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Paite language

Native toIndia
RegionAssam, Manipur, Mizoram
Native speakers
78,725 (2011 census)[1][2]
Roman alphabet/Latin alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3pck

Paite is an Sino-Tibetan Language spoken by the Zomi. There are different Paite dialects. The language exhibits mutual intelligibility with the other languages of the region including Thadou, Hmar, Vaiphei, Simte, Kom, Gangte and other languages.[4] The name Paite literally means 'the people who went.'

Paite alphabet (Paite laimal)

The alphabet is propounded by Shri T Vialphung in 1903 which is extract from the Roman alphabets and has 18 consonants and 6 vowels. Out of 18 consonant phonemes in Paite, 11 of them are glottal stops, 4 fricatives, 2 nasal and 1 lateral.

This version of the Paite alphabet is called 'Paite Laimal'. This alphabet is used since 1903 to till today.

Letter a aw b ch d e f g ng h i j k
Letter l m n o p r s t u v z
Consonants b [b] ch [t͡ʃ] d [d] f [f] g [g] ng [ŋ] h [h, -ʰ] j [d͡ʒ] k [k] l [l] m [m] n [n] p [p] r [r] s [s] t [t] v [v] z [z]
Vowels a [a] aw [ɔ] e [e] i [i] o [o] u [u]


High-front-oriented ei ai ui oi
High-back-oriented au iu eu ou
Low-central-oriented ia ua

'iai'(yai) and 'uau'(wao) are the Triphthongs of Paite language.

Five prominent tones in Paite are:

  • rising (Tungkal) (á),
  • rising-falling (Tungkal-niamkiak) (â),
  • falling (Niamkiak) (à),
  • falling-rising (Niamkiak-tungkal) (ã),
  • and flat/levelled (Pheipai) (ā).

The number of tones varies with variations in region and dialect.


Paite English Lushei (Mizo) Meitei (Manipuri) Thadou (Kuki)
Bial Zero Bial Phun/Shino
Khat One Pakhat Ama Khat
Nih Two Pahnih Ani Ni
Thum Three Pathum Ahum Thum
Li Four Pali Mari Li
Nga Five Panga Manga Nga
Guk Six Paruk Taruk Gup
Sagih Seven Pasarih Taret Sagi
Giat Eight Pariat Nipal Get
Kua Nine Pakua Mapal Ko
Sawm Ten Sawm Tara Som
Sawmlehkhat Eleven Sawmpakhat TaraMathoi
Sawmlehkua Nineteen Sawmpakua TaraMapal
Sawmhni Twenty Sawmhnih Kun
Sawmthum Thirty Sawmthum Kunthraa
Sawmnga Fifty Sawmnga Yaangkhei
Sawmkua Ninety Sawmkua MariPhuTara
Za Hundred Za ChaAma Za
Zanga Five hundred ChaManga
Saang(khat) One thousand Sang Lishing ama Sang
Siing(khat) Ten thousand Sing
Nuai(khat) Hundred thousand/One lakh Nuai
Maktaduai Million
Vaibelsia Ten million
Vaibelsetak Hundred million Vaibelchhetak
Tuklehdingawn Billion Tluk leh dingawn
Tuklehdingawn sawm Ten billion
Tuklehdingawn za Hundred billion

Sample text

The following is a sample text in Paite of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Paite pau English
Mi tengteng zalen a piang ihi ua, zah-omna leh dikna tanvou ah kibangvek ihi. Sia leh pha theihna pilna nei a siam I hih ziak un I mihinpihte tungah unauna lungsim feltak I put ngai ahi. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

There are two major dialects of Paite in Manipur, Lamjang and Dapjal.[5]


Paite grammar is fairly complex because of a number of word modification and a bit complex noun structure.

Word order

Paite's declarative word structure is Object-subject-verb.


Vasa Ka mu
I see a bird
Sing a puá
He carries wood

If the word order and grammar isn't followed, sentences and phrases lose their meaning.

Example: "Lai a gelh", which means "He writes", cannot be written as "Gelh a Lai". It does not make any sense.

Geographical distribution

Paite is spoken mainly in the following locations (Ethnologue).

Education and Academic

Paite language can now be offered as one of the MIL subjects in the Three Year Degree course of Manipur University. Academic Council of the University in its meeting held on April 22, 2004 gave its approval for inclusion of Paite as one of the MIL subjects after considering the recommendation of the Board of Studies of the School of Humanities and also in recognition of the richness of the language and its literature including creative writing.[6]


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. ^ []
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Paite Chin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Singh, Chungkham Yashawanta (1995). "The linguistic situation in Manipur" (PDF). Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 18 (1): 129–134. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  5. ^ Singh, Naorem Saratchandra Singh (2006). A Grammar of Paite. Mittal Publications. p. xviii. ISBN 978-8183240680. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Churachandpur College". Retrieved 5 February 2020.

Further reading

  • Muivah, Esther T. 1993. English-Paite dictionary. Lamka, Manipur: Paite Tribe Council.
  • Tualkhothang, Naulak. 2003. English-Paite dictionary. Lamka, Manipur: The Tualkhothang Naulak Memorial Trust.
  • Tawmbing, Chinzam. 2014. English-Paite dictionary. Lamka, Manipur: Hornbill Publication.
  • Paite Tribe Council. 2013. Paite customary law & practices / Paite pupa ngeina dan leh a kizatnate. Lamka, Manipur: Paite Tribe Council.
  • Thuamkhopau, T. 2009. Paite paunaak leh pau upate. Manipur: Tribal Research Institute.
  • []