Paite language

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Paite (ใปเต/ใปเต ปัว)
Paite pau / Paite
Pronunciation Pai-te pao
Native to Burma, India
Ethnicity Paite
Native speakers
64,000 (2001 census)[1]
  • Kukish
    • Northern
      • Paite (ใปเต/ใปเต ปัว)

Roman alphabet/Latin alphabet,

PauChinHau script,

Burmese script and

Thai script(which is rarely used and not known by most Paite people )
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pck
Glottolog pait1244[2]

Paite is a language spoken by the Paite people. There are different Paite dialects.There are about 64,000 Paites in India(according to the 2001 census) , about 100,000 Paites in Myanmar(2005-2006), and about 89,000 in Thailand and Laos (2014). The language exhibits mutual intelligibility with the other languages of the region including Thadou, Hmar, Vaiphei, Simte, Kom, Gangte and other languages.[3] The name Paite literally means 'Go-people' and can be translated as 'Leavers' , 'Marchers' or 'simply the people who went.'

Paite was influence by a number of languages such as Japanese, Bengali, Hindi, Manipuri, Burmese, Thai and others as the Paite people like to mimick other people(who speak different languages)which alse led to the creation of new words.

The Paite spoken in Myanmar and Thailand( also in Laos) is called Paite-Teddim or Paite-Chin and the Paite spoken in India is called Paite-Zomi or Paite-Mizo.

The Paite language is written in the Roman alphabet(there are two types) , simplified version of the PauCinHau alphabet, Burmese script and the Thai script.In India, Paite speakers use the Roman alphabet, in Myanmar the Burmese script and PauCinHau alphabet is used and in Thailand and most parts of Southeast Asia, they use the Thai script.

The Paite language was written with a script that is similar to the Burmese alphabet and Meitei mayek and that script is called Tuallai / Paite laimal but is wasn't used since the missionaries came to Colonial India.

The letters Hs and Sh are removed to make the alphabet more simple.

Even though the Paite language is a tonal language, the usage of tones can be neglected and Paite speakers will understand even if you use a flat tone in every word.The tonal indicators are thought to have been removed due to this reason.

Paite literature is written in the Lamjang dialect, which is indistinguishable from the Tedim languagewhile there are some written in other dialects too.

First Paite alphabet(Roman)[edit]

The alphabet is based on the Roman alphabet and has 15 Consonants and 7 vowels.There are 19 consonant phomemes in Paite. 11 of them are glottal stops, 4 fricatives, 3 nasal and 1 lateral.

This version of the Paite alphabet is called 'Paitelaimal'.This alphabet is used presently.

Letter a aw b ch d e f g ng h i j k
Letter l m n o p r s t u v z
Consonants b ch d f g ng h i j k l m n p r s t v z
Vowels a aw e i o ou u

A is pronounced as u in under, E as e in end, I as e in electric, O as a short aw and U as oo in Moon.


High-front-oriented ei ai ui oi
High-back-oriented au iu eu ou
Low-central-oriented ia ua

'iai'(yai) and 'uau'(wao) are the Triphthongs of Paite language.

Second Paite alphabet(Roman)[edit]

This version of the Paite alphabet is called 'Laimal-ni-na'.

Letter Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii J j Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo
Pronounciation A Be Se De E eF Ge Ii Ye eL eM eN U
Letter Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz Ææ Øø Åå
Pronounciation Pe Ku eR Se Te iU Ve dobblet-ve eKS Yi Szet Aa/æ Uo/ø O/å


Paite English Meitei
Bial Zero Phun
Khat One Ama
Nih Two Ani
Thum Three Ahum
Li Four Mari
Nga Five Manga
Guk Six Taruk
Sagih Seven Taret
Giat Eight Nipal
Kua Nine Mapal
Sawm Ten Tara
Sawmlehkhat Eleven TaraMathoi
Sawmlehkua Nineteen TaraMapal
Sawmhni Twenty Khun
Sawmthum Thirty KhumThra
Sawmkua Ninety MariPhuTara
Za Hundred ChaAma
Zanga Five hundred ChaManga
Saang(khat) One thousand Lishing
Siing(khat) Ten thousand
Nuai(khat) Hundred thousand/One lakh in Indian English
Maktaduai Million
Vaibelsia Ten million
Vaibelsetak Hundred million
Tuklehdingawn Billion
Tuklehdingawn sawm Ten billion
Tuklehdingawn za Hundred billion

Thai-Paite script[edit]

This Paite script is taken from the Thai alphabet to write the Paite/Teddim language but didn't gain popularity so it was forgotten .It was created in 2002 and has 31 consonants and 21 vowels . Unlike Thai, the spaces in between words do not indicate the end of a sentence .Each consonant doen not inherit any vowel sound.


Romanisation Consonant Name
K Ka
Kh Kha(verbs)
Kh Kha
Kh Kha(nouns)
G Ga
Gh Gha(used for borrowed words)
Ng Nga
Ch Cha
Chh Chha
Z Za/Ja
Zh Zha/Jha (used in borrowed words)
Ny Na
T Ta(sometimes spelled as dta)
T Ta(borrowed words)
Th Tha(verbs)
Th Tha(proper nouns)
Th Tha(borrowed words from Thai)
Th Tha(common nouns)
Th Tha
D Da
D Da(verbs)
Dh Dha (used in borrowed words )
N Na(proper nouns)
P Pa
Ph Pha(proper nouns)
Ph Pha
F Fa(proper nouns)
F Fa
B Ba
V/Bh บ่ Va/Bha
M Ma
Y Ya
Y Ya(borrowed words)
R Ra
L La
l -l(final consonant)
W Wa
S Sa (verbs )
S Sa
S Sa (nouns)
Sh ศห Sha (verbs )
Sh ษห Sha
Sh สห Sha (nouns)
H Ha
h -h(aspirated and will become a glottal stop if it comes after a vowel)
Silent/? Gingneilou (vowel bearer)
r -r
l -l
m อํ -m(final)

Vowels (Lai-aw ใล-อ็)

Romanisation Vowel
A อั
Aw อ็
E เอ
I อิ
O โอ
Ou อ็ว
U อุ
Aa อะ
Ae/ee แอ
Yi/ii อี
Uu อู
Ei เอย
Ai ไอ
Ui อุย
Oi โอย
Au เอา
I/yu อิยุ
Eu เอว
Ia/ya อิยั
Ua/wa อุวั
Aai ใอ
Glottal stop(h)
English Paite Thai
0 Bial(don/fon) Soon ๐
1 Khat(na) Neung ๑
2 Ni(no'n) Song ๒
3 Thum(ham) Sam ๓
4 Li(ri) See ๔
5 Nga(ngo) Haa ๕
6 Guk(kok) Hok ๖
7 Saghih(sagi) Jet ๗
8 Giat(ket) Bpaet ๘
9 Kua(kaw) Gao ๙
10 Sawm(sop) Sib ๑๐

Sample text[edit]

The following is a sample text in Paite of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Paite pau English
Mi tengteng zalena piang ihi ua, zahomna leh dikna tanvou ah kibangvek ihi. Sia leh pha theihna pilna neia siam ihihziakun imihingpihte tungah unauna lungsim feltak iputngai ahi.

มีเตงเตง ชัเลนอะ ปิยัง ยิฮี วะ, ชัหโอํนะ เลห ดิกนั ตันบห็ว อัห กิบังเบหก ยิฮี. สหิยั เล ผั เถยหนั ปิฬนั เนยอั ศิยะํ ยิฮีห ซิยักักวุน ยิ มิฮิงปิหเต ตุงอัห วุนัวนั ลุงสิม เฝฬตัก ยิปุตใง อัฮี.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Here is a sample text of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paite(Thailand):Mee teng ciareng in dokanet iy wa , shaomna lek khodo mai kardirap in kibangwek iyi. Mai le di hteihna cholot mī a kartha iyih hsiakun imee penmanut pihte muo a pi-ong lungsim khit sakhei ayi.

There are two major dialects of Paite in Manipur, namely Lousau, Lamjang and Dapjar.[4]


Paite grammar is fairly complex because of a number of word modification and a bit complex noun structure.

Word order[edit]

Paite's declarative word structure is Object-subject-verb.

Vasa Ka mu
I see a bird
Sing a puá
He carries wood

But even if the word order and grammar isn't followed, sentences and phrases won't loose its meaning.

Example: "Laya(or Laia) gelh'' which means He writes can also be written as ''Gelh a Lay(or Lai)'' but still doesn't loose it's meaning.

There are some words in which it is confusing to read without tonal indicators, for example Sù(punch), Sú (genital), Sū(another way of addressing rain) , Sü(snatch) and Sû(also Fu, which means push).

Confusing words in Paite when using the modern alphabet. Si(which can mean death-Shī and blood-Si), Thu(which can mean fermented-thù and word-htu), Fan(which can mean fan and the past tense of walk-fän), etc.

Lamjang and Dapjar[edit]

Lamjang is mostly influenced by TeddimChin language while Dapjar is mostly influenced by the MizoLanguage

One in Lamjang dialect is Khat but in Dapjar it is called Pa'Khat

Lamka Dialect[edit]

In Lamka Town there is a mix of the dialects which formed the Standard Paite most people speak today. An example of some words:

Standard Paite English
Fang Explore
Khekor(was khekol) Pants
Fuh good quality(describes the physical appearance)
Pisa Office
Daktor(was Siampu) Doctor
Radio(was meelmuhtongsang) Radio
Bouruak(was huihkhua) Atmosphere
Ni Two/Sun/Day
Rong(was arong) Colour
Kum Year/age
Manghilh forget
Leitung(was leitungbubpi) Earth
Huih Air
Lenna(was vaanleng) Aeroplane
Lennakhawlna(kummun/tummun) Airport
Leitungbubpidang Planet
VanSuang Asteriods
Aksikete/aksikiate Meteroroids /Meteors
Khawvel World
Kha Moon
Nisa/Ni Sun
Aksibubpi Galaxy
Aksitampibubpi Universe
Zan Night
Zaan Yesterday
Vaite Mainland Indians
Maangkaangte Europeans
Mangvomte Africans
Saapte Americans
Esiate Asian
Kawlte Burmese
Khut'zahsimdan Math

Geographical distribution[edit]

Paite is spoken mainly in the following locations (Ethnologue).


Ethnologue lists the following dialects of Paite.There are various dialects not mentioned here, mainly because some of them are not used anymore.

  • Bukpi (Bukpui)
  • Dapzal (Dapzar)also written as Dapjar
  • Dim
  • Dimpi
  • Lamzang also written as Lamjang
  • Lousau
  • Saizang
  • Sihzang
  • Telzang (Teizang)
  • Tuichiap


  1. ^ Paite (ใปเต/ใปเต ปัว) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Paite Chin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Singh, Chungkham Yashawanta (1995). "The linguistic situation in Manipur" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 18 (1): 129–134. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Singh, Naorem Saratchandra Singh (2006). A Grammar of Paite. Mittal Publications. p. xviii. ISBN 978-8183240680. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  • Singh, Naorem Saratchandra. 2006. A grammar of Paite. New Delhi: Mittal Publications.

Further reading[edit]

  • Muivah, Esther T. 1993. English-Paite dictionary. Lamka, Manipur: Paite Tribe Council.
  • Tualkhothang, Naulak. 2003. English-Paite dictionary. Lamka, Manipur: The Tualkhothang Naulak Memorial Trust.
  • Tawmbing, Chinzam. 2014. English-Paite dictionary. Lamka, Manipur: Hornbill Publication.
  • Paite Tribe Council. 2013. Paite customary law & practices / Paite pupa ngeina dan leh a kizatnate. Lamka, Manipur: Paite Tribe Council.
  • Thuamkhopau, T. 2009. Paite paunaak leh pau upate. Manipur: Tribal Research Institute.