Rohingya is a language spoken by the Rohingya Muslim people of Arakan (Rakhine), Burma (Myanmar). It is linguistically similar to the Chittagonian dialect spoken in neighboring south-eastern Chittagong region of Bangladesh . It also has a large number of Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, Burmese and English words.
Written in Arabic script, the first Rohingya language texts are more than 300 years old. While Arakan was under British rule (1826–1948), Rohingya people used mainly English and Urdu languages as basic means of written communication. Since the independence in 1948, the national language Burmese has been used in all official communications. Since early 1960s, Rohingya scholars have started to realize the need for a writing system for their own dialect which is different from that of Arabic, Urdu, Persian and Burmese.
In 1975 Master Sultan and his colleagues had developed a writing system using Arabic script. Due to major shortcomings in Arabic script to represent the dialect, some other scholars have soon adopted Urdu script to narrow the gap. Since Rohingya dialect is one of the most difficult Asian languages, the Arabic and Urdu scripts cannot produce all needed sounds. Therefore, most of the Rohingyas still find it quite difficult to read either Arabic or Urdu script versions of the language.
In other hand, Molana Hanif and his colleagues, have developed a new set of right-to-left oriented characters that are mainly based on Arabic script except a few from Latin and Burmese. This approach solved the reading problem in certain degrees and received appreciation from Rohingya Islamic scholars for whom media of study is purely in Arabic and Urdu. However, the new script got criticism for being very clumsy and the characters very similar to each other, requiring longer memorization time and careful writing to avoid confusion. More importantly, the major drawback is that it would require enormous work to standardize the new characters in today's computers and Internet media and the hassle to write in right-to-left direction.
Soon afterwards, E.M. Siddique has taken a complete radical approach to develop the Rohingya language using Latin letters only so as to eliminate all possible difficulties to write in today's electronic media such as Computers, Internet and mobile phones. The result is a quick to learn excellent writing system known as Rohingyalish that comprises 26 English letters, five accented vowels, and two other Latin characters carefully selected to represent the two distinguished Asian sounds known as the tongue rolling and the nasal sounds.
|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 Latin letters A to Z along with the two other characters Ç and Ñ shown above in green background. In addition to five normal English vowels (aeiou), the language also uses five accented vowels (áéíóú). Rohingya is one of the most difficult Asian languages, therefore it was a very challenging job to write it using only Latin letters. However, the designer's intuitive concepts have made the writing not only perfect, but also, remarkably simple and easy to learn in minutes.
Ç closely sounds like rd, that is, a retroflex r. So sha-Rda should be written as caça (=mat).
Ñ closely sounds like an'h, that is the nasal sound which is widely used in Asia. So fan'h-s, should be written as fañs (=five).
Normal vowel usage Stressed vowel usage
Sal = roof, Sál = tree bark
Fan = betel leaf, Fán = trap
Bet = cane (n.), Bét = intention
Tel = oil, Thél= push
Tir = arrow, Tír = up-right position
Fir = person achieved Fír =turn
Gor = do, Gór = home
Zor = fever, Zór = rain
Ful = bridge or hole, Fúl = flower
Sul = hair, Súl = skin (v.)
1 2 3 4 5
Last Fall As - -
Men Me Eye - -
Hit First Ice Crisis -
For Son Old Women Do
Put But Use - -
Unlike English language, Rohingya language has fixed the sound of each vowel to a particular sound only, and thus each vowel maintains the same sound in all Rohingya words. In the Phonemic vowels example shown above in tabular form, only words -Last, Men, Hit, For and Put- in the first column show the correct vowel sounds that Rohingyalish chooses to use, and all the other vowel sounds in other columns are not used at all.
But, one disadvantage in doing so is that it lacks one important sound that is the sound of true (o) as used in English word old in the Phonemic vowels example above. Solution to this problem seems to create a new vowel character, but instead, joint-vowels (ou) is used for representing the true (o) sound, as the sound lies in the middle of the two Rohingya sounds (o) and (u).
Normal vowel set..: a e i o u ou
Stressed vowel set: á é í ó ú óu
"América on full tour" is an easy to remember English phrase that shows the sound of each Rohingyalish vowel. Similarly, "Alemi modú houli" is an easy to remember Rohingya language phrase which means International Honey Center.
Fata (Fa-tha) = leaves (n.)
Melé (MayLáy) = can be opened
Cíçi (Shí-Rdi) = ladder (note: "ç" represents a retroflex "r" sound)
Foró (fawráu) = read
Futú (Fu-thú) = baby
Gouru (Go-Ru) = cow
Ciñçí (Shiñ-Rdí) = letter (note: "ñ" represents a nasal sound)
In Rohingya language, there are mainly two types of sound formations, the straight sound formations and the circular sound formations.
Ai: ''pronounced as āy, i, or i?e.
For the sake of simplicity Rohingyalish considers the letter y as a consonant only. As a result My, By and etc. are not valid words any more, because y is used here as a vowel. To tackle this problem ai is used in place of y such as Mai and Bai. Similarly the English words Hi and Fi are phonetically equal to Hai and Fai in Rohingyalish. Likewise English words Mile, Fine, Rise can be phonetically expressed, in Rohingyalish, as Máil, Fáin, Ráis. These rules greatly reduce the ambiguity in vowel usages and make the language much easier.
Ei: pronounced as æi, aei, or a?e.
Rohingyalish ei is almost equal to English ai. For example, English words main, fail, tailor, mail, nail, rail, sail, tail are phonetically equal to méin, féil, téilar, méil, néil, réil, séil, théil in Rohingyalish. Similarly the words cane, sale, same, ate, plane can be phonetically written as kéin, séil, séim, éit, pléin in Rohingyalish.
Oi: pronounced as oui or oei (not wy, wai, oy, or y).
This is one of the most frequently used circular sound in Rohingya Language. Unfortunately, the sound of oi here is different from that of English one. English oi sounds like wy or oy such as in English words soil, coin, noice, rollroyce. But Rohingyalish oi sounds like oui or oei such as in Rohingya words Loi (=take), Boi (=sit), Ói (=yes), Goijjé (=done), Soil (=rice), Thoin (=tin), Moinna (=sharp) and so on. It is really hard to find an English word that can represent the Rohingya oi sound.
Ui: pronounced as wui.
This sound is the same as it is used in English words such as Quik, Quit, Buik. Some examples of Rohingya words are Kuissa (=worm), Tui (=you), Muillo (=value), Gúijja (=covered).
Fatol (Fa-thol) = thin
Meçi (May-Rdi) = soil
Bála (Bha-la) = good
Salu (Sa-lu) = fast
Bouli (Bo-li) = fatty
Gail (Gy-il) = scolding
Beil (Bay-il) = sun
Soil (Sou-il) = rice
Tui (Thui) = you, you are
(3)Circular and Straight Sound together Words:
Failla (Fy-illa) = dish
Mouloi (Mo-loui) = teacher
Balúic (Ba-lúish)= pillow
(4)A Rohingya sentence that gives all circular sounds.
Hailla Meillós Tui Óineh?
(Hylla May-il-loss thui óui-nayy?) = Yesterday opened, you, yes?
Normal Sound(single vowel) Extended Sound(double vowels)
do (Dau) = give, doo (Daw) = knife
no (Nau) = nine(9) noo (Naw) = small boat
zo (Zau) = go zoo (Zaw) = lucky period
dhor (Dhau-r)= afraid dhoor (Dhaw-r) = heavy rain
mana (Ma-na) = make agree maana (Ma-a-na)= free
nek (nay-k) = husband neel (nay-el) = leave
nil (nil) = bamboo-skin biili (be-e-li)= birth given lady
mur (Mu-r) = deep muu (mu-wu) = face
In the examples above, single o, a, e, i or u are used in the words (left side) for short sounds, while double oo, aa, ee, ii or uu are used in the words (right side) for long sounds.
| Four variants|
of long vowels
|gáá||(Gha-ah)||expressing animal or natural sound|
Gaat gáa óiye-dé manúic-cwá gana gaár.
The man with infection in the body is singing.
In the example above, the 1st word has double normal vowels aa that gives normal steady extension of sound. The 2nd word is started with normal sound (normal a) and ended with raised sound (accented á). Th 3rd word is started with raised sound(á) but ended with normal(a) sound. The 4th word is both started and ended with raised sounds(áá) which is not actually used in normal Rohingya talks but rather embedded in the talks to simulate the animal or natural sounds such as Dúúm the falling sound.
fool (Fawl) = mad, foól (Fau-auhl) = fault
hoor (Hawr) = cloth, hoór (Hau-auhr) = curse
muu (Mu-u) = face, muúntu(Mu-uhn-tu) = in front of
neel (Ne-el) = out, meél (Me-ehl) = factory
boól (Bo-ohl)= ball, sóol (sauh-aul) = sheep
| Examples of|
| Examples of|
|D||the||Dut (=milk), Dak (=mark)||father, gather|
|Dh||d||Dhañço (=thick), Dhak (=call)||dome, dog|
|H'||h||Háva (=air), Hát (=hand)||hello|
|H||kh||Háiyi (=eaten), Hóro (=soar)||Khaled (name)|
|Kh||kh||Kháled (name), Khátu (name)||Khaled (name), Khatu (name)|
|N||n||Norom (=soft), Nun (=salt)||north, noon|
|Ng||ng||Ngapúra (village name)||Ngapura (village name)|
|Ny||ny||Nyong-Cóng (village name)||Nyaung Chaung (village name)|
|T||th||Tua (=search)||teeth, thin|
|Th||t||Thambu (=tent)||tent, tin|
|Ts||ts||Tsáni (=next in Arabic)||tsunami|
(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 wá for singular or ún for plural.
Debal lán (the wall) Debal lún (the walls)
Mes sán (the table) Mes sún (the tables)
Kitap pwá (the book) Kitap pún (the books)
Manúic cwá (the man) Manúic cún (the men)
3. If a noun ends with r, then the article is g plus án or wá for singular or ún for plural.
Tar gán (the wire) Tar gún (the wires)
Duar gán (the door) Duar gún (the doors)
Kuñir gwá (the dog) Kuñir gún (the dogs)
Faár gwá (the mountain) Faár gún (the mountains)
(singular ) (plural )
Uggwá fata (a leave) Hodún fata (some leaves)
Ekkán fothú (a picture) Hodún Fothú (some pictures)
Fata uggwá (a leave) Fata hodún (some leaves)
Fothú ekkán (a picture) Fothú hodún (some pictures)
Subject Object Verb
Aññí(I) bát(rice) hái(eat).
Ite(He) TV(TV) saá(watches).
Ibá(She) sairkél(bicycle) soré(rides).
Ítara(They) hamot(to work) za(go).
Verb-form-suffix (basic and/or helping verb) changes in two ways; by degree of person as well as by tense. The suffix ~ir, ~yi, ~lám, ~youm are used for the first person, the suffix ~or, ~yó, ~lá, ~bá for the 2nd person, and the suffix ~ar, ~ye, ~l, ~bou for the 3rd person. Similarly the suffix ~ir, ~or, ~ar refer present continuous tense, the suffix ~yi, ~yó, ~ye, refer to present perfect tense, the suffix ~lám, ~lá, ~l refer to past and the suffix ~youm, ~bá, ~bou refers to the future tense.
For 1st person (I ):
(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.)
(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.)
(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.)
For 2nd 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 háibá. [Tui háibí.] (You will eat.)
(b)Tuñí/Oñne háat tákibá. [Tui háat tákibí.] (You will be eating.)
(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.)
For 3rd 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.)
(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.)
(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.)
|Singular||1st||m/f (I )||aññí||añáre||añár||aññínize||añár|
|2nd||m/f (you )||tuñí
|3rd||m (he )||ite *
|m/f (he/she )||ibá *
|n1 (it )
n2 (it )
|Plural||1st||m/f (we )||añára||añáráre||añárár||añáránize||añárár|
|2nd||m/f (you )||tuáñrá||tuáñráre||tuáñrár||tuáñránize||tuáñrár|
|3rd||m/f (they )||itará *
| n1 (they )
n2 (they )
| iín *
Gender: m=male, f=female, n=neuter., *=the person or object is near., **=the person or object is far.