Language of the Day for 02 March 2014

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Rakhine [rki]

A language of
Myanmar
Population
1,820,000 in Myanmar, all users. 800,000 (2013 SIL). 1,020,000 (2013 SIL). Total users in all countries: 2,020,000 (as L1: 1,000,000; as L2: 1,020,000).
Status
3 (Wider communication). Throughout Rakhine State and in Paletwa Township, Chin State. Especially in market, business, oral language at school, and in some media. Rakhine is the largest ethnic group and dominant language in the area and Rakhine people control most business, transport, and trade.
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]. Also use Rohingya [rhg], in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. Used as L2 by Anu-Hkongso Chin [anl], Bawm Chin [bgr], Chak [ckh], Chakma [ccp], Eastern Khumi Chin [cek], Khumi Chin [cnk], Laitu Chin [clj], Mro-Khimi [cmr], Mru [mro], Rohingya [rhg], Sumtu Chin [csv].
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. Literature. Newspapers. Videos.
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