The state language of Mizoram is Mizo. Mizo is also known Mizo tawng. The language was first used by the Lushei people of Mizoram and is therefore also referred to as Lushai. Besides the people of Mizoram even the people from Chittagong Hills of Bangladesh and Chin State in Burma speak in Mizoram language Mizo.
There are around 700,000 people in Mizoram that converse in Mizo. Mizo language is connected with Sino-Tibetan family. Even the Kukish or what the Mizo speakers refer to as ‘Zohnahthlâk ṭawngho’ has many words in common. There are some words that also suggest that Burmese and Mizo language are of the same family.
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The main language spoken in Mizoram is Mizo but there are many languages that are spoken by the tribes and locals of people of Mizoram, English is the next important language of the state and the government offices and even the schools use English as a medium of instruction. Even in formal ceremonies people use English as a mode of communication.
Main language of Mizoram is Mizo as 73.2% people living in Mizoram speak Mizo. Besides Mizo as the official language of Mizoram other languages that are spoken is English and other dialects of Mizo like Thadou, Hmar, Gangte, Paite, Mara and Lai. Mizo is also the local language of Mizoram. The Christian missionaries had much effect on the local languages and these missionaries were the ones who helped in the scripting of Mizo. Some of the other languages that the people of Mizoram can be seen speaking are Fannai, Chhangte etc.
|Second State Language||—|
|Regional/Local Language||Mizo, Thadou, Hmar, Gangte, Paite, Mara and Lai|
The main language of Miz0oram – Mizo comes from the Duhlian dialect also known as Lusei of the Lusei people. Mizo language can be said to be a branch of Kuki-Chin script which comes from the Tibeto-Burmese language. There are several tribes distributed throughout the state of Mizoram and every tribe has their own dialect. Tribes like Pang, Lushias, Paith0es, Himras and Raltes all together form a single Mizo tribe. Every tribe has different customs and their dialects also differ from each other. The Pawai people have a dialect known as Lai Howlh which has a Tibeto-Burman origin.
It is difficult to say what the exact date of origin of this Mizoram language is, but some researches and survived records say that the language dates back to 1300-1450 AD. There were many folk songs written during these times and after that too. Christianity bought about drastic changing in the language and its preservation. Although records from these times have been preserved, the earlier folk songs were vanished. Inadequate information has made it difficult to know about the old songs but according to the documents available an oldest version of Mizo song is from ‘Thuthmun Zai’. There were many songs that were composed later but have been lost in time.
Mizo language has been scripted in Roman and has 25 letters. It was scripted by the Christian Missionaries and was based on the Hunterian system of converting the script. Later on circumflex (^) was added to the vowels to show the long vowels that were not enough to completely express the exact Mizo tone. Another Magazine of Mizoram known as ‘Vanglaini’ along with ‘Kristian Thalai’ and a few other publications used – á, à, ä, é, è, ë, í, ì, ï, ó, ò, ú, ù, ü to depict long tones and intonations.
The official language of Mizoram has very less written records that have survived history. However oral folklores, war chants and tales were passed down in generations. The written records of Mizo literature can be dated from 1860. The publication of ‘Progressive Colloquial Exercises in the Lushai Dialect’ by Thomas Herbert Lewin in 1874 was the first recorded literature. The scripting of the language was however done only in 1894.
This regional language of Mizoram produced its most literary works between the period 1894 to 1920 after the Mizo alphabet was created. The missionaries were the people who can be credited with most of the literary works. The first Mizo language book was ‘Mizo Zir Tir Bu’ published in 1896.
Some more works during the period include Thu inchhang, Dictionary of Lushai, Isua chanchin and The Lushai Grammar and Dictionary. Writers such as Liangkhaia contributed much to the literature of Mizo through article and book ‘ Mizo chachin’ that comprised of Mizo history. Poets like Awithangpa, Saihnuna, Patea and Laithangpuia have created wonderful songs and poems in Mizo. These songs were used in many rituals, customs and church services etc.
Mizoram language name is Mizo that has an opulent history. The customs, rituals and wonderful enchants that have been passed down through generations continue to live on. Although the old songs have no written records but they are still given to the next generation verbally. Although English persists as a language for mode of education, Mizo and its dialects are respected and have a special place in all the hearts of the people of Mizoram who continue to use it proudly in their daily lives.