Rohingya

Language Rules

 

Rohingyalish is the modern writing system for the true spoken language of Rohingyas, the indigenous but oppressed Muslim minority people of Arakan State in the north-western part of Burma (Myanmar). Rohingyalish uses Latin alphabets A-Z, and two other characters Ç and Ñ along with the five accented vowels ÁÉÍÓÚ.  Ç is a variant of R, used for rolling-tongue sound and pronounced as rdi. Ñ is a variant of N, used for nasal sound and pronounced as anh. While the normal vowels are used for soft sound, the accented vowels are used for stressed sound. C, though originally used for K and S sound, is now used only for the Sh sound and thus it is named to shi.

 

Aa

Bb

Cc

Ç

Dd

Ee

Ff

New Alphabets:

Cc =shi

Ç =rdi

Ññ =anh

Numbers: 0123456789

Gg

Hh

Ii

Jj

Kk

Ll

Mm

Nn

Ññ

Oo

Pp

Qq

Rr

Ss

Tt

Uu

Vv

Ww

Xx

Yy

Zz

Fig 1.     Rohingyalish Character Set Table

 

All the Rohingyalish alphabets (capital and small forms) with its proper arrangement are shown in Fig. 1 above followed by the rules 1 through 16 that explain in details how to write Rohingya words. For numbers, Rohingyalish uses Arabic numerals 0-9 as shown above and how to read and count them are shown at the end in rule number 16.

 

1.        The original English vowels (a, e, i, o, u) are used as soft vowels.

 

In English, the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) are used as hard (emphasized) vowels. But the Rohingyalish uses these vowels as soft (and also as short) vowels. Whenever hard vowels are required, Rohingyalish uses another set of vowels (á, , í, ó, ú), which are normally known as accented (gutá) vowels.

 

These accented vowels (á, , í, ó, ú) can be typed in Computer by simply choosing the keyboard type as United States-International through the Windows control panel. To set in Windows 98 follow the steps as Start Settings - Control Panel Keyboard Language - English (United States) Properties --United States-International OK OK. After setting the keyboard, you can get (á) by first typing a single quote ( ' ) followed by (a). Similarly, to get () type ( ' ) followed by (c), and for (ñ) first type (~) followed by (n). For Windows 2000, and Windows Xp, add and select the "United States-International" as the default keyboard.

 

See below how Ba and Boo in English are written in Rohingyalish to get the same sound.

 

Ba   (in English) =  (in Rohingyalish) 

Boo (in English) =   (in Rohingyalish)

 

Rohingyalish words with soft vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and hard vowels (á, , í, ó, ú) are shown below as examples along with the meaning. The last line in the example shows the 6th vowel (ou and óu are explained later) of the Rohingyalish.

 

Bak

=

tiger

Bák

=

share

Bet

=

cane stick

Bt

=

intention

Kil

=

punch

Kíl

=

wedge

Zor

=

fever

Zór

=

rain

Ful

=

hole/bridge

Fúl

=

flower

Zouloi

=

Nail

Zóuli

=

bamboo fence

 

 

2.  Rohingyalish has a total of ( 12 ) basic vowels where six are of the soft-sounds and the other six are of hard-sounds.

  

To understand here easily, the consonant K is used as reference to show the sound of each vowel.

 

English

In English, the sound of each vowel is not fixed to a particular sound. The sound of any vowel varies from words to words causing enormous difficulties to know which sound is the correct one, particularly for whom English is the 2nd language.  Moreover, there is no method to know which vowel needs to be emphasized and which one is not to be emphasized depending on how the particular English word is pronounced. The five basic English vowels along with K are:-

 

Ka

Ke

Ki

Ko

Ku

(vowels used as hard or soft sound)

 

Rohingyalish

In Rohingyalish, the sound of each vowel is fixed to one particular sound. Therefore, Rohingyalish has 12 basic fixed sounds, where the first six are for the soft sounds and the other six are for the hard sounds as shown in the table below.

 

Ka

Ke

Ki

Ko

Ku

Kou

(vowels used as soft sounds)

K

Kóu

(vowels used as hard sounds)

 

The pronunciation of each soft sound can be represented with an English phrase On Februari Tour where Februari means the month February. Another similar one is Put America on Tour. The following are some comparative examples with English words:-

 

Ka  is pronounced as Ca as in the word Calculator, but not to be pronounced as in the word Can.

 

Ke is pronounced as Kay as e is pronounced in English words Let, Bet, Get, Net, and Wet but in soft sound.

 

Ki  is pronounced as it is pronounced in the word Kilo.

 

Ko will be pronounced as Kaw (but in short) as o is pronounced in English words Dot, Not, God, Lot, Rod but in soft sound. 

 

Ku will be pronounced as Cu in the word Calculator.

 

Kou will be pronounced exactly as English Ko. Here Rohingyalish ou is made equal to English o as it is used in English words Go, Old, Won, Own, Toll, Sold, Bold, Mold, Fold but in soft sound.

  

3.        Rohingyalish words should not be read the same way  English is read.

 

In English, the words are read after analyzing the whole word and then pronounced correctly. This is not required in Rohingyalish. Simply read the consonant vowel pairs from left to right. Apply the following methods in the order shown to get the best possible results:

 

(a)    If the word follows the sequence of one consonant and one vowel then pronounce one consonant and one-vowel pairs individually and then combine the results. For example;

 

Maz = Ma + Z = Ma Z      (middle)

Fala = Fa  + La = Fa La      (pillar)

Salu = Sa  + Lu = Sa Lu      (moving)

Thalasabí = Tha  + La + Sa + Bí=ThaLaSaBí (lock and keys)

 

(b)   If the word follows the sequence of one consonant and one vowel followed by another consonant then pronounce the three combined together. Do the same for the rest. Finally combine the results. For example;

 

Sultán = Sul  + Tán = Sul Tán (the name Sultan)

Tormus = Tor  + Mus = Tor Mus (water melon)

Bañdor = Bañ + Dor = Bañ Dor (monkey)

Fandhúk = Fan + Dhúk = Fan Dhúk (pipe)

 

(c)    The word may follow both rules mentioned above. For example;

 

Burus = Bu   + Rus (brush)

Gorom = Go   + Rom (hot)

Hañdá = Hañ + Dá (shoulder)

Fonná = Fon + Ná (education)

 

(d)   There may be two vowels together side by side. For example;

 

Sail = Sai + L (trick)

Beil = Bei + L (sun)

Soil = Soi + L (rice)

Tui = Tui (you)

Gouru = Gou + Ru (cow)

Mouloi = Mou + Loi (Arabic Teacher)

Maana = Maa + Na (free)

 

 

4.  New Alphabets ( Ñ ) and ( Ç ) pronounced as anh and  rda.

 

These two new alphabets are taken from Latin Alphabets and are very important for Rohingyalish to produce nasal sound using (Ñ), and a variant of R sound(i.e. tongue rolling sound) using (Ç). These two sounds are not used in English Language.  A list of Rohingyalish words are shown below as examples:

 

Nasal sound examples: normal without ñ  (left) and nasal with ñ (right):

Ara

=

Fence

Añra

=

Coal

Fas

=

Pass

Fañs

=

Five

Tongue rolling sound examples:  normal  with r  (left) and tongue rolling with   (right):

Bara

=

fishing fence

Baa

=

exchange rate

Bera

=

Visit

Bea

=

Husband

Fara

=

Village

Faa

=

chili grinding flat rock

ra

=

Infectious spot

a

=

Drop

More nasal sound examples: normal without ñ  (left) and nasal with ñ (right):

Sáda

=

White

Sañda

=

donation or tax

Kurá

=

chicken

Kuñra

=

bring together/chicken food

More nasal and  tongue rolling sound examples:

Keña

=

fish bone

Meá

=

bottle cap

Suañ

=

bamboo pipe 

Mei

=

soil, ground

Súañ

=

Stick

Theá

=

not straight

 

5.        The alphabet ( C )  has been used differently.

 

Rohingyalish does not need the alphabet C because it has two different sounds which can be replaced with K and S. However, Rohingyalish words have a lot of sh sounds and it would be easier to use a single character C instead of two characters sh.  Therefore, C is made equal to sh and named as shi. See Examples:

 

Cúndor       (Shúndor)

=

beautiful

Camic         (Shamish)

=

spoon

Cuña         (Shuña) 

=

cigars

Doc              (Dosh)     

=

ten

Óñc              (Óñsh)     

=

loose

Fáñc             (Fáñsh)    

=

fertilizer

Cíccii mas (shíshshiii mas)

=

a kind of fish

Cóccoar    (shóshshoar)

=

ducks looking food in shallow water

 

 

6.        The differences in ( T ), ( Th ) and ( D ), ( Dh )

 

The T sound is taken as the sound of Th as used in the English word Think. Alternatively, the Th sound is taken as the sound of T that is used in the English word Total.

See examples of Rohingyalish words with meaning in English:

 

Taza

=

fresh    

Mutha

=

fat

Talu

=

Bald

Thambu

=

tent

Tal

=

music

Thal

=

pile

Tuta

=

parrot  

Thaththi

=

toilet

 

The normal D sound is taken exactly the same sound of the word The in English. The Dh sound is taken as the sound of the normal D in English, i.e. as in the word Donut.   See examples of Rohingyalish words with meaning in English:

 

Dándah 

=

profession

Dhandha

=

short rod for beating

Duwa

=

prayer

Dhuwa

=

soil container at the root of a plant

Duadi

=

busy; quickly

Dhandhari

=

tales

 

 

7.        Three kinds of  ( H ) sounds

 

The three kinds of H sounds are produced by a single quoted H', a single H, and Kh respectively as shown below in examples.

 

H'a = sound produced at the beginning of the mouth by blowing air out, as in the word H'ava meaning air in Rohingyalish. There are a few words only with this sound. Because of very few words a single quote requirement is made optional unless necessary. In the case where there are two alternative saying for the same thing such as áñti or háñti (meaning elephant), áñc or háñc (meaning duck), the single quote will be always omitted. Interestingly, the saying difference is based on either he/she is from north or south of Arakan. Examples: háva, howá, háñala, háñc, háñtih, hórin, húñciar, háff, hála, hál, hoñsu, hoñiá, hoñinya, hoñroi, hámbah, hóraf, hottú.

 

Ha = Rohingyalish adopted this sound to work like Kha (below) which produces sound from the middle of the mouth, as in the words hána (Khána) and holom (Kholom) meaning food and Pen respectively. Since more than 90% of the all Ha sounds are in this category, Rohingyalish uses more simpler method which is hána and holom. Many Languages have only one variety of Ha sounds with the most exception being Arabic language having three distinct Ha(s).  Examples: hala, holom, háiye, hosóm, hóbor.

 

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Kha = sound produced frrom the middle of the mouth as above. But this is to be used only for Arabic name such as Khaled instead of writing Haled.

 

8.  The most useful vowel ( o ) and its replacement ( ou ) in Rohingyalish.

 

O, used as au, is 40% of all the vowels used in Rohingyalish words. Most European and Asian languages use sounds either vertical (such as Bu) or horizontal (such as Ba). However, in Rohingyalish there are many sounds that are neither complete vertical nor complete horizontal and it is rather exactly in between which can be said, in other words, 45 degree sounds (0 degree means horizontal and 90 means vertical). Examples are Baw, Daw, Naw, Saw, etc.. These can be better spelled as Bau, Dau, Nau, Sau etc. by using both horizontal and vertical vowels together. Since 40% of the words in Rohingyalish will have these sounds in average, it is better if we can adopt only one vowel instead of the two vowels a and u together, so that the word will be short and easier to read. Therefore o is adopted to pronounce as au always, as it is pronounced in the English word For. While doing that ou is adopted to pronounce as the true sound of the English o as found in the English words Go, No, Bother, Old, Won but in soft way. See examples below.

 

Norom

=

soft

Gorom

=

hot

Holom

=

pen

Zonom

=

birth

Córom

=

shyness

Nolor

=

not taking

Goró

=

do it

Hóro

=

sore

Boro

=

big

Doró

=

hard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gourib

=

poor

Gouru

=

cow

Mouloi

=

Arabic teacher

Mouris

=

chilly     

Fourís

=

read

Gourís

=

do it; perform it, act on it

Zouloi

=

nail

Sóuloi

=

matches

Foouli

=

mad lady

Tooul

=

in perfect mix or balance

 

9.     Extending sound using long vowel that is ( 2 ) vowels side by side.

 

Like the soft and hard vowels change the meaning of the word, short vowels like (a) and long vowels like (aa) do change the meaning too such as Mana (=let accept) and Maana (=free) are not the same. We extend the sound by placing two vowels side by side. For example:

 

Gaa

=

body

Maana

=

free

Neel

=

leave

Biili

=

birth given (lady)

Doo

=

knife

Zoo

=

Prosperity

Fool

=

mad

Hoor

=

cloth

Foona

=

ripen

Moota

=

funeral

Muu

=

face

Zuu

=

tide

 

10.    Ascending ( aá )and Descending ( áa ) long vowels.

 

Sometimes two soft-vowels used side-by-side as above is not enough to get exact sound and the meaning. In some place we need the 1st vowel as a soft and the second vowel as a hard vowel. For example, in Rohingyalish the word Saá, which means tea, requires two vowels but the 1st one soft and the 2nd one hard. This arrangement is known as ascending long vowels. Similarly, the two vowels when arranged the other way around such as in the word Sáa (where the 1st vowel is hard and the second vowel is soft) is known as descending long vowels. See the examples below.

 

B

=

climbing

Táa

=

staying

G

=

sing

Gáa

=

infection

S

=

tea

Sáa

=

filter

W

=

steep

Fáa

=

gap

Mni

=

meaning

Táani

=

next

Ken

=

how

Ther

=

stop , wait

Mel

=

mill

Fl

=

field

Síil

=

seal

Zn

=

(of) which

Zíi

=

daughter

Bl

=

ball

Sóol

=

sheep

Mntu

=

in front

Súura

=

verses of Quran

 

11. Using ( ai ) instead of  y.

 

Though y is a consonant, it is also used as a semi-vowel in words such as By, My etc. Since Rohingyalish understand y as a consonant only, ai is used instead of y is used as a vowel. Therefore instead of My, By, Fy it will be used as Mai, Bai, Fai.

 

Bai

=

dizzy (head)

Bái

=

brother

Sai

=

fish trap

Sái

=

ashes

Lai

=

basket

Nái

=

not there

Flaid

=

throw it

Hálaide

=

make the skin removed

Solaifla

=

make it move

aiy

=

has been dried

 

12.   Using ( oi, ói ) to get rolling sounds.

 

Boroi

=

tablet (medicine)

Borói

=

palm

Touloi

=

bamboo mat

Mouloi

=

religious teacher

Hoñroi

=

heated rice grain

Óroói

=

grain for mustard oil

Soil

=

rice

Boil

=

fruit in flower stage

Moillo

=

value

Hoil

=

quarrel

Bóin

=

sister

Óiye

=

done

 

13.   Usages of ( ei ) and ( ui )

 

Beil

=

sun

Dheil

=

upper  level land area

Plein

=

aero plane

Teilla

=

cooking oil producer

Kil

=

game

Thil

=

branch of trees

Neill

=

has leaved

Fill

=

has dropped

Thilleh

=

has pushed

Killeh

=

played

Meill

=

opened

Neithth

=

has laid down

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mui

=

I

Tui

=

you

Muic

=

jungle cow

Tuñic

=

rice skin

Fúñic

=

needle

Tuñí

=

you (used to call elders)

Fúille

=

swelled

Kúille

=

opened

Súille

=

skinned

Kuiththa

=

get things ready, in cut

 

14.   ( Ñg ), ( Ñy ), and ( Ts ) sounds

 

Ñgapúra, Ñgapali, and Ñyong-Cóng are the area names in Myanmar (Burma). These names can be also written as Ngapúra, Ngapali and Nyong-Cóng because Ng and Ny are used as international standard.

 

Ts is a variant of S producing sound with tongue out as in the word Tsúmma meaning then in Arabic language. Ts is rarely used by Rohingyas.

 

15.      Ending the word with double consonants to get echo, vibrating or trailing effect

 

Amm

=

mango

Áff

=

snake

Córr

=

sailing cloth

Rell

=

rail

 

16.      The counting system.

 

0

sifír

11

egaro

22

ekkuri-dui

100

ek-cót (cót)

1

ek

12

baró

23

ekkuri-tin

101

ekcó-ek

2

dui

13

teró

501

Fañscó-ek

3

tin

14

soiddó

29

ekkuri-no

900

no-cót

4

sair

15

fundóroh

30

tiríc

1.000

ek-ázar

5

fañs

16

cúlloh

40

calic

10.000

doc-ázar

6

17

háñtaroh

50

fonjaic

1.00.000

ek-lák

7

háñt

18

añároh

60

áit

10.00.000

doc-lák

8

añctho

19

unnúic

70

óttoir

1.00.00.000

ek-kurul

9

no

20

kuri

80

ací

10.00.00.000

doc-kurul

10

doc

21

ekkuri-ek

90

nobboi

1.00.00.00.000

ek-kuthí

 

For more info please visit the links below:

http://www.rohingyalanguage.com

http://www.geocities.com/rohingyalanguage

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rohingyalanguage

Email: [email protected]

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