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Meitei

A language of India

ISO 639-3mni

Population  1,370,000 in India (2000). Population total all countries: 1,391,000.
Region  Manipur; Assam, Cachar, Karimganji; Nagaland; Tripura, West and North Tripura districts; Uttar Pradesh; West Bengal. Also in Bangladesh, Myanmar.
Alternate names   Kathe, Kathi, Manipuri, Meiteilon, Meiteiron, Meithe, Meithei, Menipuri, Mitei, Mithe, Ponna
Dialects  Meitei, Loi (Chakpa), Pangal (Panal, Panan, Manipuri Muslim). Intelligibility of Meitei in Bangladesh is difficult. Those in Bangladesh may understand India Meitei better than vice versa possibly due to more language change in Bangladesh over the years. India Meitei is more standard. Intelligibility between dialects in Bangladesh definitely sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse. Lexical similarity: 80%–86% between dialects in Bangladesh, 65%–70% between Bangladesh and India varieties.
Classification  Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Meitei
Language use  Official language. Trade language. Also use Hindi.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 73%. Literacy rate in L2: 69% for Manipur. Poetry. Radio programs. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1984.
Writing system  Bengali script. Meetei Mayek script.
Comments  Mainly rural. 7 clans (Ningthonia, Luwang, Angom, Moirang, Khabanaganba, Chonglei). SOV; postpositions; articles before noun heads; CV, CVC, CVV, VC, VCV; nontonal. Agriculturalists: rice, vegetables; fishermen 60%; government workers 20%; technicians 10% businessmen 10%; weavers; wood craftsmen. Hindu, traditional religion (Sana Mahi), Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in:

Bangladesh

Language name   Meitei
Population  15,000 in Bangladesh (2003). 2% monolingual.
Region  Sylhet District, Moulvi Bazar District (Kamalganj Subdistrict) and Sylhet City.
Language map  Bangladesh
Alternate names  Kathe, Kathi, Manipuri, Meetei, Meiteiron, Meithe, Meithei, Mitei, Mithe, Ponna
Dialects  Hindu Meitei, Pangan (Pangal).
Language use  Vigorous. Home, village. All ages. Positive attitude. Also use Bengali [ben] but older, uneducated less fluently. Some also use Sylheti [syl].
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: Low. Literacy rate in L2: 70% in Bengali. Those literate in Bengali are able to read Meitei but have little practice doing so.
Comments  Preferred name is Meitei Manipuri. Outsiders don’t distinguish between Meitei and Bishnupriya, calling both of them Manipuri. Meitei is a well-developed language with much literature but little is available in Bangladesh. Peasants. Hindu, Muslim, traditional religion.
 

Myanmar

Language name   Meitei
Population  6,000 in Myanmar (1931).
Alternate names  Kathe, Kathi, Manipuri, Meiteiron, Meithe, Meithei, Menipuri, Mitei, Mithe, Ponna
Comments  Hindu, traditional religion, Muslim, Christian.