Mara language

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Mara (Tlosaih)
Native toMizoram, India; Burma
EthnicityMara people
Native speakers
(ca. 400,000 cited 1994–2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mrh
ELPMara Chin

Mara is a Kuki-Chin language spoken by Mara people, mostly the Tlosaih tribe living in 30 villages of Chhimtuipui district, southern Mizoram, India and the adjacent villages in Burma.

The Mara (Tlosaih) languages belong to the Kuki-Chin branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The speakers of the languages are also known as Mara (Tlosais).

Mara is a recognised language in the Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC) school curriculum. Mara is a compulsory subject for all schools up to class VII (middle school) under the Board of School Education, MADC.

Mara is a Kuki-Chin language spoken by Mara people.


Mara alphabet (capital letters)
A, AW, Y, B, CH, D, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, NG, O, Ô, P, R, S, T, U, V, Z

Mara alphabet (lowercase letters)
a, aw, y, b, ch, d, e, f, h, i, k, l, m, n, ng, o, ô, p, r, s, t, u, v, z

Mara diphthongs
ao, yu, ai, ei, ia, ie, ua



The plural form of a noun is formed by affixing one of the following terms to the end of the noun:

  • zy (zeu)
  • zydua (zeu-dua)
  • nawh
  • sahlao (sha-hlawh)

Today the Mara language has its own alphabet; words inside brackets show author N.E. Parry's transliterations from 1937.

Interrogative words in Mara[edit]

  • What: Khâpa, Khâpa e, Khâpa maw
  • Where: Khataih lâ, Khataih liata
  • How: kheihta, kheihawhta, Khatluta, Kheihta maw
  • How much?: Khazie?
  • How long?: Khachâ e, Khachâ maw?
  • When: Khatita, Khatita e, Khâpa nota, nota, tita, nahta, pata Conj. thlaita, khati nota
  • Why: Khazia, Khazia-e, Khazia maw, Khâpa vâta
  • Why not: Khazia a châ vei chheih aw
  • Whose: Kheihawhpa, Kheihawhpa he, Kheihawhpa-e, Kheihawhpa maw, ahy he maw
  • Which: Kheihawhpa, Kheihawhpa he, Kheihawhpa-e, Kheihawhpa maw, ahy he maw
  • Friend: Viasa
  • Male Friend: Viasa Paw
  • Female Friend: Viasa Nô
  • Walk/Go: Sie (Phei ta Sie)
  • Run: Arâ, â râ
  • Sleep: Amô, Azia, Apazawh, â mô, â zia, â pazawh
  • See: Mo, hmô
  • Sit: Â tyuh, atyuh
  • Stand: Â duah, aduah
  • Jump: Â pathluah, apathluah
  • Hit: Â chô, achô
  • Eat: Nie
  • Drink: Doh



  • 1st person: keima, kei - I
  • 2nd person: nâma, na - you
  • 3rd person: ano, a or ama' - he, she, it


  • 1st person: eima - we
  • 2nd person: nâmo, nâma - you
  • 3rd person: âmo - they

Possessive Pronouns[edit]


  • Keima, ei - my
  • Keima eih, kei eih - mine
  • Nâma, na - thy (you)
  • Nâma eih, na eih - thine (yours)
  • Ama, a - him, her, it
  • Ama eih, a eih - his, hers, its


  • Keimo - our
  • Keimo eih - ours
  • Nâmo - your
  • Ahyrai - anyone
  • Ahy tlyma - someone, a certain one
  • A tlâhpi - some . . . others
  • A hropa - another, others
  • Ama zydua ta - all



Labial Dental/
Velar Glottal
voiceless p t k (ʔ)
aspirated tɕʰ
voiced b d
Fricative voiceless f s h
voiced v z
Nasal plain m n ŋ
Trill voiced r
Lateral voiced l
Approximant w ɹ̥ j
  • A glottal stop [ʔ] may occur in onsets as a result of morphological combinations.
  • /t/ can be dental as [t̪] before /ɑ/ or /i/.
  • /k/ can also be heard as uvular [q] before /ɑ/ or /i/.
  • /s, z/ when preceding /i/ can be heard as alveolo-palatal [ɕ, ʑ].
  • Pre-aspiration can also be heard among nasals as [ʱm, ʱn].[2]


Front Central Back
Close i y ɨ u
Mid e ø o
Open ɑ̝
  • Sounds /o/ and /ɑ̝/ can be heard in free variation as [ɔ, ɐʊ] and [ʌ].[2]


  1. ^ Mara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Arden, Michelle J. (2010). A phonetic, phonological, and morphosyntactic analysis of the Mara language. San Jose State University.

External links[edit]