A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Arakanese, Mogh, Rakhain, Rakkhaine

600,000 in Myanmar (1931 census). Population total all countries: 800,000.


Throughout Rakhine State; Chin State, Paletwa township. Also in Bangladesh.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication).


Chaungtha, Kyaukphyu, Man Aung (Chebuda Island), Mrauk-U, Sittwe (Akyab), Yangbye (Rambree, Yanbe, Yanbye, Yangye). Related to Marma [rmz] in Bangladesh. Intelligibility in Rakhine State of prestigious Sittwe dialect seems fairly high. Slight variations in north Rakhine speech in Sittwe, Kyauk Taw, Mrauk-U, Minpya, Punna Kyun, Buthidaung, and Maungdaw townships. The variety spoken in south Rakhine State townships of Kyauk Phyu, Yangbye, Thandwe, and Taungkuk noticeably different from the northern variety. The southern variety, particularly in Thandwe Township, is more similar to standard Burmese [mya]. Lexical similarity: among Rakhine and Marma varieties in both Myanmar and Bangladesh is over 85%. Lexical similarity: 91% with standard Burmese [mya].



Language Use

Vigorous, but some shift toward Burmese [mya], especially in south Rakhine State. All except formal domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Burmese [mya].

Language Development
“. . .the literary (written) languages of Rakhine and standard Burmese are largely identical” (Leider 2008:453). Rakhine pronunciation is closer to the literary language than modern spoken Burmese. Some Rakhine spell words according to Rakhine usage, but most use standard Burmese [mya] for writing. Newspapers. New media. Films.
Myanmar (Burmese) script, informal and non-standardized use.
Other Comments

Included in official ethnic group list. Buddhist.

Also spoken in:

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