From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

What writing system(s) does this language use?[edit | edit source]

"Meitei Mayek" (literally meaning "Meitei script" in Meitei language) written in Meitei script

The Manipuri language, also known as Meitei language, uses the Meitei script, which is an abugida. It also uses Bengali script as well as Latin script.


abugida — A segmental writing system in which consonant-vowel sequences are written as units; each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is secondary.

How many people speak this language?[edit | edit source]

"Meiteilon" (literally meaning "Meitei language"), written in Meitei script

Manipuri language (aka Meitei language) is the official language of Manipur. It is the most widely spoken language of India from the Sino-Tibetan family (a greater branch of the Tibeto-Burman family). Manipuri is spoken as a first language by more than 2 million people, and as a second language by another 1 million. The native speakers of Manipuri language (Meitei language) are the Meitei people (Manipuri people), the largest ethnic group of Manipur.


native speaker — someone who learned to speak a language as a child.

Where is this language spoken?[edit | edit source]

Manipuri language (Meitei language) is the official language of Manipur and one of the 22 scheduled languages recognised by the Constitution of India

Manipuri is mainly spoken in Manipur, India. Manipuri is also spoken in Assam and Tripura inside India. Outside India, Manipuri is spoken in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

What is the history of this language?[edit | edit source]

The Numit Kappa, a Classical Meitei epic text written between c. 1st century BC - 1st century AD.

The earliest records of the Manipuri language's existence date back to 1445 BC (3500 years ago). Stone inscriptions exist dating back two millennia. Antique coins dating back to 1st–7th century have also been found.

Meitei language (Manipuri language) is the only Indian language from Sino-Tibetan family (a greater branch of the Tibeto-Burman family) whose literature grew up under the care of royal patronage since ancient times. So, Meitei is the most developed Indian language from her linguistic family.

Ancient Meitei (aka Old Manipuri) and Modern Meitei (aka Modern Manipuri) are the most popular forms of Manipuri language (aka Meitei language). Other than these, Classical Meitei (Classical Manipuri) is the standardized literary form of the Meitei language (officially known as Manipuri language in India), in which the holy Puyas, the religious and philosophical texts of Sanamahism, the traditional Meitei religion, were written.


language development — the steady growth and change of a language. Languages took over a thousand years to get to what we speak today.

Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?[edit | edit source]

Hijam Anganghal, the poet who composed the 34,000 lined Meitei language epic poem named the "Khamba Thoibi Sheireng", making Meitei literature distinct and unique among the literatures of India.

In the modern era, there are top three most famous writers, who are even regarded as the tripod stands for the contemporary Meitei literature (Manipuri literature). They are Khwairakpam Chaoba, Lamabam Kamal and Hijam Anganghal. They are called the pioneers of the modern Manipuri literature. All of them are male writers. Among the female writers, the top three most prominent are Khaidem Pramodini, M.K. Binodini and Takhellambam Thoibi.

Hijam Anganghal composed a 34,000 lined epic poem named the "Khamba Thoibi Sheireng" (Literally, "Khamba Thoibi poem"). This epic poem is the second longest Indian epic, just after the Mahabharata of Sanskrit literature. Anganghal made Meitei language proud by crafting this legendary epic, based on the 14th century historical romantic saga of Prince Khamba of the Khuman dynasty and Princess Thoibi of the Moirang dynasty.


literature — books, like the one you are reading now.

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?[edit | edit source]

  1. Hello (formal) : ꯈꯨꯔꯨꯝꯖꯔꯤ ꯫ (Khoo-room-ja-ree); Hello (informal) : ꯑꯣꯢ (ꯑꯣꯏ) (OI) (better use this only among mutual friends)
  2. How are you? : ꯀꯝꯗꯧꯕꯤꯔꯤ? (Kam-dou-bee-ree?)
  3. Fine, thank you. : ꯐꯔꯦ, ꯊꯥꯒꯠꯆꯔꯤ ꯫ (Pha-re, Thaa-gat-cha-ree)
  4. What is your name? : ꯅꯪꯒꯤ ꯃꯤꯡ ꯀꯔꯤ ꯀꯧꯏ? (Nang-gee Ming Ka-ree Kou-ee?)
  5. My name is ______ . : ꯑꯩꯒꯤ ꯃꯤꯡ ______ ꯀꯧꯏ ꯫ (Ei-gee Ming _____ Kou-ee.)
  6. Nice to meet you. : ꯅꯪꯒ ꯎꯟꯅꯕ ꯅꯨꯡꯉꯥꯢꯔꯦ ꯫ (Nang-ga Oo-na-ba Noong-Ngai-Re)
  7. Please. : ꯆꯥꯟꯕꯤꯗꯨꯅ ꯫ (Chaan-bee-doo-na) (It is an adverb, but used independently alone.)
  8. Thank you. : ꯊꯥꯒꯠꯆꯔꯤ ꯫ (Thaa-gat-cha-ree)
  9. You're welcome. (Welcoming someone) : ꯇꯔꯥꯝꯅ ꯑꯣꯛꯆꯔꯤ ꯫ (Ta-raam-na Ok-cha-ree) or ꯂꯦꯡꯁꯤꯟꯕꯤꯔꯛꯁꯤ ꯫ (Leng-Sheen-Bee-Rak-Shee)
  10. You're welcome. (As a reply to "Thanks") : ꯌꯥꯝ ꯅꯨꯡꯉꯥꯢꯔꯦ ꯫ (Yaam Noong-Ngai-Re) (literally, "It's pleasure", it's not exact translation of "You are welcome", but its usage is exactly equivalent.)
  11. Yes. : ꯍꯣꯢ (ꯍꯣꯏ) ꯫ (HOI) or ꯃꯥꯟꯅꯦ ꯫ (Maan-Ney)
  12. No. : ꯅꯠꯇꯦ ꯫ (Nat-te)
  13. Excuse me. (getting attention) : ꯀꯔꯤꯒꯨꯝꯕ ꯑꯃꯇ ꯫ (Ka-ree-goom-ba A-ma-ta); Excuse me. (begging pardon) : ꯉꯥꯛꯄꯤꯒꯅꯤ ꯫ (Ngaak-Pee-Ga-Nee)
  14. I'm sorry. : ꯑꯩ ꯁꯣꯢꯈꯔꯦ ꯫ (Ei Soi-Khre) or ꯑꯩ ꯂꯥꯟꯖꯔꯦ ꯫ (Ei Laan-ja-re)
  15. Goodbye : ꯀꯥꯢꯅꯔꯁꯤ ꯫ (Kai-Na-Ra-See); Goodbye (informal) : ꯆꯠꯂꯦ ꯫ (Chat-Leh) (use this only to mutual friends)
  16. I can't speak name of language [well]. : ꯑꯩ English [ꯐꯖꯅ] ꯉꯥꯡꯕ ꯉꯝꯗꯦ ꯫ (Ei English [Pha-ja-na] Ngaang-ba Ngam-de)
  17. Do you speak English? : ꯅꯪ [ꯏꯪꯂꯤꯁ] ꯉꯥꯡꯕꯔꯥ? (Nang [English] Ngaang-ba-raa?)
  18. Is there someone here who speaks English? : ꯃꯁꯤꯗ [ꯏꯪꯂꯤꯁ] ꯉꯥꯡꯕ ꯃꯤ ꯂꯩꯕꯔꯥ? (Ma-see-da [English] Ngaang-ba Mee Lei-ba-raa?)
  19. Help! (Directly asking for help) : ꯃꯇꯦꯡ ꯄꯥꯡꯕꯤꯌꯨ! (Ma-teng Paang-bee-yoo!) or (Immediately asking to save me/us/you/him/her/them) ꯀꯟꯕꯤꯌꯨ! (Kan-bee-yoo!)
  20. "Watch out!" or "Look out!" : ꯌꯦꯡꯉꯣ! (Yeng-Ngo!)

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?[edit | edit source]

ꯈꯨꯃꯟ ꯈꯝꯕ ꯑꯁꯤ ꯄꯤꯛꯂꯤꯉꯩꯗꯒꯤ ꯍꯧꯅ ꯄꯨꯡ ꯄꯥꯡ ꯁꯨꯗꯕ ꯂꯝꯖꯥ ꯁꯔꯥ ꯑꯣꯢꯅ ꯆꯥꯎꯔꯛꯏ ꯫

English translation: Khuman Khamba grew up as an orphan since his childhood.

ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯀꯤ ꯃꯆꯦꯝ ꯈꯝꯅꯨꯅ ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯄꯨ ꯆꯥꯎꯅꯕ ꯌꯣꯛꯂꯛꯄꯗ ꯑꯋꯥ ꯑꯅꯥ ꯀꯌꯥ ꯈꯥꯡꯈꯤꯗꯕ ꯅꯠꯇꯦ ꯫

English translation: His elder sister Khamnu bore every difficulties in bringing him up to be a fully grown man.

ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯅ ꯆꯥꯎꯕ ꯁꯔꯦꯞ ꯐꯥꯔꯕ ꯃꯇꯝꯗ ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯅ ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯀꯤ ꯃꯆꯦꯝꯒꯤ ꯃꯇꯦꯡ ꯄꯥꯡꯕ ꯄꯥꯝꯂꯛꯈꯤ ꯫

English translation: When he grew up, he wanted to help his elder sister.

ꯑꯗꯨꯅ ꯃꯆꯦꯝꯒꯤ ꯃꯇꯦꯡ ꯄꯥꯡꯕ ꯑꯣꯢꯅ ꯊꯕꯛ ꯁꯨꯅꯕ ꯊꯕꯛ ꯊꯤꯕ ꯊꯣꯛꯂꯛꯈꯤ ꯫

English translation: Then he went to find a job to help his elder sister.

ꯅꯣꯡꯃ ꯀꯣꯔꯧ ꯅꯨꯃꯤꯠꯇ ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯅ ꯀꯦꯀꯦ ꯃꯣꯢꯂꯥꯡ ꯂꯩꯄꯥꯛꯀꯤ ꯅꯤꯡꯊꯧꯒꯤ ꯃꯅꯥꯎꯅꯨꯄꯥ ꯆꯤꯡꯈꯨ ꯑꯈꯨꯕꯒꯤ ꯃꯣꯡꯕ ꯃꯔꯥꯟꯌꯥꯢꯗ ꯊꯨꯡꯂꯨꯔꯦ ꯫

English translation: One day, he arrived at the house of Chingkhu Akhuba, younger brother of the King of Keke Moilang Kingdom.

ꯃꯐꯝ ꯑꯗꯨꯗ ꯆꯥꯎꯔꯕ ꯁꯪꯂꯦꯟ ꯑꯗꯨꯒꯤ ꯃꯥꯡꯒꯣꯟꯗ ꯃꯣꯢꯔꯥꯡ ꯊꯣꯢꯕꯤꯅ ꯐꯤꯁꯥ ꯂꯣꯟꯁꯥ ꯇꯧꯗꯨꯅ ꯂꯩꯔꯝꯕꯗꯨ ꯄꯨꯟꯁꯤꯒꯤ ꯑꯍꯥꯟꯕꯒꯤ ꯑꯣꯢꯅ ꯎꯖꯈꯤ ꯫

English translation: There, at the verandah of the big palace, he saw Moirang Thoibi working on the loom, for the first time in his life.

ꯃꯁꯥ ꯃꯎ ꯐꯔꯕ ꯑꯃꯗꯤ ꯆꯨꯡ ꯐꯤꯔꯥꯜ ꯆꯥꯔꯕ ꯈꯝꯕꯕꯨ ꯍꯦꯛ ꯎꯕ ꯃꯤꯠꯀꯨꯞꯇ ꯊꯣꯢꯕꯤꯗꯤ ꯃꯍꯥꯛꯀꯤ ꯊꯃꯣꯢ ꯈꯨꯗꯛꯇ ꯂꯝꯂꯥꯟꯕ ꯃꯥꯒꯤ ꯃꯐꯝꯗ ꯁꯤꯟꯅꯈ꯭ꯔꯦ ꯫

English translation: On the very moment of seeing the muscular and well statured Khamba, Thoibi had immediately offered her heart to the stranger man.

References[edit | edit source]