Rohingya language

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Rohingya
Ruáingga
Native to Burma, Bangladesh
Region Arakan region of Burma, southeastern Chittagong region of Bangladesh
Native speakers
1.8 million  (2012)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 rhg
Glottolog rohi1238[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Rohingya (/ˈrɪnə/, /ˈrhɪnə/, /ˈrɪŋjə/, or /ˈrhɪŋjə/),[3] or Ruáingga, is a language spoken by the Rohingya people of Arakan (Rakhine/Rohang), Burma (Myanmar).[4][5] It is related to the Chittagonian language spoken in the neighboring southeastern Chittagong Division of Bangladesh.

Scripts[edit]

Various writing systems are used, including Arabic,[6] Urdu, Bengali, Hanifi, and Burmese, and the newer Rohingyalish, based on the Latin script.

Arabic script[edit]

Written in Arabic script, the first Rohingya language texts are more than 200 years old.[7] 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 realize 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.

Today, there are efforts for creating a Rohingya Unicode font based on Arabic letters (since those are far more understood by the people) with additional tone signs.[7]

Hanifi script[edit]

Molana Hanif and his colleagues developed a new set of right-to-left oriented characters based mainly on Arabic script, with a few borrowings from Roman and Burmese. This approach was an improvement and was appreciated by Rohingya Islamic scholars, used to studying in Arabic and Urdu. However, the new script was criticized because the characters were very similar to each other, requiring longer memorization time and careful writing to avoid confusion. Despite such criticism, the Hanifi script is currently in use and a Unicode standard for it is being developed.[8]

Roman script[edit]

Soon afterwards, E.M. Siddique took a different approach, using Latin letters only. The result is a writing system known as Rohingyalish that comprises 26 Roman letters, five accented vowels, and two additional Latin characters for retroflex and nasal sounds.

Fig-1. Rohingya Character Set Table
A a B b C c Ç ç D d E e F f
G g H h I i J j K k L l M m
N n Ñ ñ O o P p Q q R r S s
T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z

The character set table of the Rohingya language writing system uses the Latin letters shown above (ç and ñ with green background). The vowels are written both unaccented (aeiou) and accented (áéíóú). The use of c, ç and ñ is adapted to the language; c represents /ʃ/ (English sh), ç is the retroflex r ([ɽ]),[7] and ñ indicates a nasalized vowel (e.g., fañs /faⁿs/ 'five'). Crucially, these can all be accessed from an English keyboard, for example by using the English (US) International keyboard.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Rohingya has primarily the following 25 native consonant phonemes. There are some other consonant phonemes which are of foreign origin like from Arabic, Bengali, Burmese and Urdu.

Rohingya consonants[9]
Bilabial Labio-
dental
Dental/
Alveolar
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p   b   ʈ   ɖ     ɟ k   ɡ ʔ    
Nasal     m     n     ɲ     ŋ
Fricative f     s   z ʃ     x     h    
Flap     ɾ     ɽ
Approximant     w     j
Lateral     l

Vowels[edit]

There are six vowels and several diphthongs in Rohingya language.[6] They contrast between "open-o" ([ɔ]) and "closed-o" ([o]) by using the different spellings o/ó and ou/óu respectively.

Tonals[edit]

Accented vowels represented stressed (or "hard" vowels). Repeating a vowel lengthen it.[9] Thus, tonals are marked by arranging the location of a stressed vowel in a lengthen pair, like and áa.[9]

Grammar[edit]

Definite articles[edit]

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

      ( singular )                        ( plural )
 Kéti  án     (the farm)          Kéti  ún     (the farms)
 Fothú án     (the picture)       Fothú ún     (the pictures)
 Fata  wá     (the leave)         Fata  ún     (the leaves)
 boro  wá     (the large)         boro  ún     (the large)
                                  Lou   ún     (the blood)

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

 Debal  lán   (the wall)          Debal  lún   (the walls)
 Mes    sán   (the table)         Mes    sún   (the tables)
 Kitap  p(the book)          Kitap  pún   (the books)
 Manúic c(the man)           Manúic cún   (the men)

3. If a noun ends with r, then the article is g plus án or for singular or ún for plural.

 Tar   gán    (the wire)          Tar   gún   (the wires)
 Duar  gán    (the door)          Duar  gún   (the doors)
 Kuñir g(the dog)           Kuñir gún   (the dogs)
 Faár  g(the mountain)      Faár  gún   (the mountains)

Indefinite articles[edit]

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.

    ( singular )                     ( plural )
 Uggwá fata    (a leaf)           Hodún fata    (some leaves)
 Ekkán fothú   (a picture)        Hodún Fothú   (some pictures)
     -or-                               -or-
 Fata  uggwá   (a leaf)           Fata  hodún   (some leaves)
 Fothú ekkán   (a picture)        Fothú hodún   (some pictures)

Word order[edit]

Rohingya word order is subject - object - verb.

Subject       Object            Verb
Aiñ(I)       bát(rice)         hái(eat).
Ite(He)       TV(TV)            saá(watches).
Ibá(She)      sairkél(bicycle)  soré(rides).
Ítara(They)   hamot(to work)    za(go).

Tenses[edit]

Rohingya distinguishes 12 tenses, 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.


First person ( I ):

1. Present
(a)Aññí hái.                   (I eat.)
(b)Aññí háir.                  (I am eating.)
(c)Aññí hái félaiyi.           (I have eaten.)
(d)Aññí hái félair.            (I have been eating.)
2. Past
(a)Aññí háiyi.                 (I ate.) Note: refer near past.
   Aññí háailam.               (I ate.) Note: refer far past.
(b)Aññí háat táikkilám.        (I was eating.)
(c)Aññí hái  félailám.         (I had eaten.)
(d)Aññí hái  félaat táikkilám. (I had been eating.)
3. Future
(a)Aññí háiyoum.               (I will eat.)
(b)Aññí háat tákiyoum.         (I will be eating.)
(c)Aññí hái  félaiyoum.        (I will have eaten.)
(d)Aññí hái  félaat tákiyoum.  (I will have been eating.)

Second person ( You ):

1. Present
(a)Tuñí/Oñne hóo.                 [Tui hós.]                 (You eat.)
(b)Tuñí/Oñne hóor.                [Tui hóor.]                (You are eating.)
(c)Tuñí/Oñne hái  félai.        [Tui hái  félaiyós].       (You have eaten.)
(d)Tuñí/Oñne hái  féloor.         [Tui hái  féloor].         (You have been eating.)
2. Past
(a)Tuñí/Oñne háiyo.               [Tui háiyós.]              (You ate.) Note: refer near past.
   Tuñí/Oñne háai.              [Tui háai.]              (You ate.) Note: refer far past.
(b)Tuñí/Oñne háat táikki.       [Tui háat táikki.]       (You were eating.)
(c)Tuñí/Oñne hái  félai.        [Tui hái  félai.]        (You had eaten.)
(d)Tuñí/Oñne hái  félaat táikki.[Tui hái  félaat táikki.](You had been eating.)
3. Future
(a)Tuñí/Oñne hái.               [Tui hái.]               (You will eat.)
(b)Tuñí/Oñne háat táki.         [Tui háat táki.]         (You will be eating.)
(c)Tuñí/Oñne hái  félai.        [Tui hái  félai.]        (You will have eaten.)
(d)Tuñí/Oñne hái  félaat táki.  [Tui hái  félaat táki.]  (You will have been eating.)

Third persons ( He/She/They ):

1. Present
(a)Ite/Ibá/Itará  há.                   (He/She/They eats/eats/eat.)
(b)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hár.                  (He/She/They is/is/are eating.)
(c)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hái félaiye.          (He/She/They has/has/have eaten.)
(d)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hái félaar.           (He/She/They has/has/have been eating.)
2. Past
(a)Ite/Ibá/Itará  háaiye.               (He/She/They ate.) Note: refer near past.
   Ite/Ibá/Itará  háail.                (He/She/They ate.) Note: refer far past.
(b)Ite/Ibá/Itará  háat táikkil.         (He/She/They was/was/were eating.)
(c)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hái  félail.          (He/She/They had eaten.)
(d)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hái  félaat táikkil.  (He/She/They had been eating.)
3. Future
(a)Ite/Ibá/Itará  háibou.               (He/She/They will eat.)
(b)Ite/Ibá/Itará  háat tákibou.         (He/She/They will be eating.)
(c)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hái  félaibou.        (He/She/They will has/has/have eaten.)
(d)Ite/Ibá/Itará  hái  félaat tákibou.  (He/She/They will has/has/have been eating.)

Pronouns[edit]

Number Person Gender Pronouns Possessive
adjectives
Subject Object Possessive Reflexive
Singular 1st m/f (I) aññí añáre añár aññínize añár
2nd m/f (you) tuñí
tui
oñne
tuáñre
toré
oñnoré
tuáñr
tor
oñnor
tuñínize
tuinize
oñnenize
tuáñr
tor
oñnor
3rd m (he) ite *
te *
uite **
íte **
itaré
taré
uitaré
ítare
itar
tar
uitar
ítar
itenize
tenize
uitenize
ítenize
itar
tar
uitar
ítar
m/f (he/she) ibá *
uibá **
íba **
ibáre
uibáre
íbaré
ibár
uibár
íbar
ibánize
uibánize
íbanize
ibár
uibár
íbar
n1 (it)
n2 (it)
yián
ibá
yiánóre
ibáre
yiánór
ibár
yiánnize
ibánize
yiánór
ibár
Plural 1st m/f (we) añára añáráre añárár añáránize añárár
2nd m/f (you) tuáñrá tuáñráre tuáñrár tuáñránize tuáñrár
3rd m/f (they) itará *
tará *
uitará **
ítara **
itaráre
taráre
uitaráre
ítararé
itarár
tarár
uitarár
ítarar
itaránize
taránize
uitaránize
ítaranize
itarár
tarár
uitarár
ítarar
n1 (they)
n2 (they)
iín *
uiín **
iínóre
uiínóre
iínór
uiínór
iínnize
uiínnize
iínór
uiínór

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

Interrogative[edit]

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

Itattú górr ekkán asé ? [Does he have a house?]
Itattú górr 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[edit]

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.
lekóiya = writer.
        e.g. Itaráttú lekóiya bicí. They-have many writers.
lekóni = thing with which you write.
        e.g. Añártú 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rohingya at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Rohingya". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ "Rohingya". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. 
  4. ^ What is Rohingyalish or Rohingya Language?, RohingyaLanguage.com, retrieved 2012-06-11 
  5. ^ Rohingya Language, WorldLanguage.com, retrieved 2012-06-11 
  6. ^ a b Mohammed Siddique Basu. Starting with Rohingyalish. 
  7. ^ a b c Priest, Lorna A.; Hosken, Martin; SIL International (2010-08-12). "Proposal to add Arabic script characters for African and Asian languages". pp. 13–18, 34–37. 
  8. ^ Pandey, Anshuman (2012-06-20). "Preliminary Proposal to Encode the Rohingya Script". 
  9. ^ a b c http://rohingyalanguagefoundation.com/language_rules_landscape.html

External links[edit]

For further information on Rohingya Language please refer the following links.