A language of India

Alternate Names
Koc, Kocch, Koce, Kocha, Kochboli, Konch

L1 users: 30,000 (2007 survey), increasing. Includes only the Koch of Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India. No monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 36,000.


Assam state: Goalpara and Nagaon districts; Meghalaya state: West Garo Hills district; Bihar, Tripura, and West Bengal states.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Harigaya, Margan (Dasgaya), Tintekiya, Wanang. Tintekiya in Meghalaya is intelligible with same dialect in Bangladesh; Tintekiya not intelligible with other Koch dialects; Koch-Rabha and Harigaya are mutually intelligible with Wanang; Dasgaya and Harigaya are mutually intelligible; these form a dialect chain (Koch-Rabha-Wanang-Harigaya-Dasgaya-Tintekiya). Lexical similarity: 90% between Tintekiya Koch of India and Bangladesh; Tintekiya: 44%–55% with other Koch dialects; Kock: 31%–39% with Rongdani Rabha [rah], 13%–17% with Garo [grt]. Lexical borrowing is heavier when it comes to high register vocabulary; Koch has borrowed words from Bangla [ben], Assamese [asm] and Hajong [haj].

Language Use

Vigorous. Non-Koch in Koch villages normally speak Koch. Only 6 of the 8 endogamous groups still speak their mother tongue: Tintekiya, Wanang, Harigaya, Dasgaya, Chapra, and Koch-Rabha. Sankar and Satpariya have no known speakers. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Assamese [asm], Bengali [ben], Boro [brx], English [eng], Garo [grt], Hajong [haj], Hindi [hin], Nepali [npi], Rabha [rah].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Approximately 75% in any of the following languages: Assamese [asm], Bangla [ben], Garo [grt], English [eng], Hindi [hin], Rabha [rah], or Bodo [brx]. Show a growing interest toward education (Singh 1994b). Literature. Dictionary.

Bengali (Bangla) script [Beng].

Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe in Meghalaya. Koch-Rabha belongs to Koch linguistically and ethnically but claims identity with the Rabha for political reasons. Traditional religion, Christian, Hindu.

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