Mara language

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Mara (Lakher/Shendu)
Pronunciation [m̥ara]
Native to Mizoram, India; Burma
Ethnicity Mara people
Native speakers
ca. 400,000 (1994–2011)[1]
  • Tlosaih (lingua franca)
  • Hawthai (Lyvaw)
  • Zyhno
  • Sizo(Chapi)
  • Zophei(Vytu)
  • Heima
  • Lialai
  • Lautu
  • Senthang
  • Zotung
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mrh
Glottolog mara1382[2]

Mara is a Kuki-Chin language spoken by Mara people living in 60 villages of Chhimtuipui district, southern Mizoram, India and the adjacent people living in Burma.

The Mara language belongs to the Kuki-Chin branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The speakers of the language are also known as Mara.

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


  • Population: 47,000 in India (2007), 37,000 in Burma (2007).
  • Region: Siaha District, Mizoram (India), Indo-Burma Border
  • Alternate names: Lakher, Mara, Maram, Mira, Zao, Shendu, Khawngsai,Khyieng.
  • Languages: Tlôsaih, Sizo(Chapi/Saby/Ngiaphia), Zyhno, Hawthai(Lyvaw and Lochei), Zophei(Vytu), Zotung(Sal Thawng/Azyu), Heima, Lialai, Senthang(Khuapi/Saitha), Lautu(Awsa/Kahno).


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

Mara Alphabet (small letters): a, aw, y, b, ch, d, e, 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)
  • naw
  • sahlao (sha-hlawh)

Words inside bracket were how a foreign author N.E. Parry (1937) wrote according to his understanding of the sound. But now the Maras have their own alphabet and the correct usages are put up there.

Interrogative words in Mara

What : Khâpa, Khâpa-e, Khâpamaw

Where : Khataih la, Khataih liata

How : kheihta, kheihawhta, Khatluta, Kheihta maw

How much? : Khazie?

How long? : Khachâ e, Khachâ maw?

When : Khatita, khatita-e, Khapa nota, nota, tita, nahta, pata, Conj. thlaita, khati nota

Why : Khazia, Khazia-e, Khazia maw, Khapa vata

Why not : Khazia a châ vei chheih aw

Whose : Kheihawpa, Kheihawpa he, Kheihawhpa-e, Kheihawhpa maw, ahy he maw

Which : Kheihawpa, Kheihawpa he, Kheihawhpa-e, Kheihawhpa maw, ahy he maw

Friend : Viasa

Male Friend : Viasa Paw

Female Friend : Viasa Nô

Walk/Go : Sie (Pheita Sie)

Run : Ârâ

Sleep : Âmô, Âzia, Âpazawh

See : Mo, hmô

Sit : Âtyuh

Stand : Âduah

Jump : Âthluy

Hit : Âchô

Eat : Nie

Drink : Doh


Adjectives are placed before the word they qualify. e.g., A good man) When an adjective is used to complete the predicate of a sentence, a pronominal particle agreeing with the subject is placed before the adjective.



  • 1st person-keima or kei I
  • 2nd person-nama or na You
  • 3rd person-ano or a or ama' He,She,It


  • 1st person-eima We
  • 2nd person-namo, nama You
  • 3rd person-amo They

Possessive Pronouns

  • Singular
  • Keima, ei - my.
  • keima ha, kei ei - mine.
  • Nama, na - Thy(You)
  • Nama ha, na ei - Thine(Yours)
  • Ama, Ana - Him, Her, It.
  • Ama ei, a ei - His, Hers, Its.


  • Keimo - Our.
  • Keimo ei - Ours.
  • Namo - Your.`
  • Ahyrai - Any one.
  • Ahy-tleuma - Some one, a certain one.
  • Atlapi - Some . . . others.
  • Ahropa - Another, others.
  • Ama Zydua ta - All.


  1. ^ Mara at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mara (Lakher/Shendu)". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

External links

  • To make Mara Language accessible to everyone!
  • Maraland.NET Home of Mara language speaking people
  • MITCS website
  • A grammar and dictionary of the Lakher language (1908) (Scanned book at the Internet Archive)
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