Is there a written language for Rohingya?

The Rohingya ethnic group, primarily residing in the Rakhine state of Myanmar with a significant population in Bangladesh, does indeed have a written language. This post delves deeper into the evolution, structure, and utilization of the Rohingya language.

The Evolution of the Rohingya Language

Initially, the Rohingya relied on a spoken language handed down through generations. However, due to the need for a written format to preserve and communicate their culture and history better, they began to utilize various scripts such as Arabic, Urdu, Hanifi, and more recently, a Latin-based script.

Structure of the Rohingya Language

Rohingya language, also known as Rohingyalish, can be categorized into three dialects – the Mog dialect, the Chittagonian dialect, and the Teknaf dialect, each with distinctive phonetics, semantics, and sentence structure. The demand for a structured written language led to the development of Rohingyalish in the 1980s. This Latin-based script was not only simpler for the Rohingyas to learn and use, it also facilitated their interaction with international entities.

Utilization and Promotion of the Rohingya Language

Despite being a minority language, the usage of Rohingyalish has increased significantly, thanks to various efforts made to promote it as the standard written form. Various translation and educational initiatives, newspapers, and online platforms (including the World Rohingya Organization’s website) have been employing this script to raise awareness globally about the Rohingya crisis. This has also validated the Rohingyas’ collective identity and helped protect their linguistic heritage.

In conclusion, despite facing various hurdles, the Rohingyas’ determination has led to the evolution and survival of their unique written language – a powerful tool in preserving their culture and enabling international communication.