consonant plus án or for singular or ún or ín for plural.

3. If a noun ends with r, then the article is g plus án or for singular or ún or ín for plural.
gún is used for human and gín for non-human.

Indefinite articles

Indefinite articles can be used either before or after the noun. Uggwá usually is used for roll/round/fatty shaped objects and ekkán is for thin/flat shaped objects.

Word order

Rohingya word order-1 is Subject-Object-Verb.

Ańí bát hái

I rice eat.

Ite TV saá

He TV watches.

Ibá sairkél soré

She bicycle rides.

Itará {ham ot} za

They {to work} go.

Rohingya word order-2 is Subject-Time-Place-Object-Verb.

Ibá beínna {gór ot} bát há

I {in the morning} {at home} rice eat.

Tará biale {duan ot} TV saá

They {at night} {at shop} TV watches.

Ite {sair gwá báze} {hál hańsat} sairkél soré

He {at 4pm} {at seaside} bicycle rides.

Ítara {nowá báze} {ofís ot} {ham ot} zaa

They {at 9 o'clock} {to office} {to work} go.

Rohingya word order-3 is Subject-Time-[adjective]-Place-Object-[adverb]-Verb.

Tuńí aijja noya {eskul ot} toratori/toratorigorí paathi goró.

Subject Time [Adjective] Place [Adverb] Object Verb

You today new {at school} quickly party make.

Rohingya word order-4 is Subject-Time-[adjective]-Place-Object-[adverb]-Verb_1-Verb_2.

Tuńí aijja noya {eskul ot} toratori/toratorigorí paathi goittóu modot-goró.

Subject Time [Adjective] Place [Adverb] Object Verb_1 Verb_2

You today new {at school} quickly party help {to make}.

You help to make party quickly at new school today.

More on Time extension:
  1. Aijja Januari 24 tarík ót, cón 2017 beínna 4 gwá báze 15 miníth 5 sekén ót.
    Today January dated 24, year 2017 in the morning at 4 o'clock 15 minutes 5 second.
  2. Hailla Januari 30 tarík ót, cón 2017 ázinna 5 swá báze 25 minith 7 sekén ót.
    Tomorrow January dated 30, year 2017 in the evening at 5 o'clock 25 minutes 7 second.
  3. Goto hailla Oktubor 10 tarík ót, cón 2018 rait or 10 cwá báze 35 miníth 50 sekén ot.
    Yesterday October dated 10, year 2018 in the night at 10 o'clock 35 minutes 50 second.

Rohingya distinguishes 3 tenses and 4 aspects, as shown in the examples below. In these tenses, the helping verb félai shows perfect action (comparable to English "has/have") and félaat shows perfect continuous action (compare English "has/have been"). The helping verb táki and táikki are comparable to English "be" and "been".

Verb-form-suffix (basic and/or helping verb) indicate both person and tense. The suffixes ~ir, ~yi, ~lám, ~youm are used for the first person, the suffixes ~or, ~yó, ~lá, ~bá for the 2nd person, and the suffixes ~ar, ~ye, ~l, ~bou for the 3rd person.

Similarly ~ir, ~or, ~ar indicate present continuous tense, ~yi, ~yó, ~ye present perfect tense, ~lám, ~lá, ~l past tense, and ~youm, ~bá, ~bou future tense.


Gender: m=male, f=female, n=neuter., *=the person or object is near., **=the person or object is far.


The interrogative is indicated by at the end of the sentence.

Itattú gór ekkán asé ? [Does he have a house?]
Itattú gór ekkán asé. [He has a house.]
Ibá za ? [Does she go?]
Ibá za. [She goes.]
Itará giyé ? [Did they go?]
Itará giyé. [They went.]

Inflection for person

Rohingya verbs indicate person by suffixes.

Present Tense
lek = write (command to you sg.)
lekí = I/we write.
lekó = write (command to you pl.)
lekós = You write (sg./pl.).
leké = He/she/they write(s).

Present Continuous Tense
lekír = I/we am/are writing.
lekór = You (sg./pl.) are writing.
lekér = He/she/they is/are writing.

Present Perfect Tense
lekífélaiyi = I/we have written.
lekífélaiyo = You (sg./pl.) have written.
lekífélaiyós = You (sg.) have written. (used to very closed people)
lekífélaiye = He/she/they has/have written.

Future Tense
lekíyóum = I/we will write.
lekíbá = You (sg./pl.) will write.
lekíbi = You (sg.) will write. (used to very closed people)
lekíbóu = He/she/they will write.

Past Tense (Immediate/near past)
leikkí = I/we wrote.
leikkó = You (sg./pl.) wrote.
leikkós = You (sg.) wrote. (used to very closed people)
leikké = He/she/they wrote.

Past Tense (Remote past)
leikkílám = I/we wrote long ago.
leikkílá = You (sg./pl.) wrote long ago.
leikkílí = You (sg.) wrote long ago. (used to very closed people)
leikkíl = He/she/they wrote long ago.

Past Tense (If possibility)
lekítám = I/we would have written.
lekítá = You (sg./pl.) would have written.
lekítí = You (sg.) would have written. (used to very closed people)
lekítóu = He/she/they would have written.

Forming Noun, Doer, Tool, Action
lekóon = act of writing.
        e.g. Debalor uore lekóon gom noó. Writing on wall is not good.
lekóya = writer.
        e.g. Itaráttú lekóya bicí. They-have many writers.
lekóni = thing with which you write.
        e.g. Ańártú honó lekóni nái. I-have no any writing-thing (i.e. pen, pencil)
lekát = in the action of writing.
        e.g. Tui lekát asós. You are busy-in-writing.


Examples of the case inflection are given below, using the singular forms of the Rohingya term for "hóliba (tailor)" which belongs to Rohingya's first declension class. Morphology

Seventy or more different forms are available in Rohingya. A hyphen (-) between letters is to be removed, it is used for initial understanding only -- how the word is formed.
  1. lek =write (sg.) Tui yián ehón lek. You write this right now.
  2. lek-ó =write (pl.) Tuńí yián ehón lekó. You write this right now.
  3. lek-á =cause to write Tui/Tuńí John ór áta leká/lekó. You ask John to write.
  4. lek-í-de =help to write Tui/Tuńí ibáre lekíde/lekído. You help John in writing.
  1. lek-í =write (I) Ańńí hámicá gór ot lekí. I always write at home.
  2. lek-ó =write (II) Tuńí hámicá gór ot lekó. You always write at home.
  3. lek-ó-s =write (IIa) Tui hámicá gór ot lekós. You always write at home.
  4. lek-é =write (III) Tará hámicá gór ot leké. They always write at home.
  1. lek-í-r =writing (I) Ańńí cińçí ekkán lekír. I am writing a letter now.
  2. lek-ó-or =writing (II) Tuńí/Tui cińçí ekkán lekóor. You are writing a letter now.
  3. lek-é-r =writing (III) Tará cińçí ekkán lekér. They are writing a letter now.
  1. lek-í-féla-iyi =have written (I) Ańńí cińçí lekífélaiyi. I have written a letter.
  2. lek-í-féla-iyo =have written (II) Tuńí cińçí lekífélaiyo. You have written a letter.
  3. lek-í-féla-iyo-s =have written (IIa) Tui cińçí lekífélaiyos. You have written a letter.
  4. lek-í-féla-iye =has/have written (III) Tará cińçí lekífélaiye. They have written a letter.
  1. leik-kí =wrote (I) Ańńí cińçí ekkán leikkí. I wrote a letter.
  2. leik-kó =wrote (II) Tuńí cińçí ekkán leikkó. You wrote a letter.
  3. leik-kó-s =wrote (IIa) Tui cińçí ekkán leikkós. You wrote a letter.
  4. leik-ké =wrote (III) Tará cińçí ekkán leikké. They wrote a letter.
  1. lek-í-youm =will write (I) Ańńí cińçí ekkán lekíyoum. I will write a letter.
  2. lek-í-ba =will write (II) Tuńí cińçí ekkán lekíba. You will write a letter.
  3. lek-í-bi =will write (IIa) Tui cińçí ekkán lekkíbi. You will write a letter.
  4. lek-í-bou =will write (III) Tará cińçí ekkán lekíbou. They will write a letter.
  1. leik-kyóum =will write (I) Ańńí cińçí ekkán leikkyóum. I will write a letter.
  2. leik-bá =will write (II) Tuńí cińçí ekkán leikbá. You will write a letter.
  3. leik-bí =will write (IIa) Tui cińçí ekkán leikbí. You will write a letter.
  4. leik-bóu =will write (III) Tará cińçí ekkán leikbóu. They will write a letter.
  1. lek-á-giye =(passive I, II, III) Cińçí ekkán lekágiyé. A letter is/was written.
  1. lek-á-za =being writable Cińçí yián leká za. This letter is writable.
  2. lek-á-za-ibou =being writable in future Cińçí yián leká zaibou. This letter will be writable.
  3. lek-á-di-ya-za =can be made writable Cińçí yián lekádiyaza. This letter can be made writable.
  1. lek-á =writing Leká yián bicí cúndor. This writing is very beautiful.
  2. lek-ó-on =act of writing Email beggún óttu lekóon saá. All should write emails.
  3. lek-ó-ya =person who writes Ahmed bála lekóya. Ahmed is a good writer.
  4. lek-ó-ni =thing used to write Ańártu honó lekóni ciz nái. I do not have anything to write with.
  5. lek-á-ni =tool used to write Ańártu honó lekáni boudh nái. I do not have any writing board.
  6. lek-á-lekí =activities to write Tuáńrár bútore lekáleki tákoon saá. There should be writing between you.
  1. lek-é-de =thing used for writing Ańártu honó lekéde ciz nái. I do not have any writable thing.
  2. leik-kyá =of written Kitab ibá fura leikká. This book is fully written.
  3. leik-kyé-dé=of that written Ańártu honó leikkyéde juab nái. I do not have any written answer.
  1. lek-í lek-í =by writing & writing/while writing Ite gór ottu lekí lekí aiyér. He is coming from home while writing.
Immediate present
  1. lek-í-lam =acted to write (I) Ańńí habos sán lekílam. I write the letter.
  2. lek-í-la =acted to write (II) Tuńí habos sán lekíla. You write the letter.
  3. lek-í-li =acted to write (II) Tui habos sán lekíli. You write the letter.
  4. lek-í-lou =acted to write (III) Tará habos sán lekílou. They write the letter.
  1. leik-lám =acted to write (I) Ańńí habos sán lekílam. I write the letter.
  2. leik-lá =acted to write (II) Tuńí habos sán lekíla. You write the letter.
  3. leik-lí =acted to write (II) Tui habos sán lekíli. You write the letter.
  4. leik-lou =acted to write (III) Tará habos sán lekílou. They write the letter.
Long past
  1. leik-kí-lam =had written (I) Ańńí habos sán leikkílam. I had written this paper long ago.
  2. leik-kí-la =had written (II) Tuńí habos sán leikkíla. You had written this paper long ago.
  3. leik-kí-li =had written (II) Tui habos sán leikkíli. You had written this paper long ago.
  4. leik-kí-l =had written (III) Tará habos sán leikkíl. They had written this paper long ago.
Remote future
  1. lek-í-youm éri =will write later (I) Ańńí habos sán lekíyoum éri. I will write the paper sometime later.
  2. lek-í-ba ri =will write later (II) Tuńí habos sán lekíba ri. You will write the paper sometime later.
  3. lek-í-bi ri =will write later (IIa) Tui habos sán lekíbi ri. You write the paper sometime later.
  4. lek-í-bou ri =will write later (III) Tará habos sán lekíbou ri. They will write the paper sometime later.
  1. lek-í-tam =would have written (I) Ańńí email lán lekítam. I would have written the email.
  2. lek-í-ta =would have written (II) Tuńí email lán lekíta i. You would have written the email.
  3. lek-í-ti =would have written (IIa) Tui email lán lekíti. You would have written the email.
  4. lek-í-tou =would have written (III) Tará email lán lekítou. They would have written the email.
  1. leik-tám =would have written (I) Ańńí email lán leiktám. I would have written the email.
  2. leik-tá =would have written (II) Tuńí email lán leiktá. You would have written the email.
  3. leik-tí =would have written (IIa) Tui email lán leiktí. You would have written the email.
  4. leik-tóu =would have written (III) Tará email lán leiktóu. They would have written the email.
  1. lek-ó-na =please write Meérbanigorí lekóna. Please write the letter.
  2. lek-ó-goi =allowed to write Tuńí lekó gói. Let you write.
  1. lek-se-ná =please write Meérbanigorí leksená. Please write the letter.
  2. lek-gói =allowed to write Tui lek gói. Let you write.
  1. lek-í-le =if (I/II/III) person write Tuńí lekíle gom óibou. It will be good if you write.

Writing systems

Rohingya Hanifi script

The Hanifi Rohingya script is a unified script for the Rohingya language. Rohingya was first written in the 19th century with a version of the Perso-Arabic script. In 1975, an orthographic Arabic script was developed, based on the Urdu alphabet.

In the 1980s, (Maolana) Mohammad Hanif and his colleagues created the suitable phonetic script based on Arabic letters; it has been compared to the N'ko script. The script also includes a set of decimal numbers.

A virtual keyboard was developed by Google for the Rohingya language in 2019 and allows users to type directly in Rohingya script. The Rohingya Unicode keyboard layout can be found here[appspot.com].

Arabic script

The first Rohingya language texts, written in Arabic script, are claimed to be more than 200 years old, though there is no concrete evidence about it. While Arakan was under British rule (1826-1948), the Rohingya people used mainly English and Urdu for written communication. Since independence in 1948, Burmese has been used in all official communications. Since the early 1960s, Rohingya scholars have started to realise the need for a writing system suited to their own language.

In 1975, a writing system was developed using Arabic letters; other scholars adopted Urdu script to remedy some deficiencies of the Arabic. Neither proved satisfactory, however, and most Rohingyas found it difficult to read the language in either version.

Following these attempts, (Maolana) Mohammad Hanif achieved a dedicated right-to-left alphabet for the Rohingya language in 1983. Named after its author, the Hanifi alphabet is a modified form of the Arabic alphabet, with additional borrowings from Latin and Burmese alphabets.

At present, a Rohingya Unicode font[google.com] is available. It is based on Arabic letters (since those are far more understood by the people) with additional tone signs. Tests that have been conducted suggest that this script can be learned in a matter of hours if the reader has learned Arabic in a madrassa.

The Rohingya Fonna Unicode keyboard layout as well as a free font can be found here[google.com].

Latin Rohingya script

In 1999 E.M. Siddique Basu was able to simplify the Rohingya writing using Latin letters. It is an intuitive writing system which can be learnt easily and is known as Rohingyalish or Rohingya Fonna that uses only 26 Roman letters, five accented vowels, and two additional Latin characters for retroflex and nasal sounds.

Q, V, and X are used only for loan-words.

The character set table of the Rohingya writing system uses the Latin letters shown above (ç and ń with green background). The vowels are written both unaccented (aeiou) and accented (áéíóú). The use of c, ç and ń is adapted to the language; c represents /?/ (English sh), ç is the retroflex r ([r]), and ń indicates a nasalised vowel (e.g., fańs /făs/ 'five'). Crucially, these can all be accessed from an English keyboard, for example by using the English (US) International keyboard.

Names and pronunciation of letters
The names of the letters of the Latin Rohingya alphabet are similar to the names of the letters of the English alphabet.

Long vowels in Rohingyalish are spelled with double vowels: for example, a long /?/ is spelled as "oo", while a long /o/ is spelled as "oou".

Sample text

The following is a sample text in Rohingya of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with English, contrasted with versions of the text in Bengali and Assamese.

Rohingya in Rohingya Latin alphabet
Manúic beggún azad hísafe, ar izzot arde hók ókkol ót, fúainna hísafe foida óiye. Fottí insán óttu honó forók sára elan ot aséde tamám hók ókkol arde azadi ókkol loi fáaida goróon ór hók asé. Ar, taráre dil arde demak diyé. Ótolla, taráttu ekzon loi arekzon bái hísafe maamela goróon saá.
Rohingya in Hanafi Script
.?????? ????? ???? ??????, ?? ???????? ??? ???? ??, ?????? ?????? ????? ????
.???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ???? ???? ?? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ????? ???? ??? ????? ????? ?? ???
.??, ?????? ??? ???? ????? ????
.?????, ?????? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ??
English original: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

Bengali Latin script
Shômosto manush shadhinbhabe shôman môrjada ebong odhikar niye jônmogrohon kôre. Tăder bibek ebong buddhi achhe; shutorang shôkoleri ęke ôporer proti bhratrittoshulobh mônobhab niye achôron kôra uchit.
Assamese in Latin script
Xôkôlű manuhę sadhinbhawę xôman môrzôda aru ôdhikar lôi zônmôgrôhôn kôrę. Xihôtôr bibęk aru buddhi asę aru xihôtę pôrôspôr bhratrittôrę asôrôn kôribô lagę.

Search Wikipedia

Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0.
These pages best viewed with Netscape Navigator 1.1 or later.
Privacy policy and personal data management.

[W3 Validator] [Netscape Now] [FREE Internet Explorer]