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.
There are six vowels and several diphthongs in the Rohingya language.
They contrast between "open-o" ([ɔ
]) 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⟩.
1. If a noun ends with a vowel then the article is either án or wá if singular, or ún or ín if plural or uncountable.
Usually wá is used for round-fatty objects, and án for flat-thin objects.
( singular ) ( plural )
Kéti án (the farm)
Kéti ún/ín (the farms)
Fothú án (the picture)
Fothú ún/ín (the pictures)
Fata wá (the leaf)
Fata ún/ín (the leaves)
Boro wá (the large tree)
Boro ún/ín (the large trees)[clarification needed]
Lou ún/ín (the blood)
2. If a noun ends with a consonant then the article is the end-consonant plus án or wá for singular or ún or ín for plural.
Debal lán (the wall) Debal lún/lín (the walls)
Mes sán (the table) Mes sún/sín (the tables)
Kitap pwá (the book) Kitap pún/pín (the books)
Manúic cwá (the man) Manúic cún/cín (the men)
3. If a noun ends with r, then the article is g plus án or wá for singular or ún or ín for plural.
Tar gán (the wire) Tar gún/gín (the wires)
Duar gán (the door) Duar gún/gín (the doors)
Kuñir gwá (the dog) Kuñir gún/gín (the dogs)
Faár gwá (the mountain) Faár gún/gín (the mountains)
Note: gún is used for human and gín for non-human.
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)
Fata uggwá (a leaf) Fata hodún (some leaves)
Fothú ekkán (a picture) Fothú hodún (some pictures)
Rohingya word order-1 is Subject–Object–Verb.
Subject Object Verb
Añí (I) bát (rice) hái (eat).
Ite (He) TV (TV) saá (watches).
Ibá (She) sairkél (bicycle) soré (rides).
Itará (They) ham ot (to work) za (go).
Rohingya word order-2 is Subject–Time-Place-Object–Verb.
Subject Time Place Object Verb
Ibá (I) beínna (in the morning) gór ot (at home) bát (rice) há (eat).
Tará (They) biale (at night) duan ot (at shop) TV (TV) saá (watches).
Ite (He) sair gwá báze(at 4pm) hál hañsat(at seaside) sairkél(bicycle) soré(rides).
Ítara(They) nowá báze (at 9 o'clock) ofís ot (to office) ham ot (to work) zaa (go).
Rohingya word order-3 is Subject–Time-[adjective]-Place-Object–[adverb]-Verb.
Subject Time [Adjective] Place [Adverb] Object Verb
Tuñí aijja noya eskul ot toratori/toratorigorí paathi goró.
You today new at school quickly party make.
Rohingya word order-4 is Subject–Time-[adjective]-Place-Object–[adverb]-Verb_1-Verb_2.
Subject Time [Adjective] Place [Adverb] Object Verb_1 Verb_2
Tuñí aijja noya eskul ot toratori/toratorigorí paathi goittóu modot-goró.
You today new at school quickly party help to make.
English: 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 Februari 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 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 ):
(a)Añí hái. (I eat.)
(b)Añí háir. (I am eating.)
(c)Añí hái félaiyi. (I have eaten.)
(d)Añí hái félair. (I have been eating.)
(a)Añí háiyi. (I ate.) Note: refer near past.
Añí háailam. (I ate.) Note: refer far past.
(b)Añí háat táikkilám. (I was eating.)
(c)Añí hái félailám. (I had eaten.)
(d)Añí hái félaat táikkilám. (I had been eating.)
(a)Añí háiyoum. (I will eat.)
(b)Añí háat tákiyoum. (I will be eating.)
Añí háiyoum boi. "
(c)Añí hái félaiyoum. (I will have eaten.)
(d)Añí hái félaat tákiyoum. (I will have been eating.)
Second person ( You ):
(a)Tuñí/Oñne hóo. [Tui hós.] (You eat.)
(b)Tuñí/Oñne hóor. [Tui hóor.] (You are eating.)
(c)Tuñí/Oñne hái félaiyó. [Tui hái félaiyós]. (You have eaten.)
(d)Tuñí/Oñne hái féloor. [Tui hái féloor]. (You have been eating.)
(a)Tuñí/Oñne háiyo. [Tui háiyós.] (You ate.) Note: refer near past.
Tuñí/Oñne háailá. [Tui háailí.] (You ate.) Note: refer far past.
(b)Tuñí/Oñne háat táikkilá. [Tui háat táikkilí.] (You were eating.)
(c)Tuñí/Oñne hái félailá. [Tui hái félailí.] (You had eaten.)
(d)Tuñí/Oñne hái félaat táikkilá.[Tui hái félaat táikkilí.](You had been eating.)
(a)Tuñí/Oñne háiba. [Tui háibí.] (You will eat.)
(b)Tuñí/Oñne háat tákibá. [Tui háat tákibí.] (You will be eating.)
Tuñí/Oñne háiba goi. [Tui háibi goi.] "
(c)Tuñí/Oñne hái félaibá. [Tui hái félaibí.] (You will have eaten.)
(d)Tuñí/Oñne hái félaat tákibá. [Tui hái félaat tákibí.] (You will have been eating.)
Third persons ( He/She/They ):
(a)Ite/Ibá/Itará há. (He/She/They eats/eats/eat.)
(b)Ite/Ibá/Itará hár. (He/She/They is/is/are eating.)
Ite/Ibá/Itará hái boi. "
(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.)
(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.)
(a)Ite/Ibá/Itará háibou. (He/She/They will eat.)
(b)Ite/Ibá/Itará háat tákibou. (He/She/They will be eating.)
Ite/Ibá/Itará háibou goi. "
(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.)
Gender: m=male, f=female, n=neuter., *=the person or object is near., **=the person or object is far.
The interrogative is indicated by né at the end of the sentence.
Itattú gór ekkán asé né? [Does he have a house?]
Itattú gór ekkán asé. [He has a house.]
Ibá za né? [Does she go?]
Ibá za. [She goes.]
Itará giyé né? [Did they go?]
Itará giyé. [They went.]
Inflection for person
Rohingya verbs indicate person by suffixes.
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.
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. 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.
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.
- hólibaye (nominative) "[the] hóliba" [as a subject] (e.g. hólibaye tíai táikke éçe – the tailor is standing there)
- hólibar (genitive) "[the] hóliba's / [of the] hóliba" (e.g. hólibar nam Ahmed – the tailor's name is Ahmed)
- hóliballa (dative) "[to/for the] hóliba" [as an indirect object] (e.g. hóliballa hádiya ekkán diyí – I gave a present for the tailor)
- hólibare (accusative) "[the] hóliba" [as a direct object] (e.g. Aññí hólibare deikkí – I saw the tailor)
- hólibaloi (ablative) "[by/with/from/in the] hóliba" [in various uses] (e.g. Aññí hólibaloi duan ot giyí – I went to the shop with the tailor).'
- óu hóliba / hóliba ya (vocative) "[you] the hóliba" [addressing the object] (e.g. "cúkuria tuáñre, óu hóliba (sáb)" – thank you, tailor).
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.
01 lek =write(sg.) Tui yián ehón lek. You write this right now.
02 lek-ó =write(pl.) Tuñí yián ehón lekó. You write this right now.
03 lek-á =cause to write Tui/Tuñí John ór áta leká/lekó. You ask John to write.
04 lek-í-de =help to write Tui/Tuñí ibáre lekíde/lekído. You help John in writing.
05 lek-í =write(I) Aññí hámicá gór ot lekí. I always write at home.
06 lek-ó =write(II) Tuñí hámicá gór ot lekó. You always write at home.
07 lek-ó-s =write(IIa) Tui hámicá gór ot lekós. You always write at home.
08 lek-é =write(III) Tará hámicá gór ot leké. They always write at home.
09 lek-í-r =writing(I) Aññí ciñçí ekkán lekír. I am writing a letter now.
10 lek-ó-or =writing(II) Tuñí/Tui ciñçí ekkán lekóor. You are writing a letter now.
11 lek-é-r =writing(III) Tará ciñçí ekkán lekér. They are writing a letter now.
12 lek-í-féla-iyi =have written(I) Aññí ciñçí lekífélaiyi. I have written a letter.
13 lek-í-féla-iyo =have written (II) Tuñí ciñçí lekífélaiyi. You have written a letter.
14 lek-í-féla-iyo-s =have written(IIa) Tui ciñçí lekífélaiyos. You have written a letter.
15 lek-í-féla-iye =has/have written (III) Tará ciñçí lekífélaiye. They have written a letter.
16 leik-kí =wrote(I) Aññí ciñçí ekkán leikkí. I wrote a letter.
17 leik-kó =wrote(II) Tuñí ciñçí ekkán leikkó. You wrote a letter.
18 leik-kó-s =wrote(IIa) Tui ciñçí ekkán leikkós. You wrote a letter.
19 leik-ké =wrote(III) Tará ciñçí ekkán leikké. They wrote a letter.
20 lek-í-youm =will write(I) Aññí ciñçí ekkán lekíyoum. I will write a letter.
21 lek-í-ba =will write(II) Tuñí ciñçí ekkán lekíba. You will write a letter.
22 lek-í-bi =will write(IIa) Tui ciñçí ekkán lekkíbi. You will write a letter.
23 lek-í-bou =will write(III) Tará ciñçí ekkán lekíbou. They will write a letter.
24 leik-kyóum =will write(I) Aññí ciñçí ekkán leikkyóum. I will write a letter.
25 leik-bá =will write(II) Tuñí ciñçí ekkán leikbá. You will write a letter.
26 leik-bí =will write(IIa) Tui ciñçí ekkán leikbí. You will write a letter.
27 leik-bóu =will write(III) Tará ciñçí ekkán leikbóu. They will write a letter.
28 lek-á-giye =(passive I,II,III) Ciñçí ekkán lekágiyé. A letter is/was written.
29 lek-á-za =being writable Ciñçí yián leká za. This letter is not writable.
30 lek-á-za-ibou =being writable in future Ciñçí yián leká zaibou. This letter will be writable.
31 lek-á-di-ya-za =can be made writable Ciñçí yián lekádiyaza. This letter can be made writable.
32 lek-á =writing Leká yián bicí cúndor. This writing is very beautiful.
33 lek-ó-on =act of writing Email beggún óttu lekóon saá. All should write emails.
34 lek-ó-ya =person who writes Ahmed bála lekóya. Ahmed is a good writer.
35 lek-ó-ni =thing used to write Añártu honó lekóni ciz nái. I do not have anything to write with.
36 lek-á-ni =tool used to write Añártu honó lekáni boudh nái. I do not have any writing board.
37 lek-á-lekí =activities to write Tuáñrár bútore lekáleki tákoon saá. There should be writing between you.
38 lek-é-de =thing used for writing Añártu honó lekéde ciz nái. I do noy have any writable thing.
39 leik-kyá =of written Kitab ibá fura leikká. This book is fully written.
40 leik-kyé-dé=of that written Añártu honó leikkyéde juab nái. I do not have any written answer.
41 lek-í lek-í =by writing & writing/while writing Ite gór ottu lekí lekí aiyér. He is coming from home while writing.
42 lek-í-lam =acted to write(I) Aññí habos sán lekílam. I write the letter.
43 lek-í-la =acted to write(II) Tuñí habos sán lekíla. You write the letter.
44 lek-í-li =acted to write(II) Tui habos sán lekíli. You write the letter.
45 lek-í-lou =acted to write(III) Tará habos sán lekílou. They write the letter.
46 leik-lám =acted to write(I) Aññí habos sán lekílam. I write the letter.
47 leik-lá =acted to write(II) Tuñí habos sán lekíla. You write the letter.
48 leik-lí =acted to write(II) Tui habos sán lekíli. You write the letter.
49 leik-lou =acted to write(III) Tará habos sán lekílou. They write the letter.
50 leik-kí-lam =had written(I) Aññí habos sán leikkílam. I had written this paper long ago.
51 leik-kí-la =had written(II) Tuñí habos sán leikkíla. You had written this paper long ago.
52 leik-kí-li =had written(II) Tui habos sán leikkíli. You had written this paper long ago.
53 leik-kí-l =had written(III) Tará habos sán leikkíl. They had written this paper long ago.
54 lek-í-youm éri =will write later(I) Aññí habos sán lekíyoum éri. I will write the paper sometime later.
55 lek-í-ba ri =will write later(II) Tuñí habos sán lekíba ri. You will write the paper sometime later.
56 lek-í-bi ri =will write later(IIa) Tui habos sán lekíbi ri. You write the paper sometime later.
57 lek-í-bou ri =will write later(III) Tará habos sán lekíbou ri. They will write the paper sometime later.
58 lek-í-tam =would have written(I) Aññí email lán lekítam. I would have written the email.
59 lek-í-ta =would have written(II) Tuñí email lán lekíta i. You would have written the email.
60 lek-í-ti =would have written(IIa) Tui email lán lekíti. You would have written the email.
61 lek-í-tou =would have written(III) Tará email lán lekítou. They would have written the email.
62 leik-tám =would have written(I) Aññí email lán leiktám. I would have written the email.
63 leik-tá =would have written(II) Tuñí email lán leiktá. You would have written the email.
64 leik-tí =would have written(IIa) Tui email lán leiktí. You would have written the email.
65 leik-tóu =would have written(III) Tará email lán leiktóu. They would have written the email.
66 lek-ó-na =please write Meérbanigorí lekóna. Please write the letter.
67 lek-ó-goi =allowed to write Tuñí lekó gói. Let you write.
68 lek-se-ná =please write Meérbanigorí leksená. Please write the letter.
69 lek-gói =allowed to write Tui lek gói. Let you write.
70 lek-í-le =if (I/II/III) person write Tuñí lekíle gom óibou. It will be good if you write.
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.
Layout of the Rohingya virtual keyboard.
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
Rohingya alphabets -29
Rohingya vowels -7
The first Rohingya language texts, written in Arabic script
, are claimed to be more than 200 years old, though there are no concrete evidence about it.
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.
At present, a Rohingya Unicode font
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
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.
Rohingya Character Set-28
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 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
and ñ indicates a nasalised
vowel (e.g., fañs
/fãs/ 'five'). Crucially, these can all be accessed from an English keyboard, for example by using the English (US) International
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 /ɔ/ is spelled as "oo", while a long /o/ is spelled as "oou".
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.
Bengali in Latin script
Shômosto manush shadhinbhabe shôman môrjada ebong odhikar niye jônmogrohon kôre. Tãder bibek ebong buddhi achhe; shutorang shôkoleri êke ôporer proti bhratrittoshulobh mônobhab niye achôron kôra uchit.
Assamese in Latin script
Xôkôlû manuhê sadhinbhawê xôman môrzôda aru ôdhikar lôi zônmôgrôhôn kôrê. Xihôtôr bibêk aru buddhi asê aru xihôtê pôrôspôr bhratrittôrê asôrôn kôribô lagê.
- ^ Rohingya at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- ^ "Rohingya". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
- ^ What is Rohingyalish or Rohingya Language?, RohingyaLanguage.com, archived from the original on 31 July 2012, retrieved 11 June 2012
- ^ Rohingya Language, WorldLanguage.com, archived from the original on 25 March 2012, retrieved 11 June 2012
- ^ "The Linguistic Innovation Emerging From Rohingya Refugees." by Christine Ro. Forbes. 13 September 2019. 
- ^ a b c "Rohingya Language Rules". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- ^ Kazi Mujibuddin bin Abul khair. روهنغيا قائده (in Arabic) – via Scribd.
- ^ "Rohingya alphabets, pronunciation and language". Omniglot. Simon Ager. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
- ^ James, Ian (5 July 2012). "Hanifi alphabet for Rohingya". Sky Knowledge. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
- ^ "Rohingya Language Academy".
- ^ a b c Priest, Lorna A; Hosken, Martin; SIL International (12 August 2010). "Proposal to add Arabic script characters for African and Asian languages" (PDF). pp. 13–18, 34–37.
- ^ a b Pandey, Anshuman (20 June 2012). "Preliminary Proposal to Encode the Rohingya Script" (PDF). Expanding Unicode. Anshuman Pandey. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- ^ a b c "Rohingya alphabets, pronunciation and language". www.omniglot.com.
Last edited on 14 March 2021, at 05:23
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