Languages of Tripura

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Languages of Tripura, a state in Northeast India, include Bengali as official language and many other minority languages. As in the rest of India, English is used for official purpose. Bengali is the most spoken language, due to the predominance of Bengali people in the state. Kokborok is the second official language of the state[1][2][3] and is a prominent language among the tribes.

Languages of Tripura in 2011[4][5][6]

  Bengali (65.73%)
  Tripuri (Kokborok) (25.88%)
  Hindi (2.11%)
  Mogh (0.97%)
  Others (5.31%)

In the state of Tripura, most of the languages of India are used. Major languages in terms of the number of speakers per 2001 census of India are as follows:[7]

Language Number Percentage
Bengali 21,47,994 67.14
Kokborok 8,14,375 25.46
Hindi 53,691 1.68
Mogh 28,850 0.9
Oriya 23,899 0.75
Bishnupriya Manipuri 21,716 0.68
Manipuri 20,716 0.65
Halam 17,990 0.56
Garo 11,312 0.35

Languages

A report in Times of India said that the state is home to three dozen languages including some that are nearly extinct, including Saimar which was spoken by only 4 people in 2012.[8] Besides this Ranglong language is also under Tibeto-Burman family a Kuki-Chin language of India and Burma. It is also recorded as Langrong by UNESCO and declared as critically endangered language. Ranglong language is also known as "Riam chong", it is spoken in Seisimdung, Noagang, Zoitang, Lungkam, Zoinogor, Muolhui, Enhui, Vomthat, Kheuri-laikhuo, Rothabil, Laikhuo, Sorospur, Thumsip, Balidung, Ru-at, Saitha, Zarolian, villages in Tripura, Nurka, Langkhanphong, Pipla, Zairal, Sobiri, Khulicherra, Jugicherra, Salganga, Kaisanary, Jamira villages in Assam and Luimawi village in Mizoram. The Ranglong people lives in a close and compact yet divided by three Indian federal states, the Ranglong speakers as per G.A. Gierson in 1904 were 6266, in 2017 Ranglongs are 15000 approximately. Ranglong language is a tonal language, monosyllabic language, contextual language, agglutinative language, and ergative language, the Ranglong people have their own grammar book published by Mr. Reuben Ranglong on 5 July 2016 in memory of his father Mualzuiril Ranglong (Lt.) the first Ranglong Christian, who took baptized in 1956 in the Diamond Jubilee year (1956-2016). The grammar book "Ranglong Chongzia" written by Rev. Lianzamthang Ranglong and released by Mr. Ringpanjoy Ranglong, President of Ranglong Youth Association.

In 1880 G.H. Damant, the then Political Officer of Naga Hills, in his research paper, "Notes on the locality and Population of the Tribes Dwelling betweenthe Brahmaputra and Ningthi Rivers" in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Page 237, Published in Stanford University, USA, Put the Ranglong Community under Old Kuki.

C.A. Soppit (1887), the then Assistant Commissioner, Burma and Sub-Divisional Officer, North Cachar Hills, Assam, in his research works ‘A short Account of the Kuki-Lushai Tribe on the North-East Frontier’ published at Harvard University, USA, clearly mentioned about the community of Ranglong in his preface on the account of the tribes.

G.A. Grierson (1904), one of the most renowned linguistic scholars, in his extensive research works, ‘The Linguistic Survey of India, 1904’ in Volume III, Part III – ‘Tibeto-Burman family’ had identified the Ranglong as separate community and accordingly undertook detailed linguistic research on Ranglong language, as per his record in 1904, the Ranglong populations were about 6,266.

T.C Hodson (1911), the then Assistant Political Agent in Manipur and Superintendent of the State, in his book, ‘The Naga Tribes of Manipur’ published in University of London, also identified the Ranglong as separate community as against Halam, Rangkhol etc., and put it under Old Kuki group. It could be viewed in page 19.

Colonel Shakespeare (1912), in his extensive works on linguistic co-relation among various tribes namely ‘The Lushei Kuki Clan’ published in the University of California, highlighted Ranglong as distinct to other tribal languages, it could be viewed in page 227 & 225.

Kenneth VanBik (2009), in his research works on, ‘Proto-Kuki-Chin: A Reconstructed Ancestor of the Kuki-Chin Language’ published in University of California, Berkeley, grouped the Ranglong with Old Kuki as against Halam Rangkhol, Aimol etc, it could be viewed in page 20.

M.K Bhasin (2006), in his research works, ‘Genetics of Castes and Tribes of India: Indian Population Milieu’ published in Int J Hum Genet, 2006, clearly identified the Ranglong as separate community alongside Lushai/Mizo, Rangkhol, Halam etc, it could be viewed in page 268, Volume 6(3).

References

  1. ^ kokborokoml.tripura.gov.in/kokborok Website of Directorate of Kokborok and other minority languages, Government of Tripura
  2. ^ gomati.tripurapolice.gov.in/ Tripura Official Languages Act, 1964, website of Tripura Police Department, Kak barak as official language of Tripura
  3. ^ www.tripurauniv.in/index.php/departments?id=400 Department of Kokborok, Tripura University, A Central University of Government of India
  4. ^ "Distribution of the 22 Scheduled Languages". Census of India. Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Census Reference Tables, A-Series - Total Population". Census of India. Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  6. ^ [1] Census 2011 Non scheduled languages
  7. ^ "Report of the commissioner for linguistic minorities: 47th report (July 2008 to June 2010)" (PDF). Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. 2011. pp. 116–121. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Milton, Lawrence (17 July 2012). "Saimar's oldest speaker appeals to protect his language". Times of India. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
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