Karbi (কাৰ্বি)

Karbi is a member of the Kuki-Chin-Naga branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. It is spoken in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh in northern India by about 420,000 people. It is also known as Mikir or Arleng, and is thought by some linguists to belong to the Kukish branch of Tibeto-Burman languages.

Karbi is usually written with the Latin alphabet, and sometimes with the Assamese alphabet. The first texts in Karbi, published by American missionaries, appeared in the early 20th century. They included a newspaper, dictionaries and religious texts. Two daily newspapers in Karbi, Thekar and The Arleng Daily, are published in Diphu in Assam.

The Karbi people have a rich oral tradition which includes long stories such as the Mosera, which tells of the history of the Karbi.

A new alphabet for Karbi, the Arleng / Karbi Alphabet, was created by Sarthe Teron Milik in the 1990s.

Latin alphabet for Karbi

Karbi alphabet and pronunciation

Assamese alphabet for Karbi

Karbi alphabet and pronunciation

Download alphabet charts for Karbi (Excel)

Sample text (The Lord's Prayer)

Tangte nangtum lapusonle ardomnon: ‘Sining athak kedo netum a-Po, Nangmen pangthirnang; Nangrat pavangnang; Sining athak asonthot-le, pirthe athakta nangning kehang paplengnang. Pini netum kenangji a-an pini netum aphan nepitha; Lapen netum along apreng kedo atum aphan, netum kediyatang asonthot-le; netum aprengta nediyatha. Lapen asat kelangjile netum aphan neponrinon, bonta kehingno ajakong pen netum aphan nepajoktha.’ ‘Pima nangrat lapen jakong lapen anong, akai apar akai anta padonang.’

Details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum and Ripu Rahang (Ronghang)

Source: https://christianchildmultilingualbibleverse.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/the-lords-prayer-karbi-bible-nt/

Sample text (Article 1 of the UDHR)

Monit hijan angbong kibi kethe kangtui kangdai pu ave. Arnam monit aphan kamathathek ajakong kipi. Lasi ning isivet pen dorapsi kachinghon chijinso pen donang ji.

A recording of this text by Ripu Rahang


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Karbi

Information about Karbi | Arleng / Karbi alphabet | Karbi Mek'lek alphabet | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Karbi language and people

Kuki–Chin–Naga languages

Biete, Falam, Hakha, Karbi, Kom, Mizo, Mongsen Ao, Paite, Tedim, Zotung, Zou

Languages written with the Eastern Nagari (Bengali) alphabet

Atong, Bengali, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bodo, Bhumij, Chittagonian, Garo, Hajong, Karbi, Kharia, Khasi, Koch, Kokborok, Kurmali, Malto, Manipuri, Mundari, Noakhailla, Rangpuri, Sadri, Santali, Sylheti, Toto, Tanchangya

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 03.03.23


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