(Last Updated on : 02/04/2019)
Meithei or Manipuri is the predominant and common language in the state of Manipur
. It is a Sino-Tibetan language and the official language in the government
offices of Manipur. Meitei, Meitei-lon and Meetei are the alternative names of this language. In the erstwhile British era
, Meithi people spoke this language after which the name of the language has been derived. Apart from being the official language of Manipur state, Meithei is also spoken in the north Indian states of Assam
; it is also spoken in Bangladesh and Burma. It has been classified as a vulnerable language by UNESCO. Few Meithei is also found in other regions like Uttar Pradesh
and West Bengal
Recognition of Meithei Language
Meithei has been renowned as "Manipuri" language by the Indian Union and also has been incorporated in the list of scheduled languages as has been brought about by the 71 amendment of the constitution in the year 1992. Meithei has been added as a subject up to Post-graduation in almost all the reputed universities of India
. Moreover, it was also used as a suitable medium to give instructions to the pupils studying in the undergraduate level in the state. According to a survey that has been brought out in the year 1994 by the famous organization IMA, total number of Meithei speakers has been recorded as 1,181,000 in India and also 1,252,000 throughout the whole world.
Dialect of Meithei Language
Meitei contains various dialects some of which are Chonglei, Ningthonia, Luwang, Angom, Moirang
, Khabanaganba. Basically the exact number of dialects of Meitei is unknown. Three main dialects of Meitei are Meitei proper, Loi and the Pangal. Differences found within Meitei's dialects are mainly characterised by the extensions of new sounds and tonal shifts. For writing Meithei a primitive script is used that is known as "Meithei Mayek".
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